Colin Russell’s research focuses on connecting processes across evolutionary and epidemiological scales, from protein to population, to understand the dynamics of infectious diseases. Pathogen evolutionary dynamics are complex: driven by genetic changes, constrained by protein structures, and governed by immune pressures at the individual and population levels. These pathogens coevolve with host immunity, and appear in epidemics across the globe. Russell’s research uses computational tools to study the interaction of processes at each of these scales to make disease dynamics more predictable and identify targets for disease control.
As professor of Applied Evolutionary Biology, Russell will focus on linking dynamics of pathogen evolution with immunological and clinical data, working closely with wet experimental and clinical research groups throughout AMC and abroad.
Russell was a member of the University of Cambridge from 2002 to 2017; first as a PhD student, then postdoctoral research associate (2006) and junior research fellow (2008), and finally as a Royal Society University Research Fellow (2009). From 2008 to 2011, he also held a research fellowship at the US National Institutes of Health.
Russell has published extensively in leading scientific journals including Science, Nature, PNAS, and eLife. He is also the recipient of substantial research funding including grants from the Royal Society (UK), the US National Institutes of Health, and the Wellcome Trust.