Skip to Main Content


credit: CDC

The rapid and continuous emergence of arthropod-borne (insects and ticks) viruses (arboviruses), such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile, and Powassan virus, presents one of the greatest challenges to public health. Multiple factors, such as urbanization, increased travel, wars and social upheaval, and climate change, are fueling local outbreaks and global spread. As a result, the annual burden of dengue virus has soared to an estimated 390 million infections, and the recent epidemics of Zika and chikungunya viruses in the Americas may have infected hundreds of millions of people.

The YSPH has a rich history with arboviruses, starting with the Rockefeller Foundation Viral Laboratories moving to New Haven and founding the Yale Arbovirus Research Unit (YARU) in 1964. This brought to Yale a group of the world's leading authorities on arbovirus infections including Nobel prize winner Max Theiler. YARU was recognized by the World Health Organization as the International Reference Centre for Arboviruses.

Under the direction of Professor Albert Ko, YSPH has been at the forefront of identifying and understanding the Zika virus. In collaboration with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Albert Ko's lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that have caused microcephaly in so many babies in Brazil and other parts of South America.

Assistant Professor Nathan Grubaugh’s lab uses genomics to investigate how arboviruses spread (genomic epidemiology), cause disease (functional evolution), and adapt to new environments (experimental evolution). He recently teamed up with a large group of international collaborators to investigate the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas by sequencing directly from clinical samples and field-collected mosquitoes. Their goal is to understand the fundamentals of arbovirus emergence to better plan for and respond to future outbreaks.

Faculty of Interest

  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Research Interests
    • Aedes
    • Arthropod Vectors
    • Chikungunya virus
    • Culex
    • Dengue Virus
    • Disease Outbreaks
    • Epidemiology
    • Genetics, Microbial
    • Molecular Sequence Data
    • RNA Viruses
    • West Nile virus
    • Directed Molecular Evolution
  • Raj and Indra Nooyi Professor of Public Health and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    Research Interests
    • Dengue
    • Epidemiology
    • Leptospirosis
    • Urban Health
    • Global Health
    • Meningitis, Bacterial
    • Infectious Disease Medicine

Secondary & Adjunct Faculty

  • Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Section Chief, Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine

    Research Interests
    • Bacteria
    • Epidemiology
    • Lyme Disease
    • Parasitology
    • Public Health
    • Ticks
    • Viruses
    • West Nile virus
    • Global Health
    • Ehrlichiosis
    • Malaria Vaccines
    • Borrelia burgdorferi
    • Infectious Disease Medicine