logo for the molecular ecology of zoonotic and animal pathogens laboratory which has a tangled phylogeny representing the coevolution of viruses and their hosts adjacent to the lab name


Assistant Professor Stephanie N. Seifert in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, is the Primary Investigator of the Molecular Ecology of Zoonotic and Animal Pathogens (MEZAP) Laboratory. Research in the MEZAP lab focuses on the central question, What shapes virus populations? The factors and processes that shape virus populations across time and space range from ecosystem dynamics to molecular interactions. Thus, research in the MEZAP Lab is interdisciplinary by design, spanning laboratory-based experimental work, field ecology, and ecological and evolutionary modeling. We design new tools and approaches to better understand, and ultimately predict, cross-species transmission of viruses and other pathogens. Recent work in the MEZAP lab includes studying the dynamics of filoviruses and henipaviruses in African bats, the population genomics of MERS-CoV in camels and SARS-CoV-2 in humans, within-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in a mink model, and predicting reservoirs of orthopoxviruses using a machine learning approach incorporating both host and viral trait data.
image showing the MEZAP lab workflow which flows from field sampling from wildlife to testing ecological and evolutionary hypotheses about processes that shape pathogen populations in hosts to laboratory modeling to test hypotheses about molecular interactions.

Our goal is for the research environment in the MEZAP lab to be interdisciplinary and inclusive so our work can be innovative, and impactful. We are dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion in the sciences and welcome lab members and collaborators with diverse backgrounds, training, and interests. We are committed to building a scientific community where creativity and the unique contributions of individuals are valued by promoting a culture of inclusion across gender, race, religion, age, experiences, and identity.