I am currently working on insect virus discovery using Next Generation Sequencing data for identification of viral sequences, from transcriptome and from small RNA sequencing datasets. I have extensive experience with bioinformatics and with optimization of bioinformatics tools for virus discovery. My background is in Entomology with particular emphasis on insect vectors of plant viral disease.
My research interests are small non-coding RNA and the biological phenomenon of RNA interference. The specific goals of my current research are, (i) identify and characterize aphid viruses and (ii) characterize aphid micro RNAs in multiple aphid species. We use a combination of bioinformatics and molecular biology on small RNA sequencing datasets to achieve these goals.
My current research work focuses on two major goals: 1. Identification of gut receptors in aphids that are involved in uptake of luteoviruses, and 2. Examination of mechanisms of transcytosis across the insect gut. Both of these areas of research have the potential to provide novel tools for insect pest management.