Argon Steel

Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology
John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa
651 Ilalo Street, Bioscience Building 320
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

(Current location)
Duke-National University of Singapore
8 College Road, Singapore 169857
E-mail: argon@hawaii.edu

Personal Statement
I returned to academia after 20 years of working in the fields of forestry, environmental protection and consulting to non-governmental organizations on technical and human resource issues, work that I pursued across the U.S., Asia and Latin America. My motivation in returning was largely inspired by my interest in the growing problem of emerging infectious disease, particularly as a result of human impacts on the natural environment. My research since beginning graduate work has focused on the dengue virus but has ranged from investigation into the phylogenetic basis of dengue virulence, to understanding competition between mosquito vectors responsible for dengue transmission, to elucidating the comparative replication dynamics of dengue strains. I have a deep interest in global health and have been fortunate in being able to carry out dengue-related research in Thailand and Singapore for extended periods. My hope upon gaining my Ph.D. is to integrate my virological and entomological studies with my previous experience in ecology to come up with better solutions for managing and ameliorating the impacts of infectious disease.

Education
The Evergreen State College. 1986, B.S. – Plant Ecology
University of Florida Medical Entomological Lab. 2009 – Certificate in Advanced Mosquito Identification
University of Hawaii at Manoa.  2009, B.S. -  Microbiology
University of Hawaii at Manoa.  2011 – present, Ph.D. candidate – Tropical Medicine

Experience
2003-2006 – Lab Coordinator, Kapiolani Community College
2996-2007 – Teaching Assistant, Department of Microbiology, University of Hawaii
2007-2009 – Research Assistant, University of Hawaii
2008 – Associate, (IGERT) program, Mahidol University,Thailand
2009-2013 – Fellow, IGERT program, University of Hawaii
2012 -2013 – Visiting Researcher, Program in Emerging Infectious Disease, Duke-National University of Singapore, Singapore

Interests and Hobbies
I am a member of the American Societies for Virology (ASV), Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) and Microbiology (ASM). I served as representative from the Department of Tropical Medicine to the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) of the University of Hawaii, a campus group that provides funding to graduates for research and professional travel, from 2010 to 2012. My hobbies include playing guitar, mountain and sport climbing and traveling.

Selected Publications and Presentations
Steel A, Gubler DJ, Bennett SN. (2010). Natural attenuation of dengue virus type-2 after a series of island outbreaks: a retrospective phylogenetic study of events in the South Pacific three decades ago. Virology. 405, 505–512.