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

SPT - 2021 Jun Video


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 headshot

Tyler Starr

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... Read more

katrina headshot

Katrina Lythgoe

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 ... 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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