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APR 14, 2021 1:30 PM PDT

Molecular Testing for the Detection and Strain Identification of SARS-CoV-2

Speaker
  • Director R&D, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Genetic Testing Solutions
    Biography

      Manohar Furtado is a Director for R & D at Thermo Fisher Scientific. He has been working in the Life Sciences & Clinical Diagnostics for over 25 years. He has a PhD in Biology from the University of Poona and a Business Certification from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Dr. Furtado worked as an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases & Pathology, the Director for Biotechnology, and the CLIA lab Director. He was with Applied Biosystems and Life Technologies in R & D for 13 years. He was on the National Biodefense Science Board at DHHS to implement bio surveillance policies. He has been involved in discovery research, clinical diagnostic testing, product development and commercialization, M & A activity with key acquisitions, fund raising and in defining strategy. He has been the recipient of several grants from funding agencies, has over 90 publications, and has presented at over 200 conferences on various topics related to human health and safety.


    Abstract

    This presentation will focus on strategies for the design and validation of robust assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, including nucleic acid extraction, multiplexed qPCR assays, and interpretive software solutions. We will also present on strategies and methods for surveillance, strain identification, and detection of key mutations that result in new and more infectious strains. Viral mutations can result in variants that are not detected, escape immune responses mounted by vaccines, and also generate drug resistance. RNA viruses have a higher degree of variance and are prone to mutate in response to vaccines and antiviral drugs. Constant surveillance and detection of mutations and variant strains is important to contain pandemics and to deploy new vaccines and antiviral drugs.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn how testing and detection is important to lower transmission rates and contain pandemics

    2. Understand how mutations emerge

    3. Learn about the effect of mutations on detection assays


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