It's been a very busy summer and early fall. As local transmission of Zika virus arrived in the United States, our research received an unprecedented (for me) amount of attention. The most exciting part of working on a public health emergency is contributing relevant data. We've worked hard to make this available even before peer reviewed manuscripts are published, but through the Zika Open Data Portal and publishing papers in the preprint Biorxiv archive. Two papers that are in Biorxiv now ahead of print are:

I also had opportunities to share my knowledge with several groups, including Congressional staff and Senators at a Preparing for and Protecting the Nation from Zika roundtable in July.

The start of the fall academic semester brought new adventures. We commemorated the 10th year teaching our undergraduate class on HIV: Sex, Science, and Society. This year, we are using lessons from HIV to inform discussions about the best way to confront Zika virus. I also participated in several meetings including:

In the next two weeks, I'm returning to Cape Town, South Africa and Brazil to discuss virus sequencing and Zika virus, respectively.

We have also been very busy working with our collaborators to apply for additional research support. We are lucky and grateful to have received funding to study mucosal transmission of Zika virus, the impact of pre-existing dengue virus immunity on Zika virus pathogenesis, and duration of Zika virus during pregnancy. Everyone on our team has been incredibly supportive and productive as we applied for this funding, as well as other grants that are still pending at NIH.

The weather in Madison is still quite sunny and warm but it won't be for much longer. Off to enjoy the outside before it gets dark!