Justin Bahl

Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Associate Professor
Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine
Institute of Bioinformatics
Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases
Center for Vaccines and Immunology

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Website

Epidemiology & Biostatistics

I am currently an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia. My appointment is split between the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Public Health, and the Institute for Bioinformatics. My training in evolutionary biology, epidemiology and ecology has equipped me for a research career focused on infectious disease dynamics.

I completed my Bachelor of Science with Honors from The University of Toronto (2001) and left Canada to pursue graduate studies in Hong Kong (PhD, Molecular Systematics and Evolution, The University of Hong Kong). In 2003, Hong Kong was the epicenter of the SARS global epidemic. This event, which profoundly affected the daily life of all people in Hong Kong including mine, motivated me to change my research focus to ecology and evolution of infectious diseases.

In 2006, I joined the State Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases as a post-doctoral fellow (Viral ecology and evolution, The University of Hong Kong). The State Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases is a WHO H5 reference laboratory for the diagnosis of influenza A/H5 infection and is part of the NIAID/NIH Centers for Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance. I later moved to Singapore to continue my postdoctoral training (Molecular Epidemiology, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School) where I was promoted to Assistant Professor. In 2013, I joined the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston as an Associate Professor before joining UGA in 2018.

  • PhD, The University of Hong Kong, 2006, Molecular Systematics
Areas of Expertise
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease Dynamics
  • Viral Evolution and Phylodynamics
  • Disease Ecology
Course Instruction
  • EPID 7500 “Intro Coding in R for Public Health”
Research Interests

My research is focused on the molecular epidemiology, ecology and genetic evolution of RNA viruses, particularly those that pose a risk to animal and human health. This work is directed towards uncovering how population structure, host immune pressure, geographic spread and transmission bottlenecks shape viral genetic diversity. My programmatic goal is to support methodological advances, genomic data generation, management and integration with traditional epidemiological data streams, and data visualization to advance and promote the use of pathogen sequence analysis to inform public health response to infectious disease. Current projects are funded from CDC, NSF and NIH as well as direct contracts with state and regional Public Health Departments.

Selected Publications
News & Media Mentions
UGA Research (November 16, 2021):

Shoring up the species barrier