Dr Tristan Dennis

Postdoctoral Researcher

My background is in paleovirology, where I used bioinformatic approaches to examine the long-term relationships between viruses and their hosts. Recently, I have made the daunting step of switching to eukaryotes, joining the Lamberton Lab in autumn 2018, where I am now working as a parasite bioinformatician.  My research uses high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic techniques to study the evolution of Onchocerca volvulus, a nematode parasite that causes debilitating skin disease and blindness. Studying Onchocerca genetics within a host can be difficult, as the adult parasite is embedded in nodules, the excision of which involves invasive surgery. Because of this, there is currently no easy way to determine the difference between reactivation and reinfection in infections that recur after drug treatment. Offspring worms are easier to isolate and sequence. As such, I am working to develop bioinformatic approaches that use sequences from offspring worms in order to differentiate between reactivation and reinfection in patients that have been treated with drugs in clinical trials in Ghana and Cameroon. Additionally, I am hoping to use the genomic data generated in these experiments to provide more general insights into the evolution, diversity, and host interactions of these parasites.

Email: tristan dot dennis at glasgow dot ac dot uk
LinkedIn: Tristan Dennis
ORCID: 0000-0002-0895-3549

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