Our vision is a world where the burden caused by infectious diseases endemic in developing countries, such as malaria, dengue fever and pneumococcus, is substantially reduced through effective monitoring, control and, eventually, elimination.
Pathogens are constantly evolving to evade the human immune system and the public health interventions designed to combat them. Genomics has an important role to play in understanding this complex evolutionary arms race. Next generation DNA sequencing technologies allow scientists to assemble the whole genomes of pathogens—that’s their entire DNA sequence—quickly and at a relatively low cost. From this influx of raw genomic data, we can unearth complex insights into how pathogens bypass our defences.
Our mission is to accelerate the translation of large-scale genomic data into meaningful information and effective tools to combat infectious diseases that are endemic in the developing world.
Our approach involves integrating genomic and population genetic data with clinical and epidemiological data in order to develop innovative methods to monitor evolutionary changes in pathogen and vector populations in near real-time. This type of genomic surveillance can provide crucial insights to disease control efforts, while also generating data of fundamental scientific interest, such as potential drug and vaccine targets.
To accomplish our broad mission, we believe that the advances in DNA sequencing technologies must be matched by similar progress in scientific methods, underpinned by a robust technical infrastructure and amplified by inclusive frameworks for scientific collaboration.
Working through a number of global collaborations, we are developing this necessary infrastructure—scientific, technical and institutional—to support the use of genomics as a tool in the fight against infectious diseases. The next challenge is applying this understanding to real-world efforts to fight these illnesses.
Our work is focused on three related areas of research: Data science, Networks and Technology.