Chronic viruses, such as HIV and Hepatitis C, evolve rapidly within individuals. Combined with long durations of infection, this means transmitted strains will be different from founder strain(s) that initiate infections, which in turn will have large effects on these viruses at the epidemiological scale. Studying evolutionary processes at different levels of biological organisation is of profound theoretical interest, but extremely challenging to do in nature; chronic viruses are unique because we can directly observe evolution at these different levels. The details of the DPhil project will be decided in discussion with the student, but would fit in with the theme of the research group, which is to determine those factors that affect the dynamics of within-host evolution, what is transmitted, and the impact this has on evolution at the epidemiological scale, including the evolution of virulence and drug resistance.
Katrina gained a B.A. Honours in Human Sciences from Balliol College, University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in Population Genetics from the University of Edinburgh. She has received several prestigious research fellowships from Wellcome Trust, L’Oreal and the Royal Society, and is currently Henry Dale Fellow until 2021.