The Emergence of New mutations in SARS-CoV-2 and Their Implications
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 6 PM CET
The emergence of more transmissible, lethal, and immune-escape variants has been a defining feature of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic over recent months.
Katrina Lythgoe will discuss the emergence and spread of a growing number of variants of concern. Fundamentally, any new mutation, or combination of mutations, arises during an infection. She will describe their work on the within-host diversity and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and discuss the implications for their understanding of how new variants of concern arise and spread.
Tyler Starr will discuss a high-throughput experimental platform to predict the impacts of all possible mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD on key biochemical traits such as virus binding to cell receptors and antibody escape. For example, last summer this approach already showed that the N501Y mutation exhibited concerning traits, before this mutation became a key part of highly transmissible variants responsible for the fall and winter waves. This platform also enables the tailoring and design of antibody therapeutics in light of local surveillance of viral variation.
Co-hosted with The Big Data Institute at
The University of Oxford
Meet the Speakers
Tyler is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Jesse Bloom at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Tyler studies the molecular evolution of proteins in viruses and immunity. Over the last year, he developed an experimental “deep mutational... scanning” platform to comprehensively map the biochemical impacts of mutations in a key domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These maps enable rapid evaluation of the potential phenotypic consequences for newly observed SARS-CoV-2 variants, and are being used to evaluate and design antibody and vaccine therapeutics. Read more
Katrina is a Group Leader and Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the University of Oxford. She studies the evolution and epidemiology of viruses, and up until a year ago she mainly focussed on viruses causing long-term infections, like HIV, hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis B virus. Over the ...last year, she has also been working on SARS-CoV-2, including developing epidemiological models forecasting its spread, and looking at the genetic diversity of the virus within individuals, and how much of this diversity is transmitted between individuals. Read more
Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs
Joanna Masel, PhD
Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona
Luca Ferretti, PhD
Senior Researcher in Statistical Genetics and Pathogen DynamicsBig Data Institute, The University of Oxford
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