Dr Vijaykrishna (Vijay) Dhanasekaran is an infectious disease scientist, and faculty in the HKU School of Public Health since 2020. Vijay has a BSc MSc and MPhil from University of Madras, India and a PhD (2005) in Microbial ecology and evolution from University of Hong Kong. In 2006, he joined HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Virology with Professor Yi Guan, and was promoted to Research Assistant Professor in 2009. In 2010, Vijay joined Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore as Assistant Professor, before joining Monash University, Australia as Associate Professor in 2016 to establish a group in computational biology, build capacity in infectious disease research and computational biology within the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute; and held an adjunct faculty position in the Melbourne WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory(VIDRL).
The overarching goal of Vijay lab has been to apply computational and experimental methods at the intersection of medicine, epidemiology and population genetics to identify factors that shape the emergence and evolution of rapidly evolving pathogens.
To achieve this goal, the lab conducts virus surveillance in animal, humans and the environment, perform genomics using next-generation sequencing methods to study virus-host-environment interactions, and apply a wide range of computational methods to describe within-host and population scale dynamics. The lab uses phylogenetics, population genetics and mathematical models to integrate genomics with clinical, epidemiological and immunological data generated from disease surveillance and laboratory experiments.
These include investigating factors affecting the diversity and evolution of pathogens in their natural reservoirs such as birds and bats, in livestock production systems, to elucidate origins of human pandemics, to infer factors affecting the transmission of human pathogens, as well as their within-host dynamics. The primary organisms of study of the lab are Influenza and Coronaviruses due to the enormous threat they pose to public health, although it also has ongoing projects in several respiratory, gastroenteric and vector-borne pathogens, such as Rotavirus, Enterovirus, Dengue, Ross River. Most recently Vijay lab has expanded to study the evolutionary mechanisms of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacterial pathogen that readily develop antimicrobial resistance.
|Awardees||Award Date||Honours / Awards / Prizes||Category|
|2008-06-01||The Best Poster Award at the XIth Nidovirus Symposium 2008: The XIth International Nidovirus Symposium (2008), Oxford, UK||Research Achievement|
|2012-03-01||2012 Research Output Prize: The University of Hong Kong||Research Achievement|
|2011-11-01||Faculty Outstanding Research Output Award 2010-2011: The University of Hong Kong||Research Achievement|
|Term Period||Position||Professional Societies|
|03/2022 - 02/2025||Editorial Board Member||Communications Medicine|
|09/2009||Member||Influenza and other Respiratory viruses|
|10/2022 - 09/2025||Editorial Board Member||Journal of Virology|
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