Matthew J. Binnicker, Ph.D., studies viral infections and new ways to diagnose and manage viral diseases. Specifically, Dr. Binnicker has interest in developing novel molecular methods to detect viruses causing respiratory infections as well as disease in the transplant population. His research emphasizes developing laboratory methods that detect viral pathogens directly from clinical samples and provide results to health care professionals in a more timely and accurate way.
- Respiratory viral infections. Dr. Binnicker leads research and development projects focused on improving the ability to detect viruses causing respiratory disease, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. He is investigating the potential role of rapid metagenomic sequencing technology to detect and identify respiratory viruses directly from clinical samples, such as bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
- Transplant viral infections. Dr. Binnicker is working to develop novel, next-generation sequencing methods to identify mutations associated with antiviral resistance in cytomegalovirus, a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among transplant patients. This work is also focused on determining how novel sequencing methods can be used to better tailor antiviral therapy in the transplant population.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases. Studies performed in Dr. Binnicker's laboratory are focused on identifying new laboratory tools to detect and identify vaccine-preventable viral infections, such as mumps and measles. These studies are aimed at delivering new methods that may be able to identify individuals who are infected with these viruses within hours after collection of an appropriate clinical sample.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Binnicker's hope is that through his research, better laboratory tools will be developed to detect and identify viral causes of human disease. The primary aim of his studies is to improve the accuracy of viral diagnostics and reduce the amount of time between collecting a clinical sample and providing an answer that may help guide management decisions.
Dr. Binnicker's work on developing next-generation sequencing methods for viral diseases in transplant patients will assist health care professionals in determining the most effective treatments to give their patients, which may reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with these significant infections.
- Recipient, Young Investigator Award, Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, 2014