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Dr Julian Villabona-Arenas

BSc ScD

Research Fellow
in HIV Phylogenetics

Room
113

LSHTM
Keppel Street
London
WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom

I'm a biologist interested in studying the evolutionary dynamics of viruses and translating this knowledge to public health. The primary tool I use is phylogenetics.

I graduated from the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS), Colombia in 2008 with a BSc in Biology. In 2014, I completed a ScD in Biological Sciences at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil. From 2015-2016, I was a postdoctoral scientist at Université de Montpellier (UM), France, where I worked with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the Institute of Computational Biology (IBC). From 2017-2018 I worked with the IRD. I joined the School by mid-2018 where I am holding a research fellow position.

Affiliations

Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health

Centres

Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID)

Teaching

I teach molecular epidemiology in the modules Molecular Virology; Epidemiology & Omics; Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases (ECCD); and Introduction to Outbreak Analytics Using R. I am also the MO of Genomics Health Data.

Research

My research focuses on the evolutionary dynamics of infectious diseases. I am interested in phylodynamics. I'm also keen to promote knowledge and technology transfer to developing countries. Previously, I studied Dengue virus spread at regional & global scales, and HIV drug resistance emergence & evolution in Sub-Saharan Africa. My current project focuses on integrating HIV phylogenetics with modelling to better understand transmission. This work is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

Research Area
Surveillance
Viruses
Outbreaks
Discipline
Molecular epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
HIV/AIDS
Dengue
Country
Brazil
Cameroon
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Colombia
United Kingdom
Region
European Union
Latin America & Caribbean (developing only)
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Sampling bias and incorrect rooting make phylogenetic network tracing of SARS-COV-2 infections unreliable
Mavian C; Pond SK; Marini S; Magalis BR; Vandamme A-M; Dellicour S; Scarpino SV; Houldcroft C; Villabona-Arenas J; Paisie TK
2020
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Number of HIV-1 founder variants is determined by the recency of the source partner infection.
Villabona-Arenas CJ; Hall M; Lythgoe KA; Gaffney SG; Regoes RR; Hué S; Atkins KE
2020
SCIENCE
Phylogenetic interpretation during outbreaks requires caution.
Villabona-Arenas CJ; Hanage WP; Tully DC
2020
NATURE MICROBIOLOGY
Spatio-temporal dynamics of dengue in Brazil: Seasonal travelling waves and determinants of regional synchrony.
Churakov M; Villabona-Arenas CJ; Kraemer MUG; Salje H; Cauchemez S
2019
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Medical countermeasures during the 2018 Ebola virus disease outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: a rapid genomic assessment.
Mbala-Kingebeni P; Aziza A; Di Paola N; Wiley MR; Makiala-Mandanda S; Caviness K; Pratt CB; Ladner JT; Kugelman JR; Prieto K
2019
The Lancet. Infectious diseases
MVSE: An R-package that estimates a climate-driven mosquito-borne viral suitability index.
Obolski U; Perez PN; Villabona-Arenas CJ; Thézé J; Faria NR; Lourenço J
2019
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Survey of Ebola Viruses in Frugivorous and Insectivorous Bats in Guinea, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2015-2017.
De Nys HM; Kingebeni PM; Keita AK; Butel C; Thaurignac G; Villabona-Arenas C-J; Lemarcis T; Geraerts M; Vidal N; Esteban A
2018
EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
See more Publications