Research Focus

Mosquito-borne viruses like Zika, chikungunya, West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis and dengue virus are expanding to cause more human infections worldwide.

Unfortunately, no licensed human vaccines for these viruses are available.

Management of disease is therefore restricted to supportive care for infected people and minimizing exposure to mosquitoes.

Our research  focuses on several central themes with a common goal of reducing the burden of disease caused by arthropod-borne (arbo) viruses.

These include:

  • understanding  viral genetic factors that promote arbovirus outbreaks
  • predicting viral mutations that enhance arbovirus transmissibility by mosquitoes and disease in humans or animals
  • increasing safety of candidate live-attenuated vaccines
  • improving arbovirus surveillance in mosquitoes
  • uncovering determinants of mosquito-virus interactions as a means to reduce virus transmission by mosquitoes

Current Projects

Current Projects

View our NIH-funded projects here.

St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) re-emergence

St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) is a mosquito borne pathogen that causes febrile illness and sometimes fatal encephalitis that reemerged and spread in the Western US from 2015-2023. In a project funded by the National Institutes of Health NIAID, we are assessing the extent by which SLEV reemergence is promoted by augmented infectivity and transmissibility compared to historical strains in avian and mosquito cells and Culex mosquito vectors. The project is significant in that it will define how SLEV has reemerged in a novel landscape where related West Nile virus is now endemic and information learned from it can be used to improve targeted vector control to reduce SLEV disease in people.

In another NIAID funded project, we are developing immunocompetent mouse models of SLEV using recombinant collaborative cross mice to recapitulate the spectrum of human disease outcomes (ranging from febrile illness to encephalitis) and to understand virus kinetics, tropism, pathology, and innate immune responses that associate with protection from neurologic disease. The outcome of this project will the development of new human-relevant mouse models of SLEV which can be further used to study the spectrum of pathogenesis, define virus-host interactions and host genetic determinants of susceptibility and severity, test interventions like therapeutics and candidate vaccines, and rapidly adapt to model human disease for other new or re-emerging encephalitic flaviviruses.

Small animal models for testing therapeutics to combat COVID-19

With support from the UC Davis Office of Research, UC Davis School of Medicine, and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, we are performing studies with SARS-CoV-2 in hamsters and humanized ACE2-receptor expressing mice with a goal of finding therapies that reduce disease. We identified a compound that shows efficacy in reducing lethal disease in SARS-CoV-2 infected mice.

In collaboration with Kent Lloyd of the Mouse Biology Program, we are testing new polygenic humanized mouse models of COVID-19. This project uses newly acquired equipment in our animal biosafety level-3 facility, funded via NIH, and includes a microCT for whole animal imaging.

Safer arbovirus vaccines

In a project funded by the National Institutes of Health NIAID, we are developing safer live attenuated vaccines for chikungunya and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses using virus variants that mutate less frequently and therefore develop fewer mutations that confer virulence. We generated fidelity variant live attenuated vaccines that are safe and efficacious in mice.

Together with the California National Primate Research Center and Emergent, Biosolutions Inc (now Bavarian Nordic)., we are assessing safety and correlates of protection for a candidate chikungunya virus-like particle vaccine in non-human primates.

Emerging and re-emerging viruses in California

We are genetically characterizing contemporary St. Louis encephalitis virus circulating in mosquitoes in California and performing experimental studies to evaluate viral, host, and environmental factors that promoted the re-emergence and establishment of St. Louis encephalitis virus in California since 2015. This work is funded by the CDC Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases for the Pacific Region of the United States. Our genetic tracing identified three routes of St. Louis encephalitis virus dispersal into the Western United States since 2015, probably introduced by avian reservoirs.

We are developing new human-relevant mouse models of St. Louis encephalitis virus which can be further used to study the spectrum of pathogenesis, define virus-host interactions and host genetic determinants of susceptibility and severity, test interventions like therapeutics and candidate vaccines, and rapidly adapt to model human disease for other new or re-emerging encephalitic flaviviruses.

We are assessing the extent by which St. Louis encephalitis virus reemergence is promoted by augmented infectivity and transmissibility compared to historical strains in avian and mosquito cells and Culex mosquito vectors.

Mosquito-arbovirus-microbe interactions

We are studying how microbes acquired throughout the life of a mosquito conditions resistance to arbovirus transmission. By rearing mosquitoes in laboratory tap water or water with microbes collected from cemeteries, we determined that the presence of microbes in larval water enhances Aedes aegypti development but reduces transmissibility of Zika virus. Next, by selectively reducing microbes via antibiotic treatment, we found that exposure to microbes throughout the life (pupae, larvae and adults) of Aedes aegypti restricts ZIKV dissemination by facilitating blood digestion and limiting midgut cell infection.

Responding to emerging infectious diseases

Together with partners in the One Health Institute, we are part of the NIH funded Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) network. Our EpiCenter for Emerging Infectious Disease Intelligence (EEIDI) is focused on advancing understanding of viral emergence from wildlife in urbanizing environments in Peru and Uganda.

Infectious disease epidemiology

With the Epicenter for Disease Dynamics we are studying the impacts of environmental change on the epidemiology, ecology, and evolution of zoonotic diseases in Southeast Asia via an Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases project funded by the National Science Foundation.

Intrahost genetic diversity and arboviral disease

We are studying how genetically diverse viral populations of chikungunya virus generated by error-prone viral replication influence mosquito-borne virus transmission and disease.

