Ph.D. Medical Entomology & M.S. Epidemiology, University of California, Davis
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health
Assistant Director, Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory
Dr. Linda Styer joined the Wadsworth Center in 2003, first as a post-doctoral scientist in the Arbovirology Laboratory, and then as a Research Scientist in the Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory. The Bloodborne Viruses laboratory serves as the public health reference laboratory for human immunodeficiency (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing in New York State. Dr. Styer developed and validated a real time PCR assay to detect and quantify HIV-2 RNA in patient plasma. This test has since been used to monitor HIV-2 viral loads in ~120 actively infected patients, primarily from New York state. Future work will focus on expanding our HIV-2 testing program to include HIV-2 drug resistance testing, HIV-2 DNA assay to confirm HIV-2 infection and ultra-sensitive methods to detect and quantify HIV-2 RNA. Dr. Styer also designed and validated large-scale serology assays to detect antibodies to HIV, HCV and SARS CoV-2 in dried blood spots (DBS) using the Luminex microsphere immunoassay platform. The HIV Luminex assay has been used by the New York state newborn screening program to screen ~250,000 newborn DBS each year for HIV antibodies. The HCV assay was used to perform a large scale serosurvey of >25,000 pregnant women in New York state using newborn DBS. The SARS CoV-2 assay was used to perform large scale clinical testing assay of >57,000 DBS collected in New York state from high risk populations and from the general public for two large statewide serosurveys. Future work will include enhancing and optimizing the Luminex SARS CoV-2 DBS immunoassay.
- Development and evaluation of molecular tests to detect, quantify, and characterize bloodborne viral infections
- Evaluation of FDA approved diagnostic tests and diagnostic testing algorithms
- Development and evaluation of high-throughput serological testing methods to conduct large-scale surveillance projects
- Infection and immunity