Viral diseases have an enormous impact on human health worldwide. Genomic technologies are providing infectious disease researchers an unprecedented capability to study at a genetic level the viruses that cause disease and their interactions with infected hosts. The goals of the Broad Viral Genomics Group are to pioneer the application of these technologies to address the crucial unanswered biological questions in viral disease, and to foster a community of research leaders focused on using genomics to advance preventative and therapeutic strategies for viral diseases.
Broad researchers are systematically defining the components in both pathogens and their hosts that enable pathogens to cause disease, knowledge that will bolster efforts to develop effective vaccines, rapid diagnostics, and new kinds of therapeutics. They apply next generation, high-throughput sequencing technologies to the creation of tailored sequencing pipelines for some of the world’s most deadly viruses, including Lassa fever and Ebola virus.
Much of the Broad’s research in viral genomics is conducted in conjunction with Harvard University’s FAS Center for Systems Biology, in the lab of Broad Institute Member Pardis Sabeti. The goals of the Sabeti lab are to use computational methods and genomics to understand mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation in humans and pathogens by:
- optimizing sequencing for clinical viral samples
- developing experimental and computational methods for rapid pathogen detection and diagnosis from genome data
- translating our research into real-world deployable tools around the world
Research aims include:
- Developing enhanced genomic tools for clinical diagnosis of microbial disease.
- Studying host and viral genomics of infectious disease.
- Enhancing education and diagnostic capacity.
- Establishing a West African viral diagnosis and surveillance network.