Alphavirus mutation rates

We are performing studies to measure the mutation rate of three alphaviruses using a novel PCR-independent assay that captures lethal mutations. We will  use mutation rate measurements to understand alphavirus molecular evolution by defining constancy of and environmental factors that affect it, which can inform the potential for viral escape from countermeasures like drug treatment.

Enhanced arbovirus surveillance

We are developing novel cost-effective approaches to detect arbovirus circulation in mosquitoes in California based on deposition of arbovirus RNA by wild mosquitoes during sugar feeding. Scented sugar baits deployed in California detect early West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus transmission by mosquitoes, representing an improvement to conventional arbovirus surveillance that relies heavily on infection rates in mosquito pools, and is more economical.

Recent Past Projects

Influenza virus surveillance

As part of a NIH NIAID Centers for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) project, we perform surveillance for influenza virus in birds and marine mammals in California.



Non human primate model of Zika virus

Together with the California National Primate Research Center including Koen Van Rompay, we generated a pregnant macaque model of human Zika virus disease. In addition to using the model to understand human ZIKV infection dynamics and disease with potential effects on fetal development and transfusion transmission, we are testing candidate vaccines and therapies.




  • Together with Vitalant Research Institute (formerly Blood Systems Research Institute)/University of California San Francisco, we  characterized blood transfusion-transmission of Zika virus in macaques to establish minimal requirements for Zika virus blood or organ transfusion-transmission and to characterize pathogen reduction approaches to interrupt transfusion or organ transmission.



Lark L. Coffey, Ph.D., the Principal Investigator, obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Before joining UC Davis in 2013, she worked at Institut Pasteur, Paris and the Blood Systems Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco.


Hongwei Liu, M.S., Staff Research Associate, received her M.Sc in Genetics from China. She has been working in the field of molecular biology, virology, and immunology for the past 20 years. Her main current focus is to develop an effective live-attenuated vaccine against chikungunya virus infection. Hongwei recently celebrated her 10 year anniversary working at UCD!


Tim Carroll, P.hD., Assistant Project Scientist, received his PhD in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis in 2011. He has been working in the field of virology including to use non-human primate and hamster models to study disease and evaluate therapeutic antiviral efficacy for the past 20 years. Tim's current focus is to model arbovirus evolution and evaluate arbovirus vaccine efficacy in non-human primates.


Arturo Flores Rodriguez is a graduate student in the Immunology Graduate Group. Arturo was a scholar in the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program at the University of California, Davis (https://prep.ucdavis.edu/) and obtained his B.S. in Global Disease Biology from UC Davis in 2020. As a PREP scholar, he worked to co-opt intrinsic mechanisms solid tumors use to evade the immune system as a possible therapeutic for immune dysregulation. As a member of the Coffey lab, he is focused on investigating how arboviruses can adapt to multiple hosts and in particular investigating how these viruses can evade the immune system of multiple hosts.


Rochelle Leung, is an undergraduate lab assistant majoring in Biochemistry at UC Davis. She is interested in studying immunology. Her primary interests are allergies and autoimmune conditions.


Adam J. Moore, MPH, is an Integrative Pathobiology PhD student. Adam recently obtained his MPH in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases from the Yale School of Public Health and his BS in Biotech Engineering from UC San Diego. He is interested in combining his engineering and public health backgrounds with a One Health lens to investigate how pathogen evolution influences host-microbe interactions and outbreaks in zoonotic and vector-borne diseases.


Past Team Members

Will Louie, Ph.D. obtained his B.S. in Microbial Biology from UC Berkeley where he studied microbial communities in oil reservoirs. He brought that theme of community dynamics with him to UCD. He is investigating how variation in mosquito vector competence for  arboviruses is influenced by mosquito genetics and microbiota at different life stages. Will completed his Ph.D. in November 2022 and now works as a post-doctoral fellow at UCSF.

Ana Ramirez, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. from James Cook University in Australia where she studied mosquito excreta to enhance mosquito-borne disease surveillance. Ana is interested in identifying factors that can lead to the emergence and re-emergence of mosquito-borne arboviruses and developing methods to enhance their surveillance. Ana currently works as a Science Writer at Jackson Laboratories.

Erin Ball, DVM, DACVP, graduated in 2022 with a PhD from the Integrative Pathology Graduate Group. Erin is a board-certified veterinary pathologist. Her research interests include arbovirus emergence, host-virus interactions and pathogenesis and vaccine development. She investigated Zika virus pathogenesis in pregnancy and in the male reproductive tract in a rhesus macaque model. Erin currently serves as Chief of Comparative Pathology at the United States Army Medical Directorate Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand.

Christopher Weiss, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh where he studied the molecular basis of alphavirus restriction by an interferon-inducible exonuclease. Chris is interested in rational vaccine design against emerging pathogens and evaluated high-fidelity viral polymerase mutations as a means of improving the safety and efficacy of the live attenuated chikungunya virus vaccine. Chris currently works as a Senior Scientist at MRI Global in Kansas City, Missouri.

Katherine Young was an undergraduate Research Scholar in Insect Biology at UC Davis. She obtained a B.S. in Global Disease Biology in 2020. She is interested in the micro-level interactions between mosquitoborne viruses and their hosts.

