Michael Worobey

Research Interests

Michael Worobey is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, which he joined in 2003.  He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford in 2001 and was a Junior Research Fellow at St. John’s College, University of Oxford from 2001-2003.  He uses the genomes of viruses to trace the evolution of major communicable diseases and to understand their origins, emergence and control.  He has made seminal discoveries pinpointing where, when and how HIV originated and spread worldwide, and how influenza pandemics like the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ emerge and kill large numbers of people.  His work is regularly published in Nature and Science, gets frequent worldwide press coverage, and is the focus of several books and documentary films (e.g. Spillover, Tinderbox, Rise of the Killer Virus).  He is a Rhodes Scholar, Packard Fellow, National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow and the holds the Louise Foucar Marshall Science Research Professorship at the University of Arizona.