My research focuses on the advancement of forensics and genomics analysis of bacterial pathogens. The Pathogen Genomics Program will focus on three core missions:
- Bolstering of biodefense through improved forensic analysis
- Understanding interactions between man and microbe to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics that will alleviate the human ailments caused by dangerous pathogens
- Developing an improved understanding of disease movement to reduce and control the incidence of disease
We have a taken a genomic reference based approach to understanding particular pathogens of great interest. This involves the development of robust population genetic models developed from global strain collections with curated SNP databases. In later investigations, high quality genomic material is not always available and the resulting genomic interrogations of limited coverage and quality. We will report on a traditional molecular epidemiological investigation of heroin contaminated with B. anthracis, as well as, the analysis of anthrax victim’s pathology specimen remnant from the Soviet biological weapons era.