Dr. James Weger-Lucarelli
Dr. Weger-Lucarelli received his B.Sc and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He performed his postdoctoral studies at Colorado State University and the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Dr. Weger-Lucarelli’s research focuses on understanding viral and host determinants that mediate disease severity, transmission, evolution, and protection against mosquito-borne viruses. The Weger-Lucarelli lab uses molecular, virological, and computational methods to study these interactions. Due to various factors, such as climate change, increased global travel, and shifting population demographics, the explosiveness and frequency of outbreaks caused by mosquito-borne viruses is dramatically increasing. It is essential to understand host and viral determinants that result in outbreaks.
In order to study this, the Weger-Lucarelli lab has three primary focuses:
- To advance the understanding of host factors in mosquito-borne virus disease, transmission, and evolution. We specifically focus on obesity, sex, and immunological status.
- To recognize and study emerging viral threats before they produce massive outbreaks. We are using traditional and novel tools to manipulate viral genomes in order to identify mutations that may increase the likelihood for spread or ability to produce disease.
- To produce innovative vaccines to prevent mosquito-borne viral disease. We are using recombinant live-attenuated viral vaccines to design safe and highly immunogenic vaccines.