David Van Valen

Assistant Professor, Biology and Biological Engineering

B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

Viruses are in constant conversation with the cells they infect, and the information exchanged can be used by the host or the virus to guide their respective behaviors. For example, viruses may decide to become dormant after infection, while host cells may choose to activate an immune response. The Van Valen Lab listens in on this conversation to understand how viruses and their hosts represent information about their internal state and their environment, and how this information is accessed to make decisions. To do so, we combine ideas from cell biology and physics with recent advances in imaging, machine learning, and genomics to make novel measurements of host–virus interactions. Active projects include imaging the interaction between host immune and metabolic signaling networks during infection, measuring host–virus interactions in a model system of viral latency, and developing novel deep-learning approaches to single-cell analysis of biological imaging data.