Cotten has a Ph.D in biochemistry and is a molecular virologist and computational biologist with extensive experience detecting important patterns in the next generation sequencing data from viral pathogens. He has both wet lab and computational skills which have been useful for developing novel next generation sequencing and sequence analysis methods. Cotten has assisted in the work identified camels as a source of MERS-CoV infections and was part of an outbreak sequencing team that generated (from a tent in Sierra Leone) a large number of the Ebola virus genomes from the 2014-1016 West African EBOV outbreak. Cotten has helped established computational methods for full genome next generation sequencing and analysis of a number of medically important viruses including MERS-CoV, Ebola virus, SARS-CoV-2, Yellow Fever virus, Norovirus, Rotavirus and Respiratory syncytial virus as demonstrated by his publication record.
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