Informatics for Genomics-informed Surveillance of RNA Viruses

November 13, 2019 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET

The 2019 National Library of Medicine (NLM) Informatics and Data Science Lecture Series presents "Informatics for Genomics-informed Surveillance of RNA Viruses."

Dr. Matthew Scotch will discuss how genomics-informed surveillance is now recognized as an important extension to the monitoring of rapidly evolving pathogens. Next generation sequencing has the ability to produce large amounts of data for tracking viruses of public health importance. Biomedical informatics approaches are able to facilitate the translation of these data into information for public health surveillance. Thus, epidemiologists can identify new outbreaks or monitor the course of a known epidemic by leveraging pathogen sequences (and corresponding metadata) generated from the clinical specimens of sick patients. In this presentation, Dr. Scotch will examine NLM-funded projects related to the development and evaluation of a surveillance system that uses virus sequences to study the evolution, spread, and population size of viruses across geographic areas. This includes the development of a pipeline for virus phylogeography and spread and its utilization as part of a newly funded project on metagenomics of wastewater for outbreak detection and epidemic monitoring, including seasonal influenza. This work aims to highlight the value of using biomedical informatics to translate viral genetic data into valuable information for the surveillance of both known and novel viruses.

Matthew Scotch, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Matthew Scotch is associate professor of biomedical informatics at Arizona State University (ASU). He is also assistant director of ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering. His work lies at the intersection of bioinformatics and public health informatics and focuses on the theory and application of genomics-informed public health surveillance of RNA viruses. Dr. Scotch has a particular interest in human and avian influenza. He has published extensively on this work including in journals such as: Molecular Biology and Evolution, PLoS Computational Biology, Viruses, Virus Evolution, and Bioinformatics. Dr. Scotch is a council member for the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases, an Editor for Infection, Genetics, and Evolution, and other scientific reports. He is a frequent reviewer on NIH study sections, a member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) since the early 2000’s, and a former Chair of the AMIA Public Health Informatics Working Group.

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