Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home Belfer Research Building Faculty Weigang Qiu, Ph.D.

Weigang Qiu, Ph.D.


Weigang Qui

I am an evolutionary and computational biologist interested in microbial population genomics and evolution. My primary research system is Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium causing Lyme disease bacteria. The Lyme pathogen and its related bacteria have the most complex prokaryotic genome know to date, a so-called multi-partite genome comprising of a linear main chromosome and dozens of circular and linear plasmids (Schwartz, Margos, Casjens, Qiu and Eggers. 2021).

As an obligate parasite alternating between two distinct host environments (the tick and vertebrate environments), Borrelia is an emerging model for understanding genomic, epi-genomic, and evolutionary mechanisms of adaptive plasticity. My lab is a member of the Lyme Genome Sequencing Consortium, consisting of Lyme researchers across the globe with the shared goal of sequencing the complete genomes of all major species and strains in the B. burgdorferi species group.

In parallel with technological advances in DNA sequencing and computing, research approaches in my lab have evolved from using single genes, to multilocus genotyping, to whole-genome comparisons, and to simulation-based understanding of genome-evolution mechanisms. Since 2018, we have begun to translate our decades-long understandings of arm-race evolution between Borrelia strains and host immunity into the design of broad-spectrum vaccine candidates against multiple B. burgdorferi strains (see a blog post on the Nature Microbiology Portfolio). The vaccine development project is in collaboration with the lab of Professor Maria Gomes-Solecki of UTHSC.

In software tools development, we are a member of BioPerl Consortium and developers of the BpWrapper (, a set of BioPerl-based utilities to manipulate sequences, alignments, and phylogenetic trees on the UNIX/Linux command line. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed a Python-based simulator of SARS-CoV-2 genome evolution ( We collaborate widely with colleagues at Belfer, Hunter, CUNY, and neighboring institutions with our expertise in bioinformatics, statistics, and evolution.

In curricular and workforce development, I coordinate and work with Hunter colleagues for the Quantitative Biology (QuBi) curricular project in Hunter College, which has created four undergraduate bioinformatics concentration at Hunter College by integrating biology and chemistry programs with computer science, mathematics, and statistics programs. My lab has hosted (and benefited from the passionate participation of) numerous students and trainees at undergraduate, post-graduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels. The goal of training in the Qiu lab is for students and trainees to become evolutionary, algorithmic, and probabilistic thinkers. 


NCBI Bibliography
Google Scholar:


Dr. Weigang Qiu
Belfer Research Building
413 E 69th St, New York, NY
Office: BB-402


Document Actions
Belfer Research Building website feedback:
Belfer Research Building Administrative Coordinator
email us
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065