Elodie Ghedin

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Elodie Ghedin
Alma materMcGill University
Université du Québec à Montréal
AwardsMacArthur Fellow
Scientific career
Fieldsparasitology, virology
InstitutionsJ. Craig Venter Institute
New York University
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Elodie Ghedin (born 1967) is a Canadian American parasitologist and virologist as well as a professor at the New York University Center for Genomics and Systems Biology. Her work focuses on the molecular biology and genomics of the parasites that cause diseases such as elephantiasis, and river blindness, and on the evolution of the influenza virus. She was named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow.[1]


Ghedin received two degrees from McGill University; a B.Sc. in Biology in 1989 and a Ph.D. focused on Molecular Parasitology in 1998. She received a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 1993. Between 1998 and 2000, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.[2]


Starting in 2000, she spent six years at the Institute for Genomic Research before joining the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2006 as an assistant professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology. She was formerly part of the J. Craig Venter Institute.

She is currently a parasitologist and virologist at New York University's Center for Genomics & Systems Biology at the College of Global Public Health.[3] Her research covers diverse topics in parasitology and virology, including the genetic diversity[4] of flu strains. She has said: ‘A flu infection is not homogeneous, but rather a mix of strains that gets transmitted as a swarm.[5] Ghedin said current flu vaccines target the dominant strains, because they are the ones that seem to infect the highest number of individuals,[6] but they may miss minor strains, which can also pose a big threat. To examine the contribution of minor flu strains to outbreaks, Ghedin and her colleagues performed whole genome deep sequencing of upper nasal cavity swabs taken from confirmed 2009 Hong Kong flu cases and from their household contacts.[7] Using sophisticated sequencing methods, the team could not only identify variants in flu strains, but also quantify what was being transmitted between infected individuals.

Her results showed that, as expected, most people carried the dominant virus—H1N1 or H3N2. But, in addition, all carried minor strains and variants of the major and minor strains. What was surprising was how readily these variants were transmitted across the studied individuals.[4]

She has also noted that children, pregnant women, and people with obesity tend to have longer flu infections.[8] Another collaborative study by Elodie Ghedin with Sara Lustigman of New York Blood Center, and Thomas Unnasch of The University of South Florida measured levels of RNA molecules in both B. malayi and Wolbachia throughout the lifecycles of male and female worms.[9]


  1. ^ "MacArthur Fellows Program: Meet the 2011 Fellows". September 20, 2011. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology biography". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Elodie Ghedin | NYU College of Global Public Health". publichealth.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  4. ^ a b "Minor Flu Strains Pose Bigger Threat than Thought". Laboratory Equipment. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  5. ^ "Undercover flu gets us under covers". IOL. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  6. ^ "Flu jabs miss minor strains, say experts". Hong Kong Standard. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  7. ^ "Scientists Find Minor Flu Strains Pack Bigger Punch". PressReleasePoint. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  8. ^ "A Clever New Way to Predict Next Year's Flu". Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  9. ^ "Researchers profile symbiotic relationship between bacteria and filarial nematodes". Medical Xpress. Retrieved 2017-03-30.

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