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Publications in VIVO

Sawyer, Sara Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • The Sawyer lab studies viral immunity, viral evolution, and the transmission of viruses from animals to man.


  • virology and evolution


selected publications


courses taught

  • MCDB 3160 - Infectious Disease
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Illustrate how cutting edge tools in genomics can be used to study, monitor and cure disease caused by new and re-emerging human pathogens such as SARS/MERS, Ebola virus, Neisseria meningitides, influenza virus and malaria parasites. Technologies covered will include genome sequencing, annotation, transcriptomics, phylogenetics and genotyping of microbial populations. An integrated approach to this topic will be presented, with these concepts threaded throughout: natural history and evolution of pathogens, molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology, public health and clinical diagnosis. There may be some overlap with material covered in MCDB 1030 and MCDB 4750.
  • MCDB 4980 - Honors Research
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Provides faculty-supervised research for students who have been approved by the departmental honors committee. Normally taken during the semester before completion of the honors thesis. Recommended prerequisite: MCDB 4840 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.20.
  • MCDB 4990 - Honors Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Involves the preparation and defense of an honors thesis, based on faculty-supervised original research, including final phases of the research project. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 4840 or MCDB 4980 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.3 and approval by the MCDB Honors Committee.
  • MCDB 5201 - Graduate Lab in Molecular Evolution
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Ever wonder what functional clues might reside in the DNA sequence of your favorite gene? In this course, graduate students will learn the fundamentals of phylogenetics with an emphasis on evolutionary models that infer selective pressures in protein-coding DNA sequences (genes). During the course, students will be working on their favorite gene and using it as a case study for applying all of the concepts that we will cover. By the end of the course they will have generated a publication-quality summary figure, along with appropriate supplemental figures, of the selective pressures shaping their favorite gene. Additionally, they will learn how to design and execute an experimental approach based off of findings from the evolutionary analysis.
  • MCDB 6000 - Introduction to Laboratory Methods
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    Introduces methodology and techniques used in biological research. Designed as a tutorial between a few students and one faculty member. Students are expected to read original research papers, discuss findings, and to plan and execute experiments in selected areas. Open only to MCDB graduate students. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.


awards and honors

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