Research in the lab of Richard Goldstein focuses on computational modelling of pathogen evolution, with an emphasis on viruses. In order to understand the properties of viruses, how they transmit, how they interact with their hosts, how they transfer between hosts, we need to investigate the evolutionary process that determined their form and function. Conversely, the evolution of viruses and hosts cannot be understood without considering how their form and function constrain the evolutionary process. Finally, the evolutionary record encodes the history of these organisms – when and where they emerged, how they spread amongst various populations, how they adapted to new hosts (such as humans), and how they have interacted with host factors, immune system, and drugs. Analysis of these sequences can provide a powerful window into this history, providing insight into the present situation and future trends. This has important consequences for monitoring and controlling disease emergence and spread, for identifying new drug targets, for modelling the emergence of drug resistance, as well as for developing our basic understanding of viruses and virus-host interactions. This work takes advantage of our placement in the Division of Infection & Immunity at UCL, providing us with a wealth of collaborative opportunities.
The post holder will carry out research in the area of computational molecular evolution, with particular interest in viral evolution. This will include development of new models for phylogenetic analysis, and the application of these models in a variety of biological contexts in order to generate understanding and insight, including of viral evolution and virus-host interactions.
The post is funded by the MRC and expires 31 March 2017. The post is potentially extendable depending on continuation of funding.