Dr Julian Villabona-Arenas
in HIV Phylogenetics
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.
I teach molecular epidemiology in the modules Molecular Virology; Epidemiology & Omics; and Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases (ECCD).
My research focuses on the evolutionary dynamics of infectious diseases. I am interested in phylogenetic methods of sequence analysis that combine genetic, spatial and ecological information. 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 concerns HIV phylogenetics and understanding transmission of multiple founder variants. This work is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).