Paul Turner, Senior Associate

An ongoing area of research issues viral ecology, which addresses how viruses interact molecularly inside their hosts, between their hosts, and with their setting. In specific, Turner and his laboratory members have used each phages and viruses of eukaryotes as laboratory models for elucidating evolutionary rules of RNA virus emergence. Paul Turner is the Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and college member in Microbiology at Yale School of Medicine. He studies the evolutionary genetics of viruses, particularly bacteriophages that specifically infect bacterial pathogens, and RNA viruses which are vector-transmitted by mosquitoes.

Professor Turner works with colleagues at VECTOR to study the pure historical past and evolution of pathogenic RNA viruses corresponding to Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. His non-research work focuses on improvement of human and laboratory capacity for diagnostic microbiology in low-resource settings. Turner makes a compelling case that viruses are more biologically successful than cellular life, such as in a 2013 review that he coauthored . The article examines gauges of organic success, together with numerical abundance, environmental tolerance, type biodiversity, reproductive potential, and widespread impression on other organisms.

Evolutionary Constraints Of Viruses

Turner received numerous professional provides before accepting a position at Yale as assistant professor in the college’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2001. In 2002 he was invited to join the US delegation in a joint United States–Russia workshop on infectious disease in Novosibirsk. “I was honored to be selected for the delegation and to go to the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology , which homes considered one of solely two samples on the earth of the smallpox virus,” Turner says. Another analysis of RNA viruses discovered that when genetic modifications randomly happen of their genomes, populations can evolve mutational robustness that buffers deleterious fitness results . Since strong viruses tolerate higher mutation frequencies, evolution of robustness may permit much less correct genome replication.

paul turner

The main focus of Paul Turner’s analysis is to review the evolutionary genetics and genomics of microbes, particularly the flexibility of viruses to adapt to changes of their biotic and abiotic environments. These studies concern environmental challenges confronted by viruses in any respect ranges of biological group, including effects of changes in molecules, proteins, cells, populations, communities and ecosystems. His work is highly interdisciplinary, employing microbiology, computational biology, genomics, molecular biology and mathematical-modeling approaches, and particularly experimental evolution (‘evolution-in-motion’) research under managed laboratory conditions. Turner uses all kinds of RNA and DNA viruses in his studies, including various lytic, temperate and filamentous phages that infect micro organism.

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Conducting interdisciplinary and experimental evolution studies of microbes, Turner and his colleagues elucidate virus evolution and ecology and host–parasite interactions, amongst other subjects. Turner, who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019, additionally conducts utilized analysis on the development of virus-based mostly therapies that hold promise for combating antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. His Inaugural Article contributes to that body of research, which helps to launch a new era in phage biotechnology. Turner’s analysis has led to renewed curiosity in the medical potential of phages. In a latest evaluation, he and colleagues in contrast phage remedy with chemical antibiotics and highlighted their potential synergies when utilized in combination . The article emphasizes that the new strategy not solely uses viruses to kill pathogenic micro organism, but in addition selects for elevated antibiotic sensitivity within the remaining bacterial population.

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  • Paul Turner is the Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and college member in Microbiology at Yale School of Medicine.
  • He additionally often collaborates with his graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, crediting his students and mentees for their inspiration and assist over the years.
  • In 2016, he and his staff isolated from a Connecticut pond a lytic phage, OMKO1, which assaults the frequent multidrug-resistant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa .
  • at Imperial College London, where his sponsors include John Warner, Stephen Durham and Gideon Lack.

Turner’s analysis regularly uses microbes as mannequin systems to test evolutionary and ecological theories. With Lenski and a colleague, Turner used plasmids as models to check the theorized systematic commerce-off between infectious and intergenerational modes of parasite transmission . The researchers confirmed that infectious parasites can not evolve to simultaneously maximize horizontal and vertical transfers between hosts.

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