Dr Celeste Donato
Department of Microbiology
Research ActivitiesCeleste is a virologist who completed her PhD in the Enteric Virus Group at MCRI and Department of Microbiology at La Trobe University in 2015. Her project focussed on the impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction on the diversity and evolution of rotavirus strains in Australia. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral position at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, first in the Laboratories of Pathogen Discovery and Emerging Zoonotic Infections and then in the Laboratory of Infectious Disease Dynamics. Celeste was awarded an NHMRC Peter Doherty Biomedical Fellowship and joined the Laboratory of Virus Evolution in the Department of Microbiology at Monash University in 2017.
Celeste’s research explores the epidemiology and evolution of viruses causing disease in humans and animal populations. She has a particular interest in viruses causing significant burdens of disease in the paediatric population such as rotavirus, enterovirus, astrovirus and influenza. Celeste has extensive experience in virus sequencing (Sanger, NGS and Nanopore) and phylogenetic analysis. Celeste has lectured at La Trobe University and Monash University and is a consultant for the African Enteric Viruses Genome Initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Techniques/ExpertisePhylogenetic analyses: multiple sequence alignment (using MUSCLE, Geneious, MAFFT), best-fit model testing (using jModelTest), recombination analysis (using RDP, 3Seq, HyPhy), selection analysis using HyPhy, maximum-likelihood methods (using PhyML, RAxML, FastTree, MEGA), Bayesian methods (using MrBayes and programs within the BEAST package).
Next-generation sequencing (Illumina and Nanopore): library preparation, viral genome assemblies and sequence analyses.
Molecular biology: DNA and RNA extraction, cloning, PCR, realtime PCR, primer design, DNA Sanger sequencing, RNA PAGE gel electrophoresis, Northern blots, rotavirus genotyping.