Balamuthia mandrillaris is a rare, but almost always fatal cause of meningoencephalitis. The DeRisi Lab seeks contributions to support research and small molecule screening to identify possible therapeutic compounds. See our recent publication, Diagnosing Balamuthia mandrillaris Encephalitis with Metagenomic Deep Sequencing for more information about Balamuthia.

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The DeRisi lab currently has an opening for a Staff Research Associate II (SRA II) position. The employee will perform nucleic acid extraction from patient samples and preparation of sequencing libraries suitable for next-gen sequencing. Accuracy when preparing samples is of utmost importance. Additional duties include database and sample management, qPCR, microbiology culture methods, cell culture, ELISA assay and Western blotting. Click on the link and search for Job 43219BR to apply.
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Arenaviruses are one of the largest families of human hemorrhagic fever viruses and are known to infect both mammals and snakes. Arenaviruses package a large (L) and small (S) genome segment in their virions. For segmented RNA viruses like these, novel genotypes can be generated through mutation, recombination, and reassortment. Although it is believed that an ancient recombination event led to the emergence of a new lineage of mammalian arenaviruses, neither recombination nor reassortment has been definitively documented in natural arenavirus infections. Here, we used metagenomic sequencing to survey the viral diversity present in captive arenavirus-infected snakes. Check out the paper at PLoS Pathogen for the full story.
Read the paper here.