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SEP 17, 2020 11:00 AM PDT

Host and Viral Transcriptomes During COVID-19 Infection

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Associate Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction
    Biography
      Dr. Christopher Mason is an Associate Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction, as well as an affiliate of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Rockefeller University, Harvard Medical School, and Yale Law School. The Mason laboratory develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and physiology. We create and deploy novel techniques in next-generation sequencing and algorithms for: tumor evolution, genome evolution, DNA and RNA modifications, and genome/epigenome engineering. We also work closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards for these methods (SEQC2, IMMSA, and Epigenomics QC groups), to ensure clinical-quality genome measurements and editing. We also work with NASA to build integrated molecular portraits of genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, and metagenomes for astronauts, which help establish the molecular foundations and genetic defenses for enabling long-term human spaceflight. He has won the NIH's Transformative R01 Award, the NASA Group Achievement Award, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Young Investigator award, the Hirschl-Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, the Vallee Scholar Award, the CDC Honor Award for Standardization of Clinical Testing, and the WorldQuant Foundation Scholar Award. He was named as one of the "Brilliant Ten" Scientists by Popular Science, featured as a TEDMED speaker, and called "The Genius of Genetics" by 92Y. He has >200 peer-reviewed papers and scholarly works that have been featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Microbiology, and Neuron, as well as legal briefs cited by the U.S. District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. Coverage of his work has also appeared on the covers of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME, The LA Times, and across many media (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, PBS, NASA, NatGeo). He is an inventor on four patents, co-founded five biotechnology start-up companies, and serves as an advisor to many others. He lives with his daughter and wife in Brooklyn, NY.

    Abstract

    In less than nine months, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has killed hundreds of thousands of people, including >23,000 in New York City (NYC) alone. The pandemic’s sudden emergence highlights clinical needs to detect infection, track strain evolution, and identify biomarkers of disease course. To address these challenges, we designed a fast (30-minute) colorimetric test (LAMP) for SARS-CoV-2 infection from naso/oropharyngeal swabs and a large-scale shotgun metatranscriptomics platform (total-RNA-seq) for host, viral, and microbial profiling. We applied these methods to clinical specimens gathered from 669 patients in New York City during the first two months of the outbreak, yielding a broad molecular portrait of the emerging COVID-19 disease. We find significant enrichment of a NYC-distinctive clade of the virus (20C), as well as host responses in interferon, ACE, hematological, and olfaction pathways. In addition, clinical data from 50,821 patients shows evidence of a protective impact of patients taking ACE inhibitors, which is distinct from other drugs. Finally, spatial transcriptomic data from COVID-19 patient autopsy tissues reveal distinct ACE2 expression loci, with macrophage and neutrophil infiltration in the lungs. These findings can inform public health and may help develop and drive new SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic, prevention, and treatment strategies.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. List several ways to profile the SARS-CoV-2 virus'

    2. Describe the host and viral responses from infection for SARS-CoV-2


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