Anil Singapuri, M.S., Staff Research Associate, has a Master’s degree from UC Davis in immunology and wrote his thesis on the use of degenerate peptides as vaccines to prevent antigenic escape common in HIV and SIV.  Anil served as our Laboratory Manager from 2016 to 2020.  Anil now works at the CAFHS.

Daniele Swetnam obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2018 and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at UC Davis in 2019 -2020. Daniele has a broad background in molecular virology and emerging zoonotic diseases, including flaviviruses, poxviruses, filoviruses, and arenaviruses. Her focus is in virus evolution and pathogen ecology. Her primary goals are to elucidate the mechanisms that facilitate cross-species transmission and drive the geographic expansion of insect-borne diseases. Daniele is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


Danilo Lemos, DVM, obtained his veterinary degree from the Universidade Federal de Campina Grande in Brazil. Danilo is interested in viruses in general. His dissertation focused on understanding the viral molecular determinants of fetal disease caused by Zika virus rhesus macaques. He graduated with his Ph.D. from UC Davis in 2020. He currently works at AbCam in Brazil.




Kasen Riemersma, DVM obtained is Ph.D from UC Davis in 2019. His dissertation focused on how intra-host chikungunya virus diversity affects disease and transmission. His  research interests include arbovirus evolution and emergence, host-virus interactions, and vaccine development. Kasen worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin and is now employed at Promega.


Joie Lin, B.S., recently graduated from UC Berkeley as a Molecular Environmental Biology major and Art minor. She is currently a UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine student interested in global health, zoonoses, and bio-inspired applications for improving health.


Jackson Stuart graduated from UC Davis in 2017 with a major in Global Disease Biology.  He is interested in how cultural, historical, and socioeconomic backgrounds of regions influence disease prevalence and interventions. His research focused on understanding which viral mutations affect chikungunya and Zika virus disease. He completed a M.S. in Pathobiology at the University of Washington and now works in the cell engineering field.


Kaitlin Xa obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Davis in 2017. She is interested in food microbial safety and hopes to enter a food science graduate program in the future. Kaitlin was a student lab assistant. She now works in the Bay Area in the field of food microbial safety.


Jay Nicholson, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow, obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Queensland, Australia.  He then served as a Laboratory Manager focused on medical entomology and public health related to arbovirus surveillance in Western Australia. In 2017, Jay investigated the vector competence of North American mosquitoes for Zika virus. He returned to Australia in early 2018.


Radhika Iyer is a senior undergraduate majoring in Microbiology and minoring in Global Disease Biology at UC Davis. Radhika is interested in pursuing graduate school in virology or infectious disease in the future. She recently worked as an undergraduate research assistant and helps with Zika virus projects.

Brad Main, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow, has a background in arthropod genomics and transcriptomics. He is passionate about understanding adaptation and speciation and the genetic basis of  insecticide resistance, host preference, and vector competence in mosquitoes. Brad spent 2017 exploring whether and why distinct genetic populations of Aedes aegypti vary in their ability to become infected by and transmit Zika virus.

Kelly Symmes, BS., joined our team as a DVM student interested in zoonoses and public health. She graduated with her DVM in May 2018 and is currently pursuing doctoral work in virology at Yale University. Kelly worked in the laboratory sequencing West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses in California and performing phylogenetic analyses to infer genetic relatedness and origins of circulating viruses.

Cody Steiner B.S. obtained his bachelor’s degree in in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA and joined the UC Davis Epidemiology Graduate Group. He earned a M.S. degree in 2018. His project focused on improving arbovirus surveillance in California by applying molecular diagnostics to novel field surveillance methods.



Complete List in Google Scholar.

Complete list in NCBI My Bibliography.

Moadab G, Pittet F, Bennett JL, Taylor CL, Fiske O, Singapuri A, Coffey LL, Van Rompay KKA, Bliss-Moreau E. Prenatal Zika virus infection has sex-specific effects on infant physical development and mother-infant social interactions. 2023. Science Translational Medicine. Link.

Ball EE, Bennett J , Keesler RI , Van Rompay KKA , Coffey LL , Bliss-Moreau E. Prenatal Zika virus exposure is associated with lateral geniculate nucleus abnormalities in juvenile rhesus macaques. 2023. Neuroreport. Link.

Louie W, Ramirez AL, Leung R, Mack LK, Kelly ET, Attardo GE, Coffey LL. Microbial exposure across life reduce susceptibility of Aedes aegypti to Zika virus by enhancing blood digestion and limiting midgut cell infection. 2023. Preprint. Link.

Plancarte M , Kovalenko G , Baldassano J , Ramírez AL , Carrillo S , Duignan PJ , Goodfellow I , Bortz E , Dutta J  , van Bakel H,  Coffey LLHuman influenza A virus H1N1 in marine mammals in California, 2019. 2023. PLoS One. Link.

Weiss CM, Liu H, Ball EE, Hoover AR, Wong TS, Wong CF, Lam S, Hode T, Keel MK, Levenson RL, Chen WR, Coffey LL. N-dihydrogalactochitosan reduces mortality in a lethal mouse model of SARS-CoV-2. 2023.PLoS One. Link.

Ball EE, Weiss CM, Liu H, Jackson K, Keel MK, Miller CJ, Van Rompay KKA, Coffey LL, Pesavento PA. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vasculopathy in a Syrian golden hamster model. American Journal of Pathology. 2023. Link.

