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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Arkansas
  • Ruben M Ceballos
  • (479) 575-3251
  • Michelle A Evans-White
  • Ek Han Tan
  • Qingyang Zhang
  • Elizabeth Padilla-Crespo
Award Date:07/28/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 6,100,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,090,725
  • FY 2021=$1,090,725
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2026
Transaction Type: Cooperative Agreements
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:BII: Host-Virus Evolutionary Dynamics Institute (HVEDI)
Federal Award ID Number:2119968
DUNS ID:191429745
Parent DUNS ID:055600001
Program:Cross-BIO Activities
Program Officer:
  • Wilson Francisco
  • (703) 292-7856

Awardee Location

Street:1125 W. Maple Street
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Arkansas
Street:1 University of Arkansas
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

The NSF Biology Integration Institute project entitled Host-Virus Evolutionary Dynamics Institute (HVEDI) will be established as a multi-institutional, multi-investigator institute to study host-virus interactions across domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya) with the goal of determining universal "rules of life" to which all viruses adhere. Developing such rules of life will lead to developing Laws of Virology that allow predictions for the emergence of virulent or attenuated strains of a virus, species jump events, the propensity for recombination events leading to novel virus strains, and changes in virus transmission rates under changing environmental conditions. Beyond the science, HVEDI is a collaborative of different university types, including research intensive institutions (i.e., Carnegie Research 1 and 2 institutions), predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Thus, a diverse array of faculty and student scientists will be engaged in cutting-edge research in virology and virus ecology toward achieving the objectives of the project. Results from this work will significantly contribute to a better understanding of how viruses may infect natural and novel hosts under select conditions. Outreach and training initiatives will benefit high schools and community colleges in Arkansas, Maine, and Puerto Rico and will build human resource capacity in these and other NSF EPSCoR jurisdictions. Although host-virus interactions have been studied for specific virus systems, few studies have sought to compare virus-host dynamics across domains of life towards generating fundamental rules of life to which all or large swaths of disparate virus systems adhere. Using three non-lytic, low-virulence double-stranded (ds) DNA virus systems - representing each domain of life (Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya) -host-virus interaction properties will be modeled for each of these core virus systems (CVS). Mathematically-characterizable patterns that hold for all three of the CVS will be developed as models towards establishing rules of life (RoL) for host-virus evolutionary dynamics. The RoL will then be tested for generalizability to other virus systems (i.e., comparator systems), including lytic systems and those comprised of RNA or single-strand DNA genomes. These comparator systems will be used to validate RoL models towards developing a set of Laws of Virology. Three levels of integration will be pursued. Level 1 integration efforts are focused on integrating across biological scales (genetics, -omics, physiological, ecological) towards modeling host-virus interaction dynamics for each independent virus system. Level 2 integration is focused on modeling common patterns found across the CVS and comparator virus systems towards developing rules of life to which all or a large swath of viruses adhere. Level 3 integration is focused on applying the emerging rules of life for host-virus interactions to mesocosm, directed evolution, and larger-scale (i.e., ecosystems/ecological) applications. Wet lab experimentation will be supported by mathematical modeling and computer-based simulations of host-virus dynamics. Results from this work will contribute to the broader effort of understanding host switch, changes in harbor state, changes in virulence, and other related phenomena. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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