I received my BS in Chemistry from Howard University (Washington, DC) in 2002, with an early focus on physical and atmospheric chemistry. It was during a one-year exchange at the University of California-Berkeley (1999-2000) that I first worked on microbes, studying Herpesviruses with Fenyong Liu. After returning to Howard, I joined the laboratory of Susan Gottesman in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health in nearby Bethesda, MD. Here I explored bacterial small RNA structure and function. This further fortified my interest in microbiology and complimented an independent interest in infectious diseases of importance in clinical settings. Soon after, I would explore other disease scourges and experimental systems, shifting my focus to the human scourge of malaria
After completing my BS, I partook in the United States William J. Fulbright Program where I studied the chemical ecology of oviposition behavior in Anopheles gambiae in western Kenya. This was my introduction to evolutionary and ecological approaches to biological problems, an interest that I carry to this day.
After returning from Kenya, I enrolled in the Yale School of Medicine (2003) towards completion of a medical degree, before entering the Ph.D. program in Microbiology (2005), also at Yale. My dissertation advisor was Paul E. Turner in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. My dissertation work was multidisciplinary and spanned several topics in the RNA virus evolution world including robustness, evolvability and disease emergence.
I recently joined Daniel Hartl's group through a joint appointment between the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard and Harvard's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. Here I will explore evolutionary genomics of infectious diseases and utilize next generation sequencing and bioinformatics tools to ask fundamental questions about pathogen evolution and adaptability.
Ogbunugafor, C.B., Alto, B.W., Overton, T.M., Bhushan, A., Morales, N.M. and Turner, P.E. Improved free-living survival in RNA viruses specialized on shorter-lived host cells (submitted)
Ogbunugafor, CB, Pease JB, and Turner PE. On the possible role of robustness in the evolution of infectious diseases, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science (2010). 20, 026108.
Ogbunugafor CB, Basu S, Morales NM, and Turner PE. Combining mathematics and empirical data to predict emergence of RNA viruses that differ in reservoir use, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B 2010. Jun 27;365(1548):1919-30
Ogbunugafor CB, McBride RC, Turner PE. Predicting virus evolution: the relationship between genetic robustness and evolvability of thermotolerance, Cold Spring Harbor Annual Symposium Volume 74, Evolution: The Molecular Landscape. 2009. 74: 109-118
Ogbunugafor CB, and Sumba LA. Behavioral Evidence for the Existence of a Region-Specific Oviposition Cue in Anopheles gambiae s.s. Journal of Vector Ecology. 2008 Dec; Vol 33, No. 2
Sumba LA, Ogbunugafor CB, Deng AL, Hassanali A. Regulation of Oviposition in Anopheles gambiae s.s.: Role of Inter- and Intra-Specific Signals. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 2008 Nov; 34(11): 1430-6.
McBride RC, Ogbunugafor CB and Turner PE. Robustness Promotes the Evolvability of Thermotolerance in an RNA Virus. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8:231
Omlin FX, Carlson JC, Ogbunugafor CB, Hassanali A, Anopheles gambiae Exploits the Treehole Ecosystem in Western Kenya: A New Urban Malaria Risk? American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 77(6_Suppl), 2007, pp. 264-269
Smith-Rohrberg D, Ogbunugafor CB, Basu S, 2006. Treatment of LatentTuberculosis Infection in High-Burden Resource-Poor Countries. InSharma SK and Mohan A, editors. Tuberculosis. New Delhi: JaypeeBrothers Medical Publishers
Ogbunugafor CB, On Reductionism in Biology: Pillars, Leaps and the Naïve Behavioral Scientist. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 2004 May;77(3-4):101-9.
Boxing, others sports, music, film, science-fiction, writing and coffee