Evans TS, Tan CW, Aung O, Phyu S, Lin H, Coffey LL, Toe AT, Aung P, Aung TH, Aung NT, Weiss CM, Thant KZ, Htun ZT, Murray S, Wang LF, Johnson CK, Thu HM. Exposure to diverse sarbecoviruses indicates frequent zoonotic spillover in human communities interacting with wildlife. 2023. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Link.

Haudenschild AK, Christiansen BA, Orr S, Ball EE, Weiss CM, Liu H, Fyhrie DP, Yik JHN, Coffey LL, Haudenschild DR. Acute bone loss following SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. 2023. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Link.

Van Rompay KKA, Coffey LL, Yee JA, Singapore A, Stuart J, Lanteri MC, Santa Maria F, Lu K, Singh I, Bakkour S, Stone M, Williamson PC, Muench MO, Busch MP, Simmons G. Plasma transfusion-transmission of Zika virus in mice and macaques. 2023. Transfusion. Link.

Smiley Evans T, Aung O, Cords O, Coffey LL, Won T, Weiss CM, Thein Maw M, Yee JA, Venkateswaran K, Venkateswaran N, Nham P, Van Rompay KKA, Morris MK, Oceguera L, Werthimer W, Hanson C, Valitutto M, Tun KYN, Win YT, Thein WZ, Murray S, Thu HM, Johnson CK. Sylvatic transmission of chikungunya virus among nonhuman primates in Myanmar. 2022. Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Link.

Danforth ME, Snyder RE , FeiszliT , Bullick T, Messenger S , Hanson C , Padgett K , Coffey LL , Barker CM , Reisen WK , Kramer VL. Epidemiologic and Environmental Characterization of the Re-emergence of St. Louis Encephalitis Virus in California, 2015-2020. 2022. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Link.

Van Rompay KKA, Olstad KJ, Sammak RL, Dutra J, Watanabe JK, Usachenko JL, Immareddy R, Roh JW, Verma A, Lakshmanappa YS, Schmidt BA, Germanio CD, Rizvi N, Liu H, Stone M, Simmons G, Dumont LJ, Allen AM, Lockwood S, Pollard RE, de Assis RR, Yee JL, Nham PB, Ardeshir A, Deere JD, Patterson J, Jain A, Felgner PL, Coffey LL, Iyer SS, Hartigan-O Connor DJ, Busch MP, Reader JR. Early post-infection treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected macaques with human convalescent plasma with high neutralizing activity had no antiviral effects but moderately reduced lung inflammation. 2022. PLoS Pathogens. Link.

Ball EE, Pesavento PA, Van Rompay KKA, Keel MK, Singapuri A, Gomez-Vasquez JP, Dudley DM, O Connor D, Breitbach ME, Maness N, Schouest B, Panganiban A, Coffey LL. Zika virus persistence in the male macaque reproductive tract. 2022. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Link.

Beckman D, Seelke AMH , Bennett J,  Dougherty P, Van Rompay KKA,  Keesler RI, Pesavento PA, Coffey LL, Morrison JH, Bliss-Moreau E. Neuroanatomical abnormalities in a nonhuman primate model of congenital Zika virus infection2022. eLife. Link.

Kim I-J, Lanthier P, Clark M, De La Barrera R, Tighe M, Szaba F, Travis K, Low-Beer T, Cookenham T, Lanzer K, Schneck A, Bernacki D, Johnson D, Ross C, Tardif S, Layne-Colon D, Mdaki S, Dick E, Chuba C, Gonzalez O, Brasky K, Dutton J, Rutherford J, Coffey LL, Singapuri A, Sanchez San Martin C, Chiu CY, Thomas S, Modjarrad K, Patterson J,  Blackman M. Efficacy of an inactivated Zika vaccine against virus infection during pregnancy in mice and marmosets. 2022. NPJ Vaccines. Link.

Louie, W, Coffey LLMicrobial composition in larval water enhances Aedes aegypti development but reduces transmissibility of Zika virus. 2021. mSphere. Link.

Verma A, Hawes CE, Yashavanth SL,  Schmidt BA, Roh JW, Joseph J, Louie W, Liu H,  Ma Z-M, Watanabe JK, Usachenko JL, Immareddy R, Sammak RL, Pollard R, Reader R, Olstad KJ, Coffey LL, Kozlowski PA, Hartigan-O’Connor DJ, Nussenzweig M, Van Rompay KKA, Morrison JH, Iyer SS.  Monoclonal antibodies protect aged rhesus macaques from SARS-CoV2 induced immune activation. 2021. Cell Reports. Link.

Liu H, Plancarte M, Ball EE, Weiss CM,  Gonzales-Viera O, Holcomb K , Min Ma Z, Allen AM , Reader JR, Duignan PJ,  Halaska B, Khan Z, Kriti D,  Dutta J,  van Bakel H,  Jackson K,  Pesavento PA , Boyce WM, Coffey LLRespiratory tract explant infection dynamics of influenza A virus in California sea lions, northern elephant seals, and rhesus macaques 2021. Journal of Virology. Link.

Yiu G, Thomasy SM, Casanova MI, Rusakevich A, Keesler RI, Watanabe J, Usachenko J, Singapuri A, Ball EE, Bliss-Moreau E, Guo W, Webster H, Singh T, Permar S, Ardeshir A, Coffey LL, Van Rompay KK. Evolution of ocular defects in infant macaques following in utero Zika virus infection. 2020.  JCI Insight. Link.

