Faculty Bio

David Esteban

Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Science, Technology and Society

Research Interests

Viruses and bacteria are everywhere. While we tend to think of viruses as something that makes us sick, they are actually found in every environment where there is life. That includes the ocean, geothermal pools, streams, and soil. In fact, viruses are the most abundant organisms on the planet, and while each gram of soil contains a huge number of bacteria, there are even more viruses. Even though we know they are there in huge numbers, its not clear what role they play in the ecosystem. I am interested in the interactions between the bacterial and viral communities in the soil, and the impact of environmental conditions on these communities. While there is much work on describing bacterial communities in different environments, there is less known about the viral communities and thus we are missing an important part of the picture. I am using Winogradsky columns as a model microbial ecosystem to study the dynamics of bacterial and viral communities in the soil.

Teaching Interests

Selected Publications

  1. Esteban, D.J., Syed, A., Upton, C. Organizing and updating whole genome BLAST searches with ReHAB (2007) Methods in Molecular Biology, 395; 187-94.
  2. Li, G., Chen, N., Feng, Z., Buller, R.M.L., Harms, T., Damon, I., Upton, C. and Esteban, D.J. Genomic sequence and analysis of a Vaccinia Virus isolate from a patient with a smallpox vaccine-related complication. (2006) Virology Journal, 3:88.
  3. Esteban, D.J. and Buller, R.M.L. Ectromelia virus: the causative agent of mousepox. (2005) Journal of General Virology, 86(10); 2661-2672
  4. Esteban, D.J., DaSilva, M., and Upton, C. New Bioinformatics Tools for Viral Genome Analyses at Viral Bioinformatics – Canada. (2005) Pharmacogenomics, 6(3): 271-80
  5. Esteban, D. J. and Buller R.M.L. Identification of residues in an orthopoxvirus interleukin-18 binding protein involved in ligand binding and species specificity. (2004) Virology, 323(2): 197-207
  6. Esteban, D. J., Nuara A.A., and Buller R.M.L. Interleukin-18 and glycosamino-glycan binding by a protein encoded by Variola virus. (2004) Journal of General Virology, 85(Pt 5): 1291-9
  7. Born, T.L., Morrison, L.A., Esteban, D.J., VandenBos, T., Thebeau, L.G., Chen, N., Spriggs, M.K., Sims, J.E., and Buller, R.M.L. A poxvirus protein that binds to and inactivates IL-18, and inhibits NK cell response. (2000) Journal of Immunology, 164(6): 3246-3254