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The University of Southampton

Dr Christopher Woelk BSc, PhD

Reader in Genomics and Bioinformatics

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Dr Christopher Woelk is Reader in Genomics and Bioinformatics within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr. Christopher Woelk arrived at the University of Southampton as a Reader in Genomics and Bioinformatics in 2013. Dr. Woelk’s laboratory uses genomics technologies (i.e. RNA-Seq) to investigate the mechanism of human disease, and to develop diagnostic and prognostic classifiers. Active areas of research in the Woelk lab include the following: HIV eradication, reverse vaccinology, asthma, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. The long-term research goals of the Woelk lab are to develop a diagnostic test for a human disease (e.g. schizophrenia) that becomes widespread in clinical use, and develop a new subunit vaccine that provides widespread protection against a bacterial pathogen (e.g. Salmonella spp.).

Prior to moving to the University of Southampton, Dr. Woelk received a 1st in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of Nottingham, and a PhD from the University of Oxford where he studied the molecular evolution of viruses and first acquired skills related to computational biology. Dr. Woelk completed his postdoctoral studies looking at the host response to HIV infection at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) where he rose through the ranks to the level of Associate Professor.

BSc, Biochemistry and Genetics (hons.), University of Nottingham, 1997
PhD, Viral Evolution, University of Oxford, 2002

Appointments held:

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Google Scholar Publications

Research interests

The Woelk lab primarily utilizes whole genome gene expression technologies (e.g., microarray and RNA-Seq) to investigate the mechanism of human disease, and to construct diagnostic and prognostic classifiers. These approaches are currently being applied to a wide range of human conditions including: HIV, asthma, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, the Woelk lab is currently funded to better understand the difference in gene expression between cells latently infected with HIV and those that are uninfected in order to construct synthetic molecular sensors that recognize and destroy latently infected cells.
The Woelk lab also utilizes reverse vaccinology approaches to facilitate subunit vaccine design for bacterial pathogens. The lab was the first to apply support vector machine learning to the recognition of bacterial protective antigens.

National Institutes of Health (USA) - AI096113 and AI104282
The University of Southampton (UK)

Job Opportunities:
Interested applicants should contact Dr. Woelk (see “Contact” page for contact details).

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate research group

Director of the Genomics Core, Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE)

Postgraduate students
Akul Singhania
Michael Breen
Cory White
Josué Perez-Santiago (2012)

Journal Reviewer
Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Sequencing, Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics, European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Bioinformatics, PLoS ONE, Antiviral Research, Antiviral Therapy, Biochemical Genetics, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Journal of General Virology, PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Molecular Evolution, Genetics, Journal of Clinical Immunology, Journal of Virology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Molecular Biology and Evolution
Grant Reviewer
National Institutes of Health (USA), King Abdullah’s University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), Clinical and Translational Research Institute (USA), Center for AIDS Research (USA), Leenaards Foundation (Switzerland), The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (USA), The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (USA).
Young Investigator Award, 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (2004)
Young Investigator Award, 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (2003)
The FAWCO Foundation Award (2000)
Guest Lecturer
Bioinformatic Applications to Human Disease (MED 263), University of California San Diego.

Dr Christopher Woelk
Faculty of Medicine University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital Mailpoint 811 South Academic Block Tremona Road Southampton SO16 6YD

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