Crystal Hepp

Crystal Hepp Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Pathogen and Microbiome Division

Crystal Hepp Ph.D.

Dr. Crystal Hepp has a background in evolutionary biology and genomics, and her lab focuses heavily on using environmental surveillance of pathogens, especially viruses, to understand their spread over time and space. Her Ph.D. studies were conducted at Arizona State University, where she primarily worked on evolutionary comparisons of Human Immunodeficiency Virus to better characterize spread into the Americas. Her postdoctoral research was conducted at Northern Arizona University, and she was involved in intra-patient studies of Burkholderia pseudomallei, where genomic analyses indicated that an ongoing long-term infection resulted in adaptation of the pathogen to the human host, primarily through gene loss. She joined the NAU faculty body in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems and the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute as an Assistant Professor, and later an Associate Professor with tenure, where her surveillance-based studies were again focused on RNA viruses that can be tracked in the environment for human outbreak mitigation strategies. At TGen North, she continues her work on several projects including West Nile and other arbovirus spread in the southwestern United States and wastewater-based epidemiology.

Flagstaff Wastewater Surveillance Dashboard. Pathogen Intelligence Center, Jun 2022.

Pan-Enterovirus Characterization Reveals Cryptic Circulation of Clinically Relevant Subtypes in Arizona Wastewater. Erickson DE, Simmons KM, Barrand ZA, Ridenour CL, Hawkinson PB, ..., Rivas AN, Sheridan K, Lemmer D, Yaglom HD, Porter WT, ..., Driebe EM, Caporaso JG, ..., Engelthaler DM, Hepp CM. medRxiv, Nov 2023,

Lyssa excreta: Defining parameters for fecal samples as a rabies virus surveillance method. Walker FM, ..., Erickson D, Barrand ZA, Brock B, Valentine M, ..., Engelthaler DM, Hepp CM. bioRxiv, Jun 2023,

West Nile Virus Spread in the Southwestern United States. Ridenour C, Hepp C. Nextstrain, Sep 2021.

St. Louis Encephalitis Virus in the Southwestern United States: A Phylogeographic Case for a Multi-Variant Introduction Event. Ridenour CL, ..., Erickson D, Brock B, Valentine M, ..., Sheridan K, Centner H, Lemmer D, ..., Keim PS, Engelthaler DM, Hepp CM. Frontiers in Genetics, Jun 2021, 12:667895.

An Early Pandemic Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Population Structure and Dynamics in Arizona. Ladner JT, ..., Bowers JR, Hepp CM, ..., Folkerts M, Sheridan K, ..., Yaglom H, Lemmer D, ..., Caporaso JG, Engelthaler DM, ..., Keim P. mBio, Sep 2020, 11(5):e02107-20.

Phylogenetic analysis of West Nile Virus in Maricopa County, Arizona: Evidence for dynamic behavior of strains in two major lineages in the American Southwest. Hepp CM, ..., Valentine M, ..., Sheridan K, ..., Erickson DE, ..., Keim PS, Engelthaler DM. PLoS One, Nov 2018, 13(11):e0205801.

Back To Top