SEP 18, 2019 9:00 AM PDT

Virus Hunters

  • Principal Scientist - Infectious Disease Research - Abbott Diagnostics
      is a Principal Scientist in Infectious Disease Research at Abbott Diagnostics (ADD). His responsibilities include implementing next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technology into Abbott's Global HIV Surveillance and New Virus Discovery workflows. By monitoring the sequence diversity in current epidemics and using metagenomic screening to anticipate the next, these programs form the scientific foundation upon which Abbott Diagnostics and Abbott Molecular assays are built. Michael received his
      Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD and completed his postdoctoral training at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He joined Abbott in 2013 and currently focuses on mining divergent viral sequences from patient samples with diseases of unknown origin.


    DATE: September 18, 2019 

    TIME:  9:00am PDT, 12:00pm EDT

    Due to globalization, changes in the environment and climate, and the encroach- ment of humans into natural habitats, recent outbreaks of clinical and public health significance such as MERS, SARS, and Ebola have been caused by virus-es emerging from animal reservoirs. Abbott’s Virus Discovery Program seeks to anticipate the next epidemic and quickly fill the need for accurate diagnosis. Using a metagenomics approach, leveraging unbiased next-generation sequencing with robust bioinformatics, we can now catalog all known pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) in a specimen and predict the presence of highly divergent viruses, otherwise undetectable with conventional molecular methods. Patients presenting with idiopathic febrile illness, tropical disease symptoms, meningitis, non A-E hepatitis, respiratory disease, gastroenteritis, and other acute and chronic conditions of suspected microbial origin are selected for evaluation. Michael will highlight several recent findings and touch upon the cutting-edge methods devel- oped and capacity built at Abbott to undertake this research. The Virus Discovery program, together with Abbott’s global presence and numerous collaborations with academia, medical centers, and blood banks, uniquely positions it to lead the way in infectious disease diagnostics.


    Learning Objectives:

    • Appreciate the extent of undiagnosed infections and the role unbiased metagenomic sequencing can play in providing answers

    • Understand the importance of method sensitivity, controls, and bioinformatics to arrive at sound conclusions and new discoveries

    • Explore the utility of target enrichment strategies for identifying previously reported viruses and additional sequencing-independent approaches for screening specimens

    • Learn how your institution can partner with Abbott and advance diagnostics together


    Webinars will be available for unlimited on-demand viewing after live event.

    LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this webinar, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit once you have viewed the webinar in its entirety.

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    Virus Hunters


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    Molecular Biology


    Infectious Disease


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