The bioinformatics of virus evolution and adaptation (PhD project)
Marie Morel PhD project (funded by INCEPTION – supervision O. Gascuel and E. Simon-Lorière – FIRE doctoral school) aims at understanding how the various environment in which a virus might multiply can influence its evolutionary trajectories. This question is studied using statistical and computational methods under two main angles: 1) identification of signs of adaptation at the sequence level in large datasets, and 2) study of the dynamic of viral population in terms of composition and diversity. She is developing a simulation method to detect and assess convergent substitutions, which are one of the consequences of selection pressure on the viral sequence. She is also studying the evolution of minor variants in the intra-host diversity when viruses are submitted to drug treatment. The studied organisms for this project are HIV and HCV, both treated with antiviral drugs and responsible for millions of infections worldwide.