Varsani Lab

Molecular Virology Lab

Varsani Lab @ The Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA; arvind.varsani[at]

Varsani Lab - the viral kind

We are a wild 'viral' molecular virology research group that works across ecosystems studying viral dynamics.


Our broader objectives are to

  1. Study viral dynamics in Ross Sea (Antarctica) ecosystem which is recognised as anthropogenically the least-altered marine system on the planet with no evidence indicating introduction or range expansion of any species thus far, despite its changing physical environment.
  2. Unravel the viral evolutionary dynamics as a consequence of climate change.
  3. Study viral ecological interaction networks within a microbiome to unravel the dynamics of pathogen emergence.

Arvind Varsani

I am a molecular virologist who works across ecosystems from plants to animals and from the tropics to the Antarctic. My research uses a combination of traditional virology, microscopy (including transmission electron microscopy), molecular and cellular biology techniques in conjunction with modern sequencing techniques, synthetic biology and bioinformatics to characterise viruses and understand their dynamics.

Arizona State University, Tempe, USA

07/2016 - Current: Associate Professor at the Biodesign Institute and School of Life Sciences

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

02/2009 - 07/2016: Senior lecturer / researcher in School of Biological Sciences

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

07/2003 - 09/2008: Lecturer in the Structural Biology Research Unit

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

1998 - 2003: PhD in Molecular and cell biology

Loughborough University, Loughborough, England

1993 - 1997: BSc, DIS in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry



Unravelling the single-stranded DNA virome of the New Zealand blackfly

July 18, 2019

Changes to virus taxonomy and the International Code of Virus Classification and Nomenclature ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (2019)

July 18, 2019

Genetic characterization of a recombinant myxoma virus in the iberian hare (Lepus granatensis)

July 18, 2019

Diverse genomoviruses representing eight new and one known species identified in feces and nests of house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus)

July 18, 2019

ICTV virus taxonomy profile: Geminiviridae

May 30, 2019

ICTV virus taxonomy profile: Geminiviridae ICTV Report Consortium, Feb 1 2017, In : Journal of General Virology. 98, 2, p. 131-133 3 p., 000738. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

Minimum information about an uncultivated virus genome (MIUVIG)

May 30, 2019

Minimum information about an uncultivated virus genome (MIUVIG) Roux, S., Adriaenssens, E. M., Dutilh, B. E., Koonin, E. V., Kropinski, A. M., Krupovic, M., Kuhn, J. H., Lavigne, R., Brister, J. R., Varsani, A., Amid, C., Aziz, R. K., Bordenstein, S. R., Bork, P., Breitbart, M., Cochrane, G. R., Daly, R. A., Desnues, C., Duhaime, … Read more