Kayla Barnes is a NIH Fogarty K fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and Broad Institute. In the Sabeti lab her work focuses on evolutionary genetics of both humans and pathogens. Kayla is a co-leader on two genome-wide association studies of susceptibility to Ebola Virus Disease and Lassa fever as well as numerous other projects exploring viral genetics and single cell genomics. Kayla has also developed cutting edge CRISPR based diagnostics for viruses causing hemorrhagic fever and severe diarrheal diseases. In addition to her current work, Kayla has published studies on the 2018 Lassa Fever outbreak in Nigeria and Ebola persistence in semen. Kayla’s postdoctoral work is supported by a NIH-K01, ASTMH Shope fellowship, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding, and a Broad-Next 10 grant.
Kayla carried out her Ph.D. in Tropical Medicine at the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Center in Blantyre, Malawi, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine with Janet Hemingway and Charles Wondji. Her work led to a better understanding of the genomics and evolutionary genetics driving insecticide resistance mechanisms in a main malaria mosquito vector throughout southern Africa. Kayla was awarded the Jean Clayton Fellowship and the ASTMH Young Investigator Award for her Ph.D. work.
Before Kayla’s Ph.D. she worked for Dyann Wirth at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she studied multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infection, and helped analyze geographical variation and antimalarial drug resistance in P. falciparum isolates. Kayla completed her undergraduate degree in Evolutionary Biology and Chemistry at the University of Colorado. Kayla was an Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) recipient and studied haptoglobin polymorphisms in endurance athletes under Jeffry Mitton.