Seema Lakdawala, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Education & Training

  • PhD in Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego

Representative Publications

Nturibi E, Bhagwat AR, Coburn S, Myerburg MM and Lakdawala SS. 2017. Intracellular Colocalization of Influenza Viral RNA and Rab11A is Dependent upon Microtubule Filaments. J Virol. 91: pii: e01179-17. |  View Abstract

Lee N, Le Sage V, Nanni AV, Snyder DJ, Cooper VS and Lakdawala SS. 2017. Genome-wide analysis of influenza viral RNA and nucleoprotein association. Nucleic Acids Res. 45: 8968-8977. |  View Abstract

Lakdawala SS, Fodor E and Subbarao K. 2016. Moving on out: Transport and Packaging of Influenza Viral RNA into Virions. Annu Rev Virol. 3: 411-427. |  View Abstract

Lakdawala SS, Jayaraman A, Halpin R.A, Lamirande E.W, Shih AR, Stockwell TB, Lin X, Simenauer A, Hanson CT, Vogel L, Paskel M, Minai M, Moore I, Orandle M, Das SR, Wentworth DE, Sasisekharan R and Subbarao K. 2015. The Soft Palate is an Important Site of Adaptation for Transmissible Influenza Viruses. Nature. 526: 122-125. |  View Abstract

Lakdawala SS, Wu Y, Wawrzusin P, Kabat J, Broadbent AJ, Lamirande EW, Fodor E, Altan-Bonnet N, Shroff H and Subbarao K. 2014. Influenza A Assembly Intermediates Fuse in the Cytoplasm. PLoS Pathog. 10: e1003971. |  View Abstract

Research Interests

Influenza A viruses pose a major public health risk from seasonal epidemics and sporadic pandemics. The Lakdawala lab studies epidemiological successful of influenza A viruses to better predict future pandemics. There are two main areas of research in my lab 1) influenza viral RNA assembly and 2) efficient airborne transmission of influenza viruses.

Influenza A viruses contain eight single stranded RNA segments, and one copy of all eight is packaged into a virion. Pandemic viruses emerge through reassortment, a process where genetic material is exchanged between two viruses that co-infect the same cell, to produce a novel virus. The Lakdawala lab combines biochemistry sophisticated microscopy tools to define where, when and how assembly of influenza genomic RNA occurs. This research has broad implications for understanding the reassortment potential of circulating animal influenza viruses and may lead to the development of new antiviral targets.

Airborne transmission of influenza viruses is critical for rapid spread of the virus during epidemics and pandemics. We have established a method to study the viability of influenza viruses in expelled aerosols and droplets at different environmental conditions as well as the airborne transmissibility of influenza viruses in the ferret model. These studies will define the viral and environmental properties that promote the spread of influenza.

Combining these two areas of research we will be able to develop a comprehensive surveillance system to determine the pandemic potential of circulating zoonotic influenza viruses, which will be useful in all areas of pandemic preparedness.