International Plant & Animal Genome Conference / PAG 32 • January 10-15, 2025  •  San Diego, CA, USA

PAG31 6 Lucy Van Dorp2 smUCL Excellence Fellow, University College London, UK

Monday, January 15,  8:45 AM / Atlas Ballroom

Talk Title: “Tracking Pathogens in Space and Time”


My research aims to contribute to the post-genomic revolution in biology and medicine using computational methods applied to whole genome sequencing data to determine the factors giving rise to the patterns of genetic diversity we observe in human-associated pathogens. As a computational biologist, with a PhD in population genetics, my work draws across methodological disciplines, including phylogenetics and machine learning.

Currently, my work focuses on reconstructing the evolutionary history of significant infectious diseases, including COVID-19, Tuberculosis, Malaria and multidrug-resistant hospital infections. Through the development and application of computational methods I infer the key factors which contribute to the emergence, spread and transmission of bacterial, viral, fungal and eukaryotic pathogens. I aim to place these reconstructions in strong societal and historical context. This requires addressing to what extent the spread of a specific disease might be closely linked to human or animal movements, subsistence practices and trade, but also considers the effect of the introduction of a specific drug or the choice of drug treatment in the clinic.
Therefore, my research also covers human demography, migration and admixture history and ultimately aims to connect us to our interactions with infectious disease at both recent eg. the emergence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and ancient eg. human population structure at the time of the Neolithic revolution, time-scales.