NYGC Scientists Discuss Omicron Variant, Importance of Ongoing COVID-19 Sequencing Surveillance with the Associated Press and Newsy TV
NEW YORK, NY (December 6, 2021) — Ongoing SARS-CoV-2 viral sequencing surveillance efforts, such as those being conducted at the New York Genome Center (NYGC), will be critical to tracking the arising Omicron variant and assessing its impact on public health.
That was the key perspective that NYGC scientists Michael Zody, PhD, Scientific Director of Computational Biology, and Soren Germer, PhD, Senior Vice President, Genome Technologies, provided to reporter Haley Bull for in a wide-ranging interview, excerpts of which were highlighted today in an Associated Press story and Newsy TV live broadcast. [NYGC interviews and footage of NYGC labs begin at 3:25 of the broadcast.]
“If we didn’t have these surveillance efforts, we likely still wouldn’t have recognized that anything had changed and wouldn’t be in the position of having this discussion now,” Dr. Zody noted. Watch the full interview with Drs. Zody and Germer here.
NYGC’s collaborative SARS-CoV-2 viral surveillance initiatives include the sequencing/data sharing activities of the COVID-19 Genomics Research Network (CGRN), the multi-disciplinary research consortium formed by NYGC Evnin Family Scientific Director and CEO Tom Maniatis, PhD, in March 2020. This partnership includes hospitals and academic centers in the New York/New Jersey region sending biospecimen samples from COVID-19 patients to the NYGC’s Research Sequencing Laboratory for sequencing and analysis. This data, de-identified to protect personal health information of patients, is returned to the partner institution, shared with city and state agencies, and uploaded to open-source research community databases.
For more information on the CGRN and the NYGC’s COVID-19 genomics research, go to: https://www.nygenome.org/research-areas/covid-19-genomics/.