Collette NM , Lao VHI, Weilhammer DR, Zingg B, Cohen SD, Hwang M, Coffey LL , Grady SL, Zemla AT, Borucki MK. Single amino acid mutations affect Zika virus replication in vitro and virulence in vivo. 2020 Virology. Link.

Weiss CM, Liu H, Riemersma KK, Ball EE, Coffey LLEngineering a Fidelity-Variant Live-Attenuated Vaccine for Chikungunya Virus. 2020. NPJ Vaccines. Link.

Lemos D, Stuart JB, Louie W, Singapuri A, Ramírez AL, Watanabe J, Usachenko J, Keesler RI, Sanchez-San Martin C, Li T, Martyn C, Oliveira G, Saraf S, Grubaugh ND, Andersen KG, Thissen J, Allen J, Borucki M, Tsetsarkin KA, PletnevAG, Chiu CY, Van Rompay KKA, Coffey LL. 2020. Two Sides of a Coin: a Zika Virus Mutation Selected in Pregnant Rhesus Macaques Promotes Fetal Infection in Mice but at a Cost of Reduced Fitness in Nonpregnant Macaques and Diminished Transmissibility by Vectors. Journal of Virology. Link.

Swetnam DM, Stuart JB, Young K, Maharaj PD, Fang Y, Garcia S, Barker CM, Smith K, Godsey MS, Savage HM, Barton V, Bolling BG, Duggal N, Brault AC, Coffey LL. 2020. Movement of St. Louis Encephalitis Virus in the Western United States, 2014- 2018. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Link.

Young KI, Medwid JT, Azar SA, Huff RM, Drumm H, Coffey LL, Pitts RJ, Buenemann M, Perera D, Hanley KA. 2020. Identification of Mosquito Bloodmeals Collected in Diverse Habitats in Malaysian Borneo Using COI Barcoding. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. Link.

Van Rompay KKA, Coffey LL, Kapoor T, Gazumyan A, Keesler RI, Jurado A, Peace A, Agudelo M, Watanabe J, Usachenko J, Singapuri A, Immareddy R, Ardeshir A, Stuart JB, Bournazos S, Ravetch JV, Balderes PJ, Lorenz IC, Esswein SR, Keeffe JR, Bjorkman PJ, Wang Q, Rice CM, MacDonald MR, Nussenzweig MC, Robbiani DF. 2020. A Combination of Two Human Monoclonal Antibodies Limits Fetal Damage by Zika Virus in Macaques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. Link.

Van Rompay KKA, Keesler RI, Ardeshir A, Watanabe J, Usachenko J, Singapuri A, Cruzen C, Bliss-Moreau E, Murphy AM, Yee JL, Webster H, Dennis M, Singh T, Heimsath H,  Lemos D,  Stuart J, Morabito KM, Foreman BM, Burgomaster KE, Noe AT, Dowd KA, Ball E, Woolard K, Presicce P, Kallapur S, Permar SR, Foulds KE, Coffey LL,  Pierson TE, Graham BS. 2019. DNA Vaccination Before Conception Protects Zika Virus–Exposed Pregnant Macaques Against Prolonged Viremia and Improves Fetal Outcomes. Science Translational Medicine. Link.

Riemersma KK, Coffey LL. Chikungunya Virus Populations Experience Diversity-Dependent Attenuation and Purifying Intra-Vector Selection in Californian Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes.  2019. Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases. Link.

Swei A, Couper LI, Coffey LL, Durrell K, Bennett S. Patterns, Drivers, and Challenges of Vector-Borne Disease Emergence. 2019. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. Link.

Borucki MK, Collette NM, Coffey LL, Van Rompay KKA, Hwang MH, Thissen JB, Allen JE, Zamla AT. Multiscale Analysis for Patterns of Zika Virus Genotype Emergence, Spread, and Consequence. 2019. Public Library of Science One. Link.

Robbiani DF,  Olsen PC, Costa F, Wang Q, Oliveira TY, Nery N, Aromolaran A,  do Rosário MS, Sacramento GA, Cruz JS, Khouri R, Wunder EA, Mattos M, de Paula Freitas B, Sarno M, Archanjo G, Daltro D, Carvalho GBS, Pimentel K, de Siqueira IC, de Almeida JRM, Henriques DF, Lima JA, Vasconcelos PFC, Schaefer-Babajew D, Azzopardi SA, Bozzacco L, Gazumyan A, Belfort R, Alcântara AP, Carvalho G, Moreira L, Araujo K, Reis MG, Keesler RI,  Coffey LL, Tisoncik-Go J, Gale M, Rajagopal L, Adams Waldorf KM, Dudley DM, Simmons HA, Mejia A, O’Connor DH,  Steinbach RJ, Haese N, Smith J, Lewis A, Colgin L, Roberts V,  Frias A, Kelleher M, Hirsch A, Streblow DN, Rice CM, MacDonald MR, de Almeida ARP, Van Rompay KKA, Ko AI, Nussenzweig MC.  2019. Risk of Zika Microcephaly Correlates with Features of Maternal Antibodies. Journal of Experimental Medicine.  Link.

Maness NJ, Schouest B, Singapuri A, Dennis M, Gilbert MH,  Bohm RP,  Schiro F, Aye PP, Baker K, Van Rompay KKA, Lackner AA, Bonaldo MC,  Blair RV, Permar SR, Coffey LL, Panganiban AT, Magnani D. 2019. Postnatal Zika Virus Infection of Nonhuman Primate Infants Born to Mothers Infected with Homologous Brazilian Zika Virus. Scientific Reports. Link.

