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Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

Director, Arbovirus Laboratory
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany
M.S., Tufts University (2001)
Ph.D., SUNY Albany (2012)

Research Interests

Dr. Ciota is Deputy Director of the Arbovirus Laboratory, which performs testing, surveillance and research of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). The lab studies both mosquito and tick-borne agents including the flaviviruses West Nile virus (WNV), Zika virus (ZIKV), dengue virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus and Powassan virus, as well as alphaviruses Eastern equine encephalitis virus and chikungunya virus, among others. The unique facilities which comprise the Arbovirus lab allow for extensive experimentation in a range of natural invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. Dr. Ciota’s primary research areas include arbovirus evolution, mosquito-virus interactions and the influence of climate change on virus transmission.

Specific studies include understanding arbovirus microevolution both within and among hosts and vectors, defining how specific interactions between viral and vector genomes influence transmissibility in distinct environments, defining the role of the viral replicase in viral fitness and evolution, and identifying how unique microbial signatures influence vectorial capacity. The overarching goal of these studies is to gain a better understanding of the factors that shape patterns of arbovirus transmission and ultimately to influence public health interventions in New York State and beyond.

Select Publications

Caldwell HS, Pata JD, Ciota AT.
The Role of the Flavivirus Replicase in Viral Diversity and Adaptation.
Viruses.
(2022)
14
(5):
1076.
DOI: 10.3390/v14051076
Bialosuknia SM, Dupuis Ii AP, Zink SD, Koetzner CA, Maffei JG, Owen JC, Landwerlen H, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
Adaptive evolution of West Nile virus facilitated increased transmissibility and prevalence in New York State.
Emerg Microbes Infect.
(2022)
11
(1):
988-999.
DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2022.2056521
Ciota AT.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Taxonomy, Genomics, and Evolution.
J Med Entomol.
(2022)
59
(1):
14-19.
DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjab079
Fay RL, Ngo KA, Kuo L, Willsey GG, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
Experimental Evolution of West Nile Virus at Higher Temperatures Facilitates Broad Adaptation and Increased Genetic Diversity.
Viruses.
(2021)
13
(10):
1889.
DOI: 10.3390/v13101889
Onyango MG, Lange R, Bialosuknia S, Payne A, Mathias N, Kuo L, Vigneron A, Nag D, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
Zika virus and temperature modulate Elizabethkingia anophelis in Aedes albopictus.
Parasit Vectors.
(2021)
14
(1):
573.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-021-05069-7
Kuo L, Jaeger AS, Banker EM, Bialosuknia SM, Mathias N, Payne AF, Kramer LD, Aliota MT, Ciota AT.
Reversion to ancestral Zika virus NS1 residues increases competence of Aedes albopictus.
PLoS Pathog.
(2020)
16
(10):
e1008951.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008951
Bonenfant G, Meng R, Shotwell C, Badu P, Payne AF, Ciota AT, Sammons MA, Berglund JA, Pager CT.
Asian Zika Virus Isolate Significantly Changes the Transcriptional Profile and Alternative RNA Splicing Events in a Neuroblastoma Cell Line.
Viruses.
(2020)
12
(5):
510.
DOI: 10.3390/v12050510
Caldwell HS, Ngo K, Pata JD, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
West Nile Virus fidelity modulates the capacity for host cycling and adaptation.
J Gen Virol.
(2020)
101
(4):
410-419.
DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.001393
Onyango MG, Bialosuknia SM, Payne AF, Mathias N, Kuo L, Vigneron A, DeGennaro M, Ciota AT, Kramer LD.
Increased temperatures reduce the vectorial capacity of Aedes mosquitoes for Zika virus.
Emerg Microbes Infect.
(2020)
9
(1):
67-77.
DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2019.1707125
Caldwell HS, Lasek-Nesselquist E, Follano P, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
Divergent Mutational Landscapes of Consensus and Minority Genotypes of West Nile Virus Demonstrate Host and Gene-Specific Evolutionary Pressures.
Genes (Basel).
(2020)
11
(11):
1299.
DOI: 10.3390/genes11111299
Ciota AT, Keyel AC.
The Role of Temperature in Transmission of Zoonotic Arboviruses.
Viruses.
(2019)
11
(11):
1013.
DOI: 10.3390/v11111013
Bialosuknia SM, Tan Y, Zink SD, Koetzner CA, Maffei JG, Halpin RA, Muller E, Novatny M, Shilts M, Fedorova NB, Amedeo P, Das SR, Pickett B, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
Evolutionary dynamics and molecular epidemiology of West Nile virus in New York State: 1999-2015.
Virus Evol.
(2019)
5
(2):
vez020.
DOI: 10.1093/ve/vez020
Ciota AT, Bialosuknia SM, Zink SD, Brecher M, Ehrbar DJ, Morrissette MN, Kramer LD.
Effects of Zika Virus Strain and Aedes Mosquito Species on Vector Competence.
Emerging Infectious Diseases.
(2017)
23
(7):
1110-1117.
Ehrbar DJ, Ngo KA, Campbell SR, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
High levels of local inter- and intra-host genetic variation of West Nile virus and evidence of fine-scale evolutionary pressures.
(2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.04.010