News Story

Viral Emergence Research Initiative (Verena) receives $12.5 million from the NSF to study viral emergence!

In an era dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the more recent monkeypox epidemic, understanding how, where, and when new viruses emerge is essential to global health and security. Viral emergence research investigates how viruses transfer from animal populations to humans. To understand how future pandemics may begin, Georgetown University’s recently-founded Verena (Viral Emergence Research Initiative) Biology Integration Institute connects scientists from various fields in a cross-disciplinary approach to emergence research. Led by Dr. Colin Carlson, an assistant professor and member of the Bansal Lab, the institute was recently awarded $12.5 million by the National Science Foundation to launch research into four key areas. Joined by Dr. Daniel Becker (University of Oklahoma), Dr. Stephanie Seifert (Washington State University), Dr. Sadie Ryan (University of Florida), and Dr. Cynthia Wei (Georgetown SFS), Dr. Carlson will investigate emergence ecology, viral coevolution, viral and host genomics, and the impact of climate change.