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 Art Poon

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Presentation:
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Talk Title:
Reconstructing the evolution of HIV within a patient

Date/Time:
Thursday, March 7th, 2013, 6:00 pm

Affiliation:
Assistant Professor (Partner) – UBC Department of Medicine
Associate Research Scientist, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Adjunct Assistant Professor – Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Health Sciences

URL:
Art Poon

Abstract:
HIV evolves very rapidly because it makes frequent errors as it copies its genome to produce new viruses. For this reason, it has been difficult to develop an effective anti-HIV vaccine, as the incoming HIV genome can look very different from one infection to another. The rapid mutation of HIV genomes also causes an infection to proliferate into a highly diverse population within a single patient, and enables the virus to escape the immune system. Recent innovations in genome sequencing technology (known as “next-generation sequencing”) are providing us with the tools necessary to grapple with the extensive variation of HIV. However, the massive size and complexity of these sequence data presents a new bioinformatic challenge to HIV biologists. In my research, I am developing new software tools to extract key information from next-generation sequencing data to address critical problems in HIV treatment and prevention. I will show how these data can be used to determine when a patient became infected by HIV, what the initial HIV genome looked like, and how we can reconstruct a detailed history of how an infection has evolved over time.

Please note:
Trainees are invited to meet with the VanBUG speaker for open discussion of both science and career paths. This takes place 4:30-5:30pm in either the Boardroom or Lunchroom on the ground floor of the BCCRC

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Introductory Speaker:
Matthew Whiteside, PhD candidate, Brinkman Lab, Simon Fraser University

Title:
Improving the Performance of Computational Ortholog Prediction