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Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

  • Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

    Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

    • Arbovirus Laboratory
    • Faculty Member, Wadsworth School of Laboratory Science
    • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany

    • M.S., Tufts University (2001)
    • Ph.D., SUNY Albany (2012)

    alexander.ciota@health.ny.gov


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), 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 and mosquito-virus interactions, with a focus on WNV and Culex spp. mosquitoes.

Specific studies include understanding WNV 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 replicase fidelity on 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 novel public health interventions. 

Select Publications

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.
Van Slyke GA, Arnold JJ, Lugo AJ, Griesemer SB, Moustafa IM, Kramer LD, Cameron CE, Ciota AT.
Sequence-Specific Fidelity Alterations Associated with West Nile Virus Attenuation in Mosquitoes.
PLoS Pathogens.
(2015)
11
(6):
e1005009.
Ciota AT, Payne AF, Kramer LD.
West Nile virus adaptation to ixodid tick cells is associated with phenotypic trade-offs in primary hosts.
Virology.
(2015)
482
(NULL):
128-132.
Ciota AT, Payne AF, Kramer LD.
West Nile virus adaptation to ixodid tick cells is associated with phenotypic trade-offs in primary hosts.
Virology.
(2015)
482
(NULL):
128-132.
Ciota AT, Payne AF, Ngo KA, Kramer LD.
Consequences of in vitro host shift for St. Louis encephalitis virus.
J Gen Virol.
(2014)
95
(Pt 6):
1281-8.
Ciota AT, Ehrbar DJ, Matacchiero AC, Van Slyke GA, Kramer LD.
The evolution of virulence of West Nile virus in a mosquito vector: implications for arbovirus adaptation and evolution - art. no. 71.
BMC Evolutionary Biology.
(2013)
13
(71):
20.
Ciota AT, Ehrbar DJ, Van Slyke GA, Willsey GG, Kramer LD.
Cooperative interactions in the West Nile virus mutant swarm.
BMC Evolutionary Biology.
(2012)
12
(58):
27.