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News, developments & press (archived)

September 2018

GV fellows win awards at Lake Arrowhead Microbial Genomics Conference

Jessica Award small.png
JeanMarie Award small.png

Is it a sweep? Well almost! CONGRATS to Jessica and Jean-Marie for winning second and third place awards (respectively) for their posters at the Lake Arrowhead Genomics Conference (LAMG)! Go team GV!

August 2018

GV welcomes junior fellows at San Francisco State University

Pannu Profile Pic.JPG


Madison Bullock Profile Picture.jpg




Global Viral is pleased to announce the selection of Rachna Pannu, Madison Bullock and Wilmer Amaya-Mejia as GV junior fellows at San Francisco State University. The fellows will work on projects related to the Boundaries of Life initiative. Student profiles will be posted soon. Welcome aboard!

June-July 2018

Collaborative work starts with the Joint Genome Institute

  • GV Fellows Tomas Tyml and Jean-Marie Volland start work at the Joint Genome Institute, under the co-supervision of Drs. Date and Woyke

  • Dr. Lee wins NSF award

  • GV begins BD efforts with collaborators from Metabiota

GV is growing and will be announcing other appointments soon! 

Bradford Brooks joins GV as Senior Scientist

GV warmly welcomes Dr. Bradford Brooks to the team! Dr. Brooks has extensive experience both in public health issues and oncology, and will help drive business development and other scientific areas within GV.

Go team GV!!

April 2018

New developments galore! Details to follow over coming weeks

  • Three new scientists to join GV team

  • GV initiates two new collaborative projects with the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and NASA/JPL

  • Former GV Fellow and Boundaries of Life team member Kevin Freedman wins Human Frontiers Science Program new investigator grant award

  • GV initiates partnership with San Francisco State University (SFSU)

  • GV sponsors three two-year student scholarships at SFSU as part of the Boundaries of Life initiative to train the next generation of scientists

  • GV hosts first BoL Phase II workshop in San Francisco   

March 2018

Jessica Lee joins Global Viral as GV Fellow

The GV team is thrilled to welcome Dr. Jessica Lee as GV Fellow. Dr. Lee is the first of a new crop of scientists expected to start their careers at GV in 2018. Details to follow.  

October-November 2017

GV prepares to start Boundaries of Life Phase II work

Global Viral is pleased to announce commencement of work on Phase II of the Boundaries of Life project, together with collaborators from Stanford, Caltech, the Joint Genome Institute (JGI, DoE) and NASA/JPL. More information about the Boundaries of Life project is available here:

Hiring: The BoL team at GV is looking to hire up to three postdoctoral researchers. More information is posted here: 

(July - Sept.) Summer 2017

A recently cooled lava flow. The team collected samples from lava flows that were as young as one week. 

GV's summer of success!!

The Global Viral team accomplished quite a few things this summer! A few highlights:

  • The team collected samples from cooling lava flows from Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. These samples will be analyzed for first colonizers

  • The Boundaries of Life team was thrilled to know that funding would continue for Phase II of the project. 

  • Dr. Freedman submitted his first independent grant and started his new lab

GV is also expected to announce up to three open positions for 2018, working with the boundaries of life project through various institutions (JGI, NASA/JPL, etc.). Do visit us again soon as we post details.

June 2017

Kevin Freedman to start as Assistant Professor at UC Riverside

HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Kevin Freedman, GV Sr. Fellow, as he prepares to takes the next step in his career! Dr. Freedman will start his own group at UC Riverside this fall as a new Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Bioengineering. 

April/May 2017

GV team samples in Yellowstone National Park

As part of the Boundaries of Life Project, the scientific team at Global Viral has obtained extreme environment samples (hot springs) from the Yellowstone National Park. These samples will be evaluated for the presence of novel life forms using a number of different experimental assays. 

BoL-Schema47 art ~ science collaboration salon announced

RSVP to the event here

March 2017

GV & collaborators featured in news and views

Jan-Feb 2017

GV welcomes two new visiting scientists

GV is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Armando Azua-Bustos and Dr. Tanja Woyke as Visiting Scientists. Both scientists bring a tremendous amount of knowledge, creativity and passion for biodiversity research in extreme environments. More information about the two scientists will be available soon on their profile pages.


Dr. Azua-Bustos is a research scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute with focus on life in xeric environments. Dr. Woyke leads the Microbial Genomics program at the Joint Genome Institute (LBL, Dept. of Energy) and is a pioneer in developing state-of-art techniques for investigating composition and genomics of microbial communities. 

Welcome Armando and Tanja! 

December 2016

GV team in the Atacama Dessert in Chile

GV completes environmental sampling of extreme 'dry' environments

The GV team has completed sampling from two extreme dry environments on earth - The Atacama Dessert in Chile and Death Valley National Park in California. Both areas receive extremely low amounts of rainfall throughout the year, which forces plants, animals and microbes to adapt to the xeric conditions in interesting ways. The team hopes to identify novel biochemistry in microbes through the analysis of soil samples obtained from the two regions. And yes, the surface does look like that of Mars!

Many thanks to our collaborator Dr. Armando Azua-Bustos for guiding the GV team during sample collection.

September 2016

Kevin Freedman named GV Senior Fellow

Dr. Kevin Freedman has been named GV Senior Fellow in recognition of contributions to Global Viral and the Boundaries of Life project. He will start his tenure as a fellow from October 1, 2016. As a Sr. Fellow, Dr. Freedman will independently pursue funding opportunities, propose new projects and jointly supervise graduate students and postdocs with other senior GV members. 

GV congratulates Dr. Freedman on his success and is eager to participate in his transition to an early career scientist. 

Kevin Freedman, Ph.D.​

Sr. Fellow, Global Viral

Victoria Orphan, Ph.D.

James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology, Caltech

Boundaries of Life project advisor Victoria Orphan named MacArthur Fellow  

Dr. Victoria Orphan, James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and an advisor to GV's Boundaries of Life project, has been named a MacArthur Fellow for 2016. The fellowships, commonly referred to in the popular press as 'Genius Awards', are given out as unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.


Read the announcement here:

Press coverage of the announcement in the New York Times:

May 2016

GV-JGI scientific teams successfully complete pilot sampling of extreme environments in the Mammoth and Mono Lakes region  

Members of the Boundaries of life team, in collaboration with the research groups from the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), successfully completed a sample collection tour in Mono Lake area. Mono lake is known for its hypersaline water and is likely to harbor life forms that are uniquely suited to survival in the highly saline environment. The teams also collected samples from hot springs and other water bodies in the surrounding region. The samples will be analyzed by the Boundaries of Life team and scientists at the JGI. 

View pictures 

April 2016

Welcome Aboard! GV welcomes new team members!

Lisa Diamond

Principal Systems Architect

Ashley Allen

Senior Systems Architect

We welcome Lisa Diamond and Ashley Allen to GV. Lisa will serve as Principal Systems Architect and Ashley as Senior Systems Architect, and will help GV build and maintain computational resources. 

Lisa's profile | Ashley's profile 


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