Grubaugh ND, Gangavarapu K, Quick J,  Matteson NL, Goes De Jesus J, Main BJ, Tan AL,  Paul LM, Brackney DE, Grewal S , Gurfield N, Van Rompay KKA, Isern S, Michael SF, Coffey LL, Loman NJ, Andersen KG. 2019. An Amplicon-Based Sequencing Framework for Accurately Measuring Intrahost Virus Diversity Using PrimalSeq and iVar. Genome Biology. Link.

Riemersma K, Steiner C, Singapuri A,  Coffey LL. 2018. Chikungunya Virus Fidelity Variants Exhibit Differential Attenuation and Population Diversity in Cell Culture and Adult Mice. Journal of Virology. Link.

Diaz A, Coffey LL, Burkett-Cadena N, Day JF. 2018. Reemergence of St. Louis Encephalitis Virus in the Americas. Emerging Infectious Diseases . Link.

Keeffe JR, Van Rompay KKA, Olsen PC, Wang Q, Gazumyan A,Azzopardi SA, Schaefer-Babajew D, Lee YE, Stuart JB, Singapuri A, Watanabe J, Usachenko J, Ardeshir A,  Saeed M, Agudelo M, Eisenreich T,  Bournazos S, Oliveira TY, Rice CM,  Coffey LL, MacDonald MR,  Bjorkman PJ, Nussenzweig MC, Robbiani DF. 2018. A Combination of Two Human Monoclonal Antibodies Prevents Zika Virus Escape Mutations in Non-human Primates. Cell Reports . Link.

Dudley DM, Van Rompay KK, Coffey LL, Ardeshir A,  Keesler RI,  Bliss-Moreau E, Grigsby PL, Steinbach RJ, Hirsch AJ, MacAllister RP, Pecoraro HL, Colgin LM, Hodge T,  Streblow DN,  Tardif S, Patterson JL, Tamhankar M, Seferovic M, Aagaard KM, Sánchez-San Martín C, Chiu CY, Panganiban AT, Veazey RS, Wang X, Maness NJ, Gilbert MH, Bohm RP, Adams Waldorf KM, Gale M, Rajagopal L, Hotchkiss CE, Mohr EL, Capuano SV, Simmons HA, Mejia A, Friedrich TC, Golos TG, O’Connor DH. 2018. Miscarriage and Stillbirth Following Maternal Zika Virus Infection in Nonhuman Primates. Nature Medicine Link.

Coffey LL, Keesler RI, Pesavento PP, Woolard K, Singapuri A, Watanabe J, Cruzen C, Christe KL, Usachenko JU, Yee J, Heng VA, Bliss-Moreau E, Reader JR, von Morgenland W, Gibbons AM, Jackson K, Ardeshir A, Heimsath H, Permar SR, Senthamaraikannan P, Presicce P, Kallapur SG, Linnen JM, Gao K, Orr R, MacGill T, McClure M, McFarland R, Morrison JM, Van Rompay KKA. 2018. Intra-Amniotic Zika Virus Inoculation of Pregnant Rhesus Macaques Produces Fetal Neurologic Disease. Nature Communications. Link

Main BJ, Nicholson J, Winokur OC, Steiner C, Riemersma KK, Stuart J,  Takeshita R, Krasnec M, Barker CM, Coffey LL. 2018. Vector competence of Aedes aegypti, Culex tarsalis, and Culex quinquefasciatus from California for Zika virusPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Link

Steiner CD, Riemersma KK, Stuart JB, Singapuri A, Lothrop HD, Coffey LL 2018. Scented Sugar Baits Enhance Detection of St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Viruses in Mosquitoes in Suburban California.  Journal of Medical Entomology. Link.

Prow NA, Mah MG, Deerain JM, Warrilow D, Colmant AMG, O’Brien C, Harrison JJ, McLean BJ, Hewlett E, Piyasena TBH, Hall-Mendelin S, van den Hurk AF, Watterson D, Schulz BL, Webb CE, Johansen CA, Chow WK , Hobson-Peters J, Cazier C, Coffey LL, Faddy HM, Suhrbier A, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Hall RA. 2018. New genotypes of Liao ning virus (LNV) in Australia exhibit an insect-specific phenotype.  Journal of General Virology, 99(4):596-609. Link

Chiu CY, Coffey LL, Murkey J, Symmes K, Hsieh K, Muradyan A, Sample HA, Wilson MR, Naccache SN, Arevalo S, Somasekar S, Vespa P, Schiller G, Messenger S, Humphries R, Miller S , Klausner J. 2017. Fatal Human Case of Mosquito-Borne St. Louis Encephalitis Virus Infection Diagnosed by Metagenomic Sequencing, California, 2016Emerging Infectious Diseases, 23(10):1694-1698. Link

Coffey LL, Pesavento PA, Keesler RI, Singapuri A, Watanabe J, Watanabe R, Yee J, Bliss-Moreau E, Cruzen C, Christe KL, Reader JR, von Morgenland W, Gibbons AM, Allen AM, Linnen J, Gao K, Delwart E, Simmons G, Stone M, Lanteri M, Bakkour S, Busch MP, Morrison J, Van Rompay KKA. 2017. Zika Virus Tissue and Blood Compartmentalization in Acute Infection of Rhesus Macaques. PLoS One. 12(1): e0171148. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171148. Link

Stone M, Lantern, MC, Bakkour S, Deng X, Galel SA, Linnen JM, Munoz-Jordan JL, Lanciotti RS, Rios M, Gallian P, Musso D, Levi, JE, Sabino EC, Coffey LL, Busch MP. 2017. Analytical Performance of Donor NAT Screening and Diagnostic Real-Time PCR Assays for Detection of Zika Virus RNA. Transfusion. (57): 734–747. Link.

