Seema Lakdawala

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Member, Molecular Virology and Microbiology

Education & Training

PhD in Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego

BSc in Natural Sciences, University of Texas

Research Summary

The Lakdawala lab studies epidemiological successful of influenza A viruses to better predict future pandemics. Specifically we are interested in intracellular assembly of influenza viruses and person-to-person transmission of viruses. We combine biochemistry and sophisticated microscopy tools to define where, when and how assembly of influenza genomic RNA occurs. This research has broad implications for understanding the reassortment potential of circulating animal influenza viruses and may lead to the development of new antiviral targets. In addition, airborne transmission of influenza viruses is critical for rapid spread of the virus during epidemics and pandemics. We have established a method to study the viability of influenza viruses in expelled aerosols and droplets at different environmental conditions as well as the airborne transmissibility of influenza viruses in the ferret model. These studies will define the viral and environmental properties that promote the spread of influenza. Combining these two areas of research we will be able to develop a comprehensive surveillance system to determine the pandemic potential of circulating zoonotic influenza viruses, which will be useful in all areas of pandemic preparedness.