Dr Celeste Donato
Senior Research Officer
Infection and Immunity Theme
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Research ActivitiesCeleste is a virologist who completed her PhD in the Enteric Diseases Group at MCRI and Department of Microbiology at La Trobe University in 2015. Her project focussed on the impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction on the diversity and evolution of rotavirus strains in Australia. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral position at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. Celeste was awarded an NHMRC Peter Doherty Biomedical Fellowship and joined the Laboratory of Virus Evolution in the Department of Microbiology at Monash University in late 2016. In mid 2019 Celeste rejoined the Enteric Diseases Group as MCRI as a Senior Research Officer.
Celeste’s research explores the epidemiology and evolution of viruses causing disease in humans and animal populations. She has a particular interest in viruses causing significant burdens of disease in the paediatric population such as rotavirus, enterovirus, astrovirus and influenza. Celeste has extensive experience in virus sequencing (Sanger, NGS and Nanopore) and phylogenetic analysis. Celeste has lectured at La Trobe University and Monash University and is a consultant for the African Enteric Viruses Genome Initiative.
Techniques/ExpertisePhylogenetic analyses: multiple sequence alignment (using MUSCLE, Geneious, MAFFT), best-fit model testing (using jModelTest), recombination analysis (using RDP, 3Seq, HyPhy), selection analysis using HyPhy, maximum-likelihood methods (using PhyML, RAxML, FastTree, MEGA), Bayesian methods (using MrBayes and programs within the BEAST package).
Next-generation sequencing (Illumina and Nanopore): library preparation, viral genome assemblies and sequence analyses.
Molecular biology: DNA and RNA extraction, cloning, PCR, realtime PCR, primer design, DNA Sanger sequencing, RNA PAGE gel electrophoresis, Northern blots, rotavirus genotyping.