Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, over 115 million cases have been reported worldwide. Whole genome sequencing and global genomic data sharing is playing a pivotal role in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID & Genomics ONLINE is a 4-part webinar series that will share the very latest research and insights from leading experts covering key aspects of the pandemic; from mechanisms of cell entry and disease severity, through to how genomics data is shaping our response to the pandemic.
You will hear detailed, end-to-end analysis of the role of genomics in different aspects of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as lessons learned from some of the leading experts in the fight against SARS-CoV-2.
By signing up for the first webinar, you will receive access to the rest of the webinar series.
Webinar 1: Mechanisms of infection and the impact of genetics
Wednesday 14th April – 3pm BST / 4pm CEST / 10am EDT
Genomic surveillance has shaped our understanding of SARS-CoV-2. Comparative analysis with SARS-CoV has indicated that the two viruses use the same receptor binding domain, known as the ACE2 receptor.
This webinar will focus on global research that has evaluated the SARS-CoV-2 genome to understand the mechanisms of entry into host cells. We will also discuss how global data sharing has enabled us to identify variations in genes that could explain the differences seen between severity of infections in patients, which could facilitate better management of the disease in the future.
- ‘SARS-CoV-2 entry routes to the Central Nervous System in COVID-19’
- Helena Radbruch, Research Group Leader and Resident, Department of Neuropathology, Charité
- ‘Pathophysiology of COVID-19: mechanisms underlying disease severity and progression’
- Khosrow Adeli, Head and Professor, Clinical Biochemistry, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
- ‘Genetic variants that are associated with risk of COVID-19 related mortality’
- Heping Zhang, Professor of Statistics and Data Science, Yale School of Public Health
Webinar 2: COVID-19 variant detection and monitoring
Wednesday 21st April – 3pm BST / 4pm CEST / 10am EDT
SARS-CoV-2 is a large RNA virus with potential for genetic recombination, point mutation and limited replication error correction. Routine analysis of genetic sequence data enables researchers and public health bodies to identify and characterise variant viruses.
This webinar will focus on global research that interrogates the coronavirus genome to recognise and characterise emerging novel variants of the virus and their impact on transmission, susceptibility to treatments and whether our existing testing methods will be effective in the future.
- ‘Scaling up SARS-CoV-2 genomic analyses to facilitate global surveillance of variants of concern’
- Todd Treangen, Co-Lead, COVID-19 International Research Team (COV-IRT) and Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Rice University
- ‘Wastewater-based monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 infections in small and large populations’
- Carol Wilusz, Professor and Director Molecular Quantification Core, Colorado State University
- Susan De Long, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University
- ‘The importance of hybrid-capture technology to recognise and characterize emerging novel variants‘
- Rebecca Nugent, PhD, Senior Director of BioPharma Product Strategy, Twist Bioscience
Webinar 3: Vaccines and other therapeutic opportunities
Wednesday 28th April – 3pm BST / 4pm CEST / 10am EDT
This webinar will focus on how SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing data has enabled identification of vaccine targets for COVID-19, and whether AI drug discovery screening will uncover drug repurposing candidates for the development of future treatments. We will also discuss the importance of producing a low-cost scalable vaccine for global health.
- ‘COVID-19 asymptomatic infections, the NIH national serosurvey phase I results and what they tell us about risk factors and vaccines’
- Matthew Memoli, Director, LID Clinical Studies Unit, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- ‘Flexibility and mobility of possible SARS-CoV-2 drug targets’
- Rudolf Roemer, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Warwick
- ‘Structural design and genetic engineering of yeast-expressed recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins as COVID-19 vaccine candidates’
- Maria Elena Bottazzi, Associate Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, and Professor, Pediatrics & Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital
- ‘Single Cell Genomics: insights into COVID immunology’
- Stephen Hague, Senior Science and Technology Advisor, 10X Genomics
Webinar 4: COVID-19 data sharing
Wednesday 5th May – 3pm BST / 4pm CEST / 10am EDT
Traditionally, vaccine development has taken many years. The urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines and unprecedented global cooperation and data sharing has facilitated the development of vaccines in under a year.
We will discuss how researchers across the globe mobilised to share COVID genomic data, and whether the coronavirus pandemic has changed our perceptions of data sharing moving forward.
- ‘Changing the perception of data sharing in Canada: from superfluous commodity to strategic priority’
- Yann Joly, Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, and Chair, VirusSeq’s Ethics and Governance Working Group
- ‘Prioritising SARS-CoV-2 mutations and variants’
- Alessandro Carabelli, Postdoctoral Researcher, COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium
- ‘Data sharing in a time of pandemic’
- Rebecca Li, Executive Director, Vivli
This webinar series has been made possible due to the kind support of our partners Twist Bioscience and 10x Genomics.