Dr Evelien Adriaenssens

Research Leader

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Gut viruses & viromics

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ORCID 

I am a molecular and computational microbiologist with a passion for everything viral.

I started my research career at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium) investigating the use of bacteriophages (viruses of bacteria) as a biological control agent in potato plant production. As part of this project, co-funded by the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research Flanders (ILVO), I isolated novel phages which I extensively characterised for commercial suitability, including genomics, production optimisation and in planta trials.

During my time as a postdoc (University of Pretoria, South Africa & University of Liverpool, UK), I specialised in viromics or viral metagenomics, to elucidate viral community diversity in a range of habitats. I have conducted research on extreme environments, such as the Namib Desert and the Antarctic Dry Valleys, where I studied several niche environments such as hypoliths, hyperarid soil and saline springs. Using this expertise, I used viromics approaches to investigate the spread of pathogenic viruses from wastewater effluent into a river catchment area in the North of Wales and determine the potential for food- and waterborne illness (viraqua.uk).

I joined the Quadram Institute in January 2019 where my group is investigating the role of viruses in the human gut, and how we can exploit some of these viruses to modulate the gut microbiome in health and disease.

I am the Vice Chair of the Bacterial and Archaeal Viruses Subcommittee of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) and the Caudovirales Study Group chair.

Key publications

Roux S, Adriaenssens EM, … Eloe-Fadrosh, 2019, Minimum Information about an Uncultivated Virus Genome (MIUViG), Nature Biotechnology, 37, 29-37, doi 10.1038/nbt.4306

Adriaenssens EM, 2018, Genomics of Viruses of Microorganisms, in Viruses of Microorganisms, Hyman & Abedon (eds), Caister Academic Press, doi 10.21775/9781910190852

Adriaenssens EM, Farkas K, Harrison C, Jones DL, Allison HE, McCarthy AJ, 2018, Viromic analysis of wastewater input to a river catchment reveals a diverse assemblage of RNA viruses, mSystems, 3:e00025-18, doi 10.1128/mSystems.00025-18

Adriaenssens EM, Kramer R, Van Goethem MW, Makhalanyane TP, Hogg I, Cowan DA, 2017, Environmental drivers of viral community composition in Antarctic soils identified by viromics, Microbiome 5:83, doi 10.1186/s40168-017-0301-7

Adriaenssens EM, Brister JR, 2017, How to name and classify your phage: an informal guide, Viruses 9:70, doi 10.3390/v9040070

Farkas K., Adriaenssens E. M., Walker D. I., McDonald J. E., Malham S. K., Jones D. E.. (2019)

Critical Evaluation of CrAssphage as a Molecular Marker for Human-Derived Wastewater Contamination in the Aquatic Environment

Food and Environmental Virology


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Jang H. B., Bolduc B., Zablocki O., Kuhn J. H., Roux S., Adriaenssens E. M., Brister J. R., Kropinski A. M., Krupovic M., Lavigne R., Turner D., Sullivan M. B.. (2019)

Taxonomic assignment of uncultivated prokaryotic virus genomes is enabled by gene-sharing networks

Nature Biotechnology


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