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Medical Research Seminar: The Emergence and Ongoing Evolution of COVID-19
September 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Professor Edward Holmes
University of Sydney
About the Talk: In this seminar I will outline our current understanding of the key events in the initial emergence of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) at the end of 2019, focusing on how new genomic tools, particularly metagenomic next-generation sequencing, enabled the rapid identification of the virus within hours of sample collection. I will also discuss our current understanding of the possible zoonotic reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2 and the ongoing risks faced by human populations. I will then discuss the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in human populations and the range of genetic variants (including the ‘variants of concern’) that are currently emerging in various countries and speculate on what might be driving their appearance. I will conclude by considering the steps that can be taken to stop such a catastrophic pandemic event ever happening again.
About the Speaker: Eddie Holmes is an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Sydney, which he joined in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of London (1986) and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (1990). He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in 2015 and of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017. In 2020 he won the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering.
Read about Professor Edward Holmes’ work here.