Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security David Rasmussen

Assistant Professor, Entomology and Plant Pathology

David Rasmussen

Contact Information

Ricks Hall 312
Raleigh, NC

David Rasmussen joined NC State in January 2018 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security. An assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, he is also an infectious disease biologist and developer of phylogenetic methods for tracking the spread of pathogens. These phylogenetic methods allow epidemiologists to track pathogen transmission over time, across space and between different hosts using genomic sequence data. Rasmussen previously applied these methods to study the transmission dynamics of human viruses such as dengue, influenza and HIV. At NC State, he plans to adapt and improve these methods for agricultural pathogens. Future work in his group will also couple experimental work on plant viruses with phylogenetics to study the genetic basis of pathogen emergence and adaptation to new hosts.

Rasmussen obtained his bachelor’s degree from Reed College and then a Ph.D. from Duke University, where he worked with Dr. Katia Koelle. He then moved to Switzerland, where he was an ETH Zürich Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Computational Evolution group lead by Dr. Tanja Stadler. As a postdoctoral scholar, he worked on the molecular epidemiology of HIV and taught at several workshops in Africa, Asia and Europe. As a new faculty member in both the Bioinformatics Research Center and the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State, his current research combines work on both human infectious diseases and the agricultural pathogens that endanger our food supply around the world.