Richard Grewelle is a current PhD student motivated to understand ecological and evolutionary underpinnings of wildlife disease systems. Prior research areas involve bioinformatics, phylogenetics, and disease ecology. Although with previous experience in terrestrial diseases, including Y. pestis (plague), Richard pursues marine disease ecology due to the lack of knowledge surrounding systems we hardly encounter. Marine diseases present significant challenges to not only biologists; they may devastate fragile ecosystems supporting fisheries or providing ecological services. Richard works to bridge the gap between theoretical and empirical studies, employing population and genetic data to inform theoretical models of disease transmission. Despite the economic significance of this research, conservation of marine species and basic biological understanding are at its heart.
Honors & Awards
Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Stanford University (2016-2019)
Education & Certifications
B.S. Hons, University of Kentucky, Chemistry (2016)
B.S. Hons, University of Kentucky, Mathematics (2016)
B.S. Hons, University of Kentucky, Biology (2016)
Gene drives for schistosomiasis transmission control.
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
2019; 13 (12): e0007833
Schistosomiasis is one of the most important and widespread neglected tropical diseases (NTD), with over 200 million people infected in more than 70 countries; the disease has nearly 800 million people at risk in endemic areas. Although mass drug administration is a cost-effective approach to reduce occurrence, extent, and severity of the disease, it does not provide protection to subsequent reinfection. Interventions that target the parasites' intermediate snail hosts are a crucial part of the integrated strategy required to move toward disease elimination. The recent revolution in gene drive technology naturally leads to questions about whether gene drives could be used to efficiently spread schistosome resistance traits in a population of snails and whether gene drives have the potential to contribute to reduced disease transmission in the long run. Responsible implementation of gene drives will require solutions to complex challenges spanning multiple disciplines, from biology to policy. This Review Article presents collected perspectives from practitioners of global health, genome engineering, epidemiology, and snail/schistosome biology and outlines strategies for responsible gene drive technology development, impact measurements of gene drives for schistosomiasis control, and gene drive governance. Success in this arena is a function of many factors, including gene-editing specificity and efficiency, the level of resistance conferred by the gene drive, how fast gene drives may spread in a metapopulation over a complex landscape, ecological sustainability, social equity, and, ultimately, the reduction of infection prevalence in humans. With combined efforts from across the broad global health community, gene drives for schistosomiasis control could fortify our defenses against this devastating disease in the future.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007833
View details for PubMedID 31856157
COMPUTER VISION AND MACHINE LEARNING ENABLE ENVIRONMENTAL DIAGNOSTICS FOR TARGETING SCHISTOSOMIASIS CONTROL
AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE. 2018: 418
View details for Web of Science ID 000461386604029
The influence of locus number and information content on species delimitation: an empirical test case in an endangered Mexican salamander
View details for DOI 10.1111/mec.13883