I am currently studying coevolution of pathogen and host. Survival and extinction of influenza virus lineages is depending on dynamics of host immunity and immune history. In order to predict evolution of human influenza virus, it is important to analyze antigenicity of the viruses measured by human sera. I want to develop a model forecasting dominant virus lineages by taking human serology data into account.
I am also interested in evolutionary genetics of B cell response to influenza infection. The evolutionary dynamics of B cell population remain largely unexplored, as high-throughput BCR sequences are only recently becoming available. As the first step to understanding B cell evolution, I will study the basic components of adaptation such as diversity, the strength of selection, and the amount of competition among clones and different types of B cells. These puzzles are of clinical interest as well as scientific intrigue, as they can help measure the adaptability of the repertoire in response to infection or vaccination, identify which clones and sites on BCR are important for protection, and estimate the rate at which B cells get activated and reactivated. I will analyze high-throughput BCR sequences from a population genetic perspective, as this provide good methods to estimate evolutionary parameters and to infer the evolutionary processes underlying the pattern of genetic variation.
Kim, K and Kim, Y. 2016. Population genetic processes affecting the mode of selective sweeps and effective population size in influenza virus H3N2. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:156.
Kim, K and Kim, Y. 2015. Episodic nucleotide substitutions in seasonal influenza virus H3N2 can be explained by stochastic genealogical process without positive selection. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32(3):704-10.