Laboratory of Suman Das, Ph.D.
There are 3 main aspects to research in the Das lab:
Our lab uses high-throughput, next-generation sequencing technologies to compile full viral genomes. Viruses include H1N1 influenza in swine, enterovirus 68 from the 2014 outbreak, enterovirus A71 in Vietnam, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) from various regions throughout the world. With this data, we are able to conduct phylodynamic analyses to understand viral evolutionary dynamics. This work helps to not only understand basic viral life cycles but also help monitor outbreaks for future preventative strategies. More specifically, we are using deep-sequencing to understand viral transmission and emergence of drug resistance.
VIRUS-HOST MICROBIOME INTERACTIONS
Mounting evidence suggests strong interplay between pathogenic viruses and the microbiome that can either reduce or exacerbate disease. Our work tries to uncover any virus-induced changes in host microbiome using amplicon-based and metagenomic sequencing of clinical cohorts (INSPIRE) and model organisms (mice, cotton rats). Through this, we hope to understand the role of microbiome during acute viral infections (RSV and influenza) and on long-term outcomes (i.e., wheezing and asthma) in infants.
VIRAL EVOLUTION MODELING
We use in vitro and in vivo modeling of influenza to understand antigenic drift of influenza and other RNA viruses. our methodology uses mathematical, bioinformatic, and synthetic genomic approaches to model influenza evolutionary dynamics to identify best seasonal vaccine strains. We have also developed laboratory protocols for analyzing antibody responses to particular viral strains in cell culture.