Nov. 6: Update on the pathogenesis and spread of COVID-19 in Alaska: from genomics to vaccines
by UAA Biological Sciences |
Update on the pathogenesis and spread of COVID-19 in Alaska: from genomics to vaccines
Presented by Eric Bortz, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences at UAA
Nov. 6 at 3:30 p.m.
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COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease with complex immunological and physiological manifestations, with high impact in aged and vulnerable populations with underlying conditions. COVID-19 is a global pandemic with almost 8 million confirmed cases and 216,025 deaths in the US (CDC), and 10,323 cases, 348 hospitalizations, and 65 deaths in Alaska. My research group at UAA studies emerging viruses. In collaboration with researchers at UAA, UAF and the Alaska Public Health Laboratory, we have deployed next-generation sequencing technologies to track the genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) coronavirus. We identified multiple independent introduction and spreading events of SARS-CoV-2 into Alaska from March-October, 2020, and also detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA environmental signals in wastewater in both large and small isolated communities in Alaska. Understanding virus prevalence and genome variation can contribute to rapid diagnostics, understanding viral pathogenicity, and development of vaccines.
Due to the nature of the subject, we are expecting a high volume of seminar participants and have made this a Zoom webinar, and registration is required.