New Frontier welcomes Dr. Taj Azarian for his upcoming lecture


The next lecture will be given by Dr. Taj Azarian, assistant professor in the Louisiana Tech University New Frontiers Biomedical Research Series at the University of Central Florida’s Burnett School of Medicine, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences.

Azarian’s presentation, titled “Meaningful Use of Pathogen Genomic Data: Monitoring Bacterial Mobile Elements Using Printed Sequences,” will be held on January 23 at 3:30 PM in the University Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Prior to becoming a faculty member at the University of Central Florida, Azarian was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Harvard University’s TH Chan School of Public Health. Since starting his academic career, he has authored more than 17 articles and two book chapters. In the year He worked as an infectious disease epidemiologist for the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) before receiving his PhD from the University of Florida in 2015. He also completed a two-year Florida Outbreak Intelligence Service with FDOH.

Currently, Azarian’s research integrates classical epidemiology with bacterial whole genome sequencing, pathogen genomics, and phylogenetic analysis to address pressing clinical and public health questions. In the year In 2013, he received an NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award to pursue his PhD research focusing on the genomic epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant staph infections in the neonatal intensive care unit. He also worked on other pathogens including Vibrio cholerae, Neisseria meningitidis, HIV and Ebola.

Azarian’s lab uses genome sequencing of various pathogens to investigate the emergence and spread of bacterial infections, including antibiotic-resistant organisms that are a frequent cause of healthcare-associated infections. To accomplish this, researchers use a variety of tools, including epidemiology, bioinformatics, computational biology, population genomics, and phylogenetics. The lab’s goal is to understand the factors that contribute to resistance in pathogens and to develop new genomic epidemiology methods to identify, control, and combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Azarian has been working closely with Louisiana Tech, GSU ​​and LSUHS since June 2021 to have the Rockefeller Foundation engage them and others at the Harvard/MT Broad Institute and the University of Wisconsin in monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in local communities. Differences during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. These faculty groups met regularly over a year with an emphasis on research, ways to engage with the community, and to discuss opportunities to support community health. More information on this collaboration can be found at https://www.latech.edu/2021/06/14/tech-to-partner-with-gsu-lsuhs-to-track-covid-19-variants/

All New Frontiers in Biomedical Research seminars are free and open to the public. Seminars will begin at 3:30 pm in University Auditorium on the Louisiana Tech campus and will be followed by a reception to meet the speaker. For more information about the series, see our website at community.latech.edu/new-frontiers/ or contact Dr. Jamie Newman at jjnewman@latech.edu or Caldorera-Moore at mcmoore@latech.edu.



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