It is unusual to be working as a virus researcher when a viral pandemic strikes. Like everyone else, we are social distancing and I’ve worked from home for the last two months. But we’ve been busy in the lab working on COVID-19. We have been working on high-throughput, parallel nucleic acid testing, sequencing viral genomes from Wisconsin, and developing nonhuman primate models to test vaccines. Data from our studies is available at We’ve also been advocating for other groups to share data openly to accelerate the global response. I’ve been active doing community and media outreach. Some selected media coverage:

As of now, I’m not planning on taking new graduate students in fall, 2020. The PhD student population in the lab has grown since returning from Australia. There are now five PhD students in the lab, excluding Dr. Amelia Haj who successfully defended her PhD thesis last week!