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Andrew F. Read

Andrew F. Read

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Director, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology

Eberly Professor of Biotechnology

Huck Assistant: Brittany Grimes (, +1 814 865-2625)
Research Group Assistant: Monica Arismendi (, +1 814 863-6471)

Huck Life Sciences Building 201 [NOT Millennium Science Complex]

University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814)867-2396
Lab Address: W-124 MSC
Lab Phone: (814)867-2397



  1. Ph.D., University of Oxford, 1989
  2. B.S., University of Otago, New Zealand, 1984

Honors and Awards

  1. Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 2018)
  2. Penn State President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration (2018)
  3. Fellow The Royal Society (elected 2015)
  4. Fellow American Academy of Microbiology (elected 2014)
  5. Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected 2012)
  6. Fellowship Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2006-2007
  7. Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh (elected 2003)
  8. Scientific Medal, Zoological Society of London, 1999
  9. Young Investigator Award, American Society of Naturalists, 1991
  10. Thomas Henry Huxley Award, Zoological Society of London, 1991

Research Interests

We work on the ecology and evolutionary genetics of infectious disease, particularly the pathogen evolution that harms human health and well-being. Our work involves evolutionary biology, ecology, parasitology, microbiology and genomics. Currently, we are trying to find drug regimens that retard resistance evolution, understand a rare case where vaccine resistance has evolved, and identify drivers of drug resistance in hospitals. At the moment, we work with Marek’s disease in poultry (vaccine resistance), malaria in mice (drug resistance) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (bacterial evolution in hospitals), with a little cancer on the side. We are also researching drivers for inappropriate antibiotic use in our student health clinic.

Selected Publications

Kennedy, D.A. & Read, A.F. (2018) Why the evolution of vaccine resistance is less of a concern than the evolution of drug resistance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 115: 12878-12886.

Hansen, E.A., Woods, R.J., & Read, A.F. (2017). How to use a chemotherapeutic agent when resistance to it threatens the patient. PLoS Biology 15: e2001110.  

Wale, N., Sim, D.G., Jones, M.J., Salathe, R., Day, T., & Read, A.F. (2017). Resource limitation prevents the emergence  of drug resistance by intensifying within host competition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 114: 13774-13779.

Kerr. P.J., Cattadori, I., Liu, J., Sims, D., Dodds, J., Brooks, J., Kennett, M., Holmes, E.C., & Read, A.F. (2017). The next step in the on-going arms race between myxoma virus and wild rabbits in Australia is a novel disease phenotype. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 114: 9397-9402.

Day, T., & Read A.F. (2016). When does high-dose antimicrobial chemotherapy prevent the emergence of resistance? PLoS Computational Biology 12: e1004689.

Read, A.F., Baigent, S.J., Powers, C., Kgosana, L.B., Blackwell, L., Smith, L.P., Kennedy, D.A., Walkden-Brown, S.W., & Nair, V.K. 2015. Vaccination enhances transmission of highly virulent strains of Marek’s disease virus in chickens. PLoS Biology 13: e1002198.

Huijben, S., Bell, A.S., Sim, D.G., Salathe, R., Tomasello, D., Mideo, N., Day, T. & Read, A.F. 2013. Aggressive chemotherapy and the selection of drug resistant pathogens. PLoS Pathogens 9: e1003578.

Barclay, V.C., Sim, D., Chan, B.H.K., Nell, L.A., Rabaa, M.A., Bell, A.S., Anders, R.F. & Read, A.F. 2012. The evolutionary consequences of blood-stage vaccination on the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi. PLoS Biology 10: e1001368. 

Read, A. F., T. Day, and S. Huijben. 2011. The evolution of drug resistance and the curious orthodoxy of aggressive chemotherapy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108: 10871.

Read, A. F., P. A. Lynch, and M. B. Thomas. 2009. How to build an evolution-proof insecticide for malaria control. PLoS Biology 7: e1000058.

Råberg, L., D. Sim, and A. F. Read. 2007. Disentangling genetic variation for resistance and tolerance to infectious diseases in animals. Science 318: 812.