Art Poon


Associate Professor

PhD University of California, San Diego
MSc University of British Columbia

Office: Health Sciences Addition, Room H422
Phone: (519) 661-2111 Ext. 87978

Research Activities

Keywords: virus evolution, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, molecular evolution, phylodynamics, machine learning

Description of research activities: My research focus is designing and implementing new computational methods to reconstruct the spread and adaptation of viruses from their genetic sequence variation.  Viruses evolve so rapidly that a single infection can become genetically unique within weeks or months of transmission.  We can use this evolutionary proliferation to characterize how a virus population has adapted to that patient’s immune system; to detect “hotspots” of virus transmission in an epidemic in real time; and to reconstruct the historical spread of a virus in human populations.  To accomplish this, we use a blend of techniques from mathematical modeling, phylogenetics, pattern recognition, open-source software development and high performance computing.

Research Opportunities:  I currently have openings in my lab for multiple graduate students (MSc and PhD level) and undergraduate research assistants.