- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Dr. Auguste’s research focuses on understanding the ecological and evolutionary factors that influence the emergence, transmission and pathogenesis of arboviruses and developing appropriate intervention strategies for important arboviral agents. He is also a "virus hunter" and studies the genetic and structural characteristics of novel arboviruses he discovers during his fieldwork.
In the last fifty years, with increasing urbanization, globalization and international mobility, there has been an unprecedented emergence of epidemic arboviral diseases, such as those caused by dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus. This dramatic increase has enhanced research in these re-emerging Aedes-transmitted diseases, especially in the areas of arboviral epidemiology, mosquito and sero-surveillance, molecular biology and genetics, arbovirology, phylogenetic analyses to understand arbovirus evolution and spread, and development of antivirals and vaccines. Dr. Auguste’s current focus is on arbovirus surveillance, understanding the mechanisms by which insect-specific viruses are unable replicate in vertebrate cells, i.e., are host-restricted, and elucidating the mechanisms by which these viruses preclude super-infection of pathogenic flaviviruses in vivo. He is also developing novel viral-vectored vaccine platforms against important arboviruses