John Spouge, MD, PhDSenior Investigator, Computational Biology Branch, NCBI
My research interests flow from my technical mathematical skills, particularly in sequence statistics, which I apply to solve specific problems with broad biological pertinence. For example, I have used in vitro or animal trial data to model the efficacy of HIV therapies in patients. I have also analyzed data for botanists and mycologists in International Barcode Consortium Working Groups to help them decide on DNA barcodes for plants and fungi/
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Presently, I am attempting to understand the genetics of HIV or other retroviruses immediately after infection of a single host. Animal trials using infection as an end-point might not have enough sensitivity to detect subtle reductions in virulence, so my specific practical goal is to develop genetic criteria for detecting when a therapy has reduced virulence. I am also examining applications of exact k-mer matching to taxonomic identification of unknown biological samples.