We are a bioinformatics research group that is broadly interested in microbial and viral genomics, with a primary focus on human health and disease.
The overarching goal of our group is to develop computational tools and approaches that advance our understanding of microbial and viral evolution and aid in the development of microbial-based diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive practices. Currently, our key research areas are:
1. Functional annotation of health-relevant features of the microbe via comparative genomics. Most health-relevant features of microbial genomes are only studied in only one or a few species. Our group is developing a functional profiling framework to identify these functions across a broad range of microbial species using ortholog detection, phylogenetic inference, and structural modeling.
2. Studying viral genomics and developing tools to aid in epidemiology. Our group is investigating the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 genome recombination and evolution. We are also actively involved in a collaborative effort to develop bioinformatics tools for performing wastewater-based epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
3. Investigating the ecology and evolution of microbe-host interactions. Leveraging the ever-growing volume of multi-omics data, our group is working on different genomic features of bacteria species that drive microbial evolution and interaction with the host using genomics, metabolomics, statistical inference, and machine learning approaches.