Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Tyler Starr, PhD

Many viruses that have devastating results in humans, such as SARS-CoV-2, HIV, and influenza, originate from pathogens in non-human animal speciesThese viruses can play a direct role in enabling the progression of viral-specific cancer etiologies (e.g., HIV and AIDS-defining cancers). Additionally results from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic illustrate the measurable delays in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and research that arise from pandemic-driven upheavals. Dr. Starr studies how and why animal viruses evolve the molecular traits that enable spillover into humans, aiding efforts in surveillance and prediction of viral zoonotic threats. Dr. Starr also studies the molecular evolutionary forces that drive the development of antibodies that can broadly inhibit viruses across families of known spillover potential, contributing to the development of antibody and vaccine candidates that can prepare for or even prevent future viral zoonoses.

Project title: "Protein evolution at the host-virus interface"
Institution: University of Utah
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: Other Cancer
Research Area: Evolution