Highlight Talk: Kathryn Hanley, Regents Professor (Corbett Ballroom)

Date(s) - Friday
10:30 am - 11:00 am


Winged Viruses: Spillover, Spread and Spillback of Mosquito-Borne Viruses

Mosquito-borne viruses, particularly dengue, Zika, yellow fever and chikungunya, have become notorious in recent decades.  This quartet of viruses sickens or kills tens of millions of people each year around the world. All four of these viruses emerged from sylvatic transmission cycles maintained between monkeys and mosquitoes in tropical forests in Asia and Africa into circulation between humans and urban mosquitoes. While dengue virus and yellow fever virus were introduced into the Americas in the 1700s via the slave trade, chikungunya and Zika only reached the Americas in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Hanley lab investigates the evolutionary and ecological forces that facilitate emergence of these viruses from their sylvatic cycles, as well as their risk of spread among humans and spillback into novel sylvatic cycles among monkeys in the Americas. We seek to leverage this basic knowledge to better predict the epidemiology of these viruses and to develop novel methods to prevent and treat viral infections.