White, GS, Symmes K, Sun P, Fang Y, Garcia S, Steiner C, Smith K, Reisen WK, Coffey LL. 2016. Reemergence of St. Louis Encephalitis Virus, California, 2015. Emerging Infectious Diseases 22(12):2815-2188. Link.

Ball, CL, Light, Y, Koh, C-Y; Wheeler, S, Coffey, LL; Meagher, R. 2016. Quenching of Unincorporated Amplification Signal Reporters (QUASR) in RT-LAMP Enables Bright, Single-Step, Closed-Tube, and Multiplexed Detection of RNA Viruses. Analytical Chemistry . Link.

Wheeler SS, Ball CS, Langevin SA Fang Y, Coffey LL, Meagher R. Surveillance for Western Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, and West Nile Viruses using Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification. 2016. PLoS One. Link.

Stapleford KA, Coffey LL, Lay S, Duong V, Isakov O, Blanc H, Borderia A, Beaucourt S, Haliloğlu T, Schmitt C, Bonne I, Tal NB, Shomron N, Failloux AB, Buchy P, Vignuzzi M. 2014. Emergence and Transmission of Arbovirus Evolutionary Intermediates with Epidemic Potential. Cell, Host & Microbe, 15:706-716. Link.

Coffey LL, Page BL, Greninger AL, Herring BL, Russell RC, Doggett SL, Haniotis J, Wang C, Deng X, Delwart EL. 2014. Enhanced Arbovirus Surveillance with Deep Sequencing: Identification of Novel Rhabdoviruses and Bunyaviruses in Australian Mosquitoes. Virology Journal, 448:146-158. Link. 

Naccache SN, Greninger AL, Lee D, Coffey LL, Phan T, Rein-Weston A, Aronsohn A, Hackett J Jr, Delwart EL, Chiu CY. 2013. The Perils of Pathogen Discovery: Origin of a Novel Parvovirus-Like Hybrid Genome Traced to Nucleic Acid Extraction Spin Columns. Journal of Virology. Link.

Berthet N, Paulous S, Coffey LL, Frenkiel MP Moltini I, Tran C, Matheus S, Ottone C, Ungeheuer M-N, Renaudat C, Caro V, Dussart P, Gessain A, Desprès P. 2012. Resequencing Microarray Method for Molecular Diagnosis of Human Arboviral Diseases. Journal of Clinical Virology. Link.

Coffey LL, Beeharry Y, Borderia AV, Blanc H, Vignuzzi M. 2011. Arbovirus High Fidelity Variant Loses Fitness in Mosquitoes and Mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Link.

Beaucourt S, Borderia AV, Coffey LL, Gnadig NF, Sanz-Ramos M, Beeharry Y, Vignuzzi M. 2011. Isolation of Fidelity Variants of RNA Viruses and Characterization of Virus Mutation Frequency. Journal of Visualized Experiments. Link.

Coffey LL, Vignuzzi M. 2011. Host Alternation of Chikungunya Virus Increases Fitness While Restricting Population Diversity and Adaptability to Novel Selective Pressures. Journal of Virology. Link.

Schneider BS, Soong L, Coffey LL, Stevenson HL, McGee CE, Higgs S. 2010. Aedes aegypti Saliva Alters Leukocyte Recruitment and Cytokine Signaling by Antigen-Presenting Cells during West Nile Virus Infection. PLOS One. Link.

Coffey LL, Vasilakis N, Brault AC, Powers AM, Tripet F, Weaver SC. 2008. Arbovirus Evolution in vivo is Constrained by Host Alternation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Link.

Carrara AC, Coffey LL, Aguilar PV, Moncayo AC, Travassos da Rosa A, Nunes MRT, Tesh RB,Weaver SC. 2007. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Infection of Cotton Rats. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Link.

Ozden S, Huerre M, Riviere J-P, Coffey LL, Afonso PV, Mouly V, Monredon J, Roger J-C, Amrani M, Yvin J-L, Jaffar M-C, Frenkiel M-P, Sourisseau M, Schwartz O, Butler-Browne G, Desprès P, Gessain A, Ceccaldi P-E. 2007. Human Muscle Satellite Cells as Targets of Chikungunya Virus Infection. PLOS One.  Link.

Coffey LL, Crawford C, Miller R, Dee J, Freier J, Weaver SC. 2006. Serologic Evidence of Widespread Everglades Virus Infection of Dogs in Florida. Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Link.

Smith DR, Aguilar PV, Coffey LL, Gromowski G, Wang E, Weaver SC. 2006. Estimate of the Amount of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Transmitted by Mosquitoes in vivo and the Effect of Transmission Mode on Pathogenesis. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Link. 

Navarro JC, Medina G, Vasquez C, Coffey LL, Wang E, Suárez A , Biord H, Salas M, Weaver SC. 2005. Postepizootic Persistence of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus, Venezuela. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Link.

