Photo of Eugene Koonin's Research Group

Eugene V. Koonin

NIH Distinguished Investigator
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bldg. 38A, Room 5N503
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894, USA
Tel: (301) 435-5913

Principal Research Interests

  1. Comparative and evolutionary genomics: comparison of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes with the aim of predicting gene functions, constructing evolutionary scenarios for particular gene families and functional categories, and deciphering general evolutionary trends. An evolutionary phenomenon we are particularly interested in is horizontal gene transfer between diverse organisms. One of the important outcomes of research in this area is the system of Clusters of Orthologous Genes (COGs).

  2. Discovery of new viruses in metagenomes and metatranscriptomes.

  3. Evolution of the virosphere and hierarchical taxonomy of viruses.

  4. Virus-host coevolution and evolution of antivirus defense systems in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

  5. Microevolution of pathogenic viruses, in particular, during epidemics, including COVID-19.

  6. Evolutionary regimes of human cancers,

  7. Exploitation of genome comparisons, particularly, those between relatively close genomes, for addressing fundamental issues of evolutionary biology such as the nature and intensity of adaptation and selection in different categories of genes and different organismal lineages.

  8. General physical principles of evolution; origin and evolution of complexity; evolution as learning; thermodynamics of evolution.