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Amy B. Dean, Ph.D.
Amy B. Dean, Ph.D.
The Molecular Methods Development Team (MMD) in the Laboratory of Viral Diseases (LVD) evaluates high complexity diagnostic assays and platforms in order to enhance molecular-based diagnostics in virology and support the ability of the Wadsworth Center to rapidly respond to the emergence of viral pathogens. MMD works closely with the service laboratories of the LVD. MMD also rapidly develops research assays for outbreak response and other special circumstances. The long term goal of MMD is to develop rapid, accurate and cost-effective syndrome-based diagnostic assays for a broad spectrum of agents using the best available technology.
The group has past and present collaborative research studies utilizing these high complexity technologies. A MassTag PCR study with Dr. Ian Lipkin at Columbia University identified a new rhinovirus that appears to cause severe influenza-like illness. A NIH-funded project with Dr. Lipkin to evaluate influenza virus detection and subtyping on a microarray is nearing completion. A prospective study within LVD screened specimens received from participating NYS influenza sentinel physicians from patients with influenza-like illness for 11 respiratory viruses using a bead-based suspension-array assay validated by MMD.
Planned future studies include association between infectious disease and emphysema in a multicenter HIV cohort with Dr. Alison Morris at the University of Pittsburgh and the development of low-density arrays for the multiplexed detection of viral encephalitides. Other recent efforts included assay development, for avian influenza A H5 and seasonal influenza subtyping, as a consequence of pandemic preparedness and sub-type specific development of anti-viral resistance in influenza viruses.