Sawyer Lab

Researchers describe new viral mechanism for balancing alternate host species

April 19, 2018

Sawyer Lab, BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado Boulder University of Colorado Boulder researchers studying virus spillover have uncovered a clue explaining why dengue viruses reach high concentrations in humans, but not in primates, their presumed natural source. The work was performed by the lab of Dr. Sara Sawyer at the...

Dr. Sara Sawyer

Sara Sawyer Receives Richard M. Elliott Memorial Award in Glasgow, Scotland

Jan. 23, 2018

For billions of years, the battle between cells and viruses has been a primary driver of evolution. University of Colorado Boulder researcher Dr. Sara Sawyer has dedicated her career to this relationship, combining methods from virology and molecular evolution to investigate emerging human and animal viruses. Sawyer, an Associate Professor...


New broad-spectrum antiviral protein can inhibit HIV, other pathogens in some primates

Jan. 18, 2017

University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered that a protein-coding gene called Schlafen11 (SLFN11) may induce a broad-spectrum cellular response against infection by viruses including HIV-1. The new research, which was recently published in the journal PLOS Pathogens , found that SLFN11's antiviral potency is highest in non-human primate species...

Bob Garcea

$1.1 million grant funds CU Boulder research into next-generation vaccines

Nov. 4, 2016

The University of Colorado Boulder has received a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop next-generation vaccines that require no refrigeration and defend against infectious diseases with just one shot. If successful, those advancements could radically transform the difficult task of dispensing life-saving immunizations in...

BioFrontiers' Sara Sawyer discovered that a gene in S. cerevisiae and multiple other Saccharomyces yeast species appears to rapidly evolve to recognize and destroy attacking viruses.

Yeast gene rapidly evolves to attack viruses

Oct. 6, 2016

Humans have used Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast in baking, brewing and winemaking for millennia. New research from the University of Idaho and the University of Colorado Boulder reveals another way that yeast species can help our species: by demonstrating how viruses interact with their hosts, and how hosts may evolve to...

Sara Sawyer recently joined BioFrontiers. Now that the dust is settling in her lab, she's back to focusing on zoonotic diseases.

Using evolution to fight disease

June 25, 2015

New BioFrontiers lab uses evolution to fight disease by Paul McDivitt Photo: Sara Sawyer Ebola comes from bats, HIV from primates, and new strains of influenza from birds and pigs. With zoonotic diseases – those capable of transmission from animals to humans – grabbing headlines across the globe, understanding how...

Biofrontiers Institute scientist, Hang (Hubert) Yin’s, focus on the Epstein Barr virus is leading him to a greater understanding of how cancer invades cells. Photo courtesy: Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado Boulder

Stopping cancer's knock on the door

Dec. 6, 2011

Stopping cancer's knock on the door As a self-proclaimed “science nerd” in a Beijing high school, Hubert Yin considered biochemistry to be the ultimate in cool. It was the only science, he felt, that was capable of explaining what he thought was the most complex, most beautiful thing on earth–...