Special Projects Team: The Special Projects Team within the Laboratory of Viral Diseases, is dedicated to research and development, and the federal reporting of public health virology data from the Wadsworth Center. Research investigations undertaken by staff in this unit are commonly extramurally funded.  Data reporting is to the National Enterovirus Surveillance System, National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System, the Public Health Laboratory Interoperability Project and other federal data banks that in turn are collated for national and global disease surveillance purposes.  Projects undertaken by the Special Projects Team may be worked on exclusively by staff in the Team or additional staff in the Laboratory of Viral Diseases, together with other laboratories at the Wadsworth Center, as well as with colleagues at other institutions or commercial companies.

Current projects in the Special Projects Team include the analysis of adenovirus genomics and evolution with next generation sequencing in collaboration with Dr. Adriana Kajon at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in New Mexico, and NIH-funded collaborations with Akonni Biosystems, for the development of arrays for the detection of encephalitic viruses. Laboratory work for an RO1 grant with Dr. Alison Morris at the University of Pittsburgh is investigating the relationship between respiratory infections and the development of emphysema in HIV-positive persons and work with Dr. Samantha Jacobs at Weil Cornell is assessing the chronicity of rhinovirus infections in stem cell transplant recipients.  Additional projects include enterovirus D68 whole genome sequence analysis in collaboration with the CDC, and the investigation of respiratory viral infection in infants undergoing sepsis evaluation with Drs. Jennifer Cerone and Roberto Santos at Albany Medical Center.  Previous projects include the development of quantitative mutation-specific real-time RT-PCR assays for drug-resistance mutations, the investigation of resistance evolution in influenza viruses, whole genome sequencing of influenza viruses, phylogenetic analysis of human parainfluenza virus type 4 in collaboration with Dr. Yi-Wei Tang at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the investigation of mixed virus populations.

Trials and Studies

  • Influenza genome sequencing project, evolution and diversity in influenza using next-generation whole genome sequencing
  • Adenovirus evolution and genetic diversity over time using next-generation whole genome sequencing
  • Analysis of adenovirus and enterovirus outbreaks and fatal cases
  • Evaluation of the ABI ViiA 7
  • Encephalitis Microarray
  • Neuraminidase Inhibitor Assay Standardization Study
  • Encephalitis pathogen discovery with next-generation sequencing techniques
  • Respiratory virus study in pediatric STEM cell

Assays Under Development

  • Genotypic and phenotypic assays for antiviral susceptibility in influenza and herpes simplex viruses
  • Whole genome sequencing of multiple viruses including enterovirus and human herpes virus 1
  • Chromosomally integrated human herpes virus 6 testing with digital droplet PCR
  • Real-time RT-PCR for Powassan/Deer tick virus and Zika virus