Diallo M, Sall A, Moncayo A, Ba Y, Fernandez Z, Ortiz D, Coffey LL, Mathiot, C, Tesh, RB, Weaver SC. 2005. Potential Role of Sylvatic and Domestic African Mosquito Species in Dengue Emergence. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Link.

Coffey LL, Weaver SC. 2005. Susceptibility of Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus and Culex nigripalpus for Everglades Virus. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 73(1):11-16.

Wang E, Paessler S, Aguilar PV, Smith DR, Coffey LL, Kang W, Pfeffer M, Olson J, Blair PJ, Guevara C, Estrada-Franco J, Weaver SC. 2005. A Novel, Rapid Assay for Detection and Differentiation of Serotype-Specific Antibodies to Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Complex Alphaviruses. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 72(6):805-810.

Coffey LL, Carrara AS, Paessler S, Haynie ML, Bradley R, Tesh RB, Weaver SC. 2004. Experimental Everglades Virus Infection of Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus). Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10(12):2182-2188.

Moncayo AC, Fernandez Z, Ortiz D, Diallo M, Sall A, Hartman S, Davis CT, Coffey L, Mathiot CC, Tesh RB, Weaver SC. 2004. Dengue Emergence and Adaptation to Peridomestic Mosquitoes. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10(10):1790-1797.

Beasley DW, Holbrook MR, Travassos Da Rosa AP, Coffey L, Carrara AS, Phillippi-Falkenstein K, Bohm RP Jr, Ratterree MS, Lillibridge KM, Ludwig GV, Estrada-Franco J, Weaver SC, Tesh RB, Shope RE, Barrett AD. 2004. Use of a Recombinant Envelope Protein Subunit Antigen for Specific Serological Diagnosis of West Nile Virus Infection. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 42(6):2759-65.

Aguilar PV, Greene IP, Coffey LL, Medina G, Moncayo AC, Anishchenko M, Ludwig GV, Turell MJ, O’Guinn ML, Lee J, Tesh RB, Watts DM, Russell KL, Hice C, Yanoviak S, Morrison AC, Klein TA, Dohm DJ, Guzman H, Travassos da Rosa AP, Guevara C, Kochel T, Olson J, Cabezas C, Weaver SC. 2004. Endemic Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis in Northern Peru. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10(5):880-8.

Estrada-Franco JG, Navarro-Lopez R, Beasley DW, Coffey L, Carrara AS, Travassos da Rosa A, Clements T, Wang E, Ludwig G, Cortes AC, Ramirez PP, Tesh RB, Barrett AC, Weaver SC. 2003. West Nile Virus in Mexico: Evidence of Widespread Circulation since July 2002. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 9(12):1604-7.

Travassos da Rosa A, Mather T, Takeda T, Whitehouse C, Shope R, Popov V, Guzman H, Coffey L, Araujo T, Tesh RB. 2002. Two New Rhabdoviruses (Rhabdoviridae) Isolated from Birds during Surveillance for Arboviral Encephalitis, Northeastern United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 8(6):614-618.





Amazon and Congo Basin Focus of New Emerging Infectious Disease Research Center (August 27). View this Article.


Zika virus might still pose a silent threat to pregnant women. (July 3). View this Article.

Zika virus may pose greater threat of miscarriages than previously thought (July 2). View this Article.

Why some people get more mosquito bites than others (June 22). View this TV story.

Overcoming barriers to grasp Zika, Nature Microbiology Blog (June 21). View this Blog Post.

Rhesus Macaque Model Offers Route to Study Zika Brain Pathology, University of California, Davis  (June 21). View this Article.


CDC Supports UC Researchers in Fighting Vector-Borne Diseases, University of California, Davis  (Aug 10). View this Article.

Introducing the new Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases. Website

What I Wished I Knew When Starting As a Professor: An Interview with Robert Abramovitch, Lark Coffey, Thomas Kehl-Fie, and Rita Tamayo (July), Cell Press. View this Article. 

Curwin T: How a mosquito bite led to paralysis — and turned this teacher’s life upside down, News Article in Print and Online (Nov 23), LA TimesView this Article

Mattson S: Risk of microcephaly discussion after two Zika related microcephaly cases in California, (Aug 5), Bay Area News Group Mercury News.

Koerth-Baker, M: Five Enduring Questions About Zika, News Article, (Aug 3), Five Thirty Eight. View this Article.

Quiros G: How mosquitoes use six needles to suck your blood, Video, KQED Science, (Jun 7). View  Video.

Mechanic M: Should Americans Be Panicking About Zika?, News Article (May 31), Mother JonesView this Article.

Dayton J: How to protect yourself from the Zika virus while trying to get pregnant, (May 25, updated Nov 8), Priya Ring BlogView this Article

Staff: Zika virus: emergence, spread, and how to protect yourself from disease, Newspaper Article (Mar 3), Davis High School Newspaper.

Siddiqui F: The talk on Zika, Newspaper Article (Feb 23), The California Aggie NewspaperView this Article.

Stahler A: RNA viruses and fidelity modulation, Radio Interview (Feb 11), KVMR-FM, Nevada City, CA.

Bailey P: UC Davis Experts on Zika Virus, UC Davis New & Information (Jan 29). View this Article

KCRA News: UCD researchers say Zika cases possible in California, News and Website (Jan 27), KCRAView this Article

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Member Q & A, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Blog.  View this Article