I am a research professor who detects, isolates and performs genetic analysis of respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses and animal and human influenza viruses, as well as arboviruses. AMA!
Hi Reddit! I’m John Lednicky, a virologist and research professor of environmental and global health at the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute. I've been studying microbiology for more than 40 years.
I’m here to answer any questions you may have about the coronavirus, arboviruses, aerobiology and virus discovery.
My research focus areas at the University of Florida are:
- aerovirology or air-transported viruses
- virus discovery
- virus surveillance with emphasis on arthropod-borne viruses
- influenza virus studies
My laboratory was the first to detect Zika and Mayaro viruses in Haiti and has performed sequence analyses of Asian-lineage Chikungunya, and Dengue and other viruses isolated from Haitians or mosquitoes trapped in Haiti.
We also isolated and sequenced African-lineage Chikungunya viruses in mosquitoes from Haiti (these viruses to date have only been found in Africa and in a minority of specimens in Brazil).
Recently, we were the first in the world to discover Madariaga and Keystone viruses in humans.
My lab has also recently revealed the discovery of three new orbiviruses.
Here’s a bit more about me:
I received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Texas-Austin in 1991, an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1984 and a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Miami in 1978.
Prior to joining the University of Florida, I was an assistant professor of pathology at the Loyola Medical Center in Illinois. I then worked in industry, engaging in biodefense-related work and various projects with avian influenza H5N1 and other influenza viruses, and the production of biodiesel from alga.
- UF Health video: Clearing up confusion over the coronavirus
- UF PHHP Faculty Profile
- UF Emerging Pathogens Researcher Profile
- Lednicky Laboratory
- Research Gate Profile
- Column in The Conversation: As Venezuela’s public health systems collapses, mosquito-borne viruses emerge
Update: Thank you all for your questions! I'm sorry I couldn't get to them all! If there's enough interest, let us know and we might be able to arrange another AMA session soon.
Update 2: Did you join the AMA late and didn't get your question answered? Check out this recap of the AMA with the most common questions answered about the coronavirus.