Trevor Bedford, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Member
Department
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division
Institution
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Address
1100 Fairview Ave N
City, State, Zip
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone
(206) 667-6372
E-mail
tbedford[at]fhcrc.org
Website
http://bedford.io
Research Field
Virology
Award Year
2016

Research

My lab is developing tools for rapidly characterizing circulating influenza viruses and assessing how different strains evolve to better forecast the seasonal evolution of flu. Designing an effective flu vaccine requires an accurate prediction of which strains of the virus will predominate the following season—a projection that can be challenging to make. As a beginning faculty member, I launched a website, nextflu.org, which offers a continuously updated view of the viruses currently in circulation—including their evolutionary relationships, geographic origins, and DNA sequences. Now, I will collect and compare data about the location and frequency of the mutations that accumulate in different strains of influenza and assess how these changes affect viral infectiousness and spread. These data, displayed in real time on nextflu.org, will allow better prediction of future viral populations—information that will lend itself to the formulation of more effective vaccines. The same approach can ultimately be extended to the tracking of other evolving viruses, such as Ebola, chikungunya, and Zika.