COVID-19: Viral Genomes and Zoonotic Spillover

Online FREE Workshop on Viral Genomics
April 17, 2020, 10 a.m. CST

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The current outbreak of COVID-19 is compared to coronaviruses that have been detected in animals or past cases with much milder symptoms and a smaller number of reported infections. But how can we use bioinformatics and genomics to study this disease and understand its origins? How can we know whether it is different from other similar strains and even learn about its pathogenesis? What does bioinformatics reveal about changes in the viral protein function inside the human body?

In this free workshop, we will learn about the novel coronavirus genomics and understand how genomic data analysis tools can help identify specific viral strains, understand multiple sequence alignment, phylogenetic analysis and the significance of mutations in the context of viral protein structure and function. 

COVID-19 is an epidemic caused by a single strand RNA virus that is hypothesized to have come from bats or other animals (i.e. pangolins). The variable data collected from both animals, humans in various locations and at different times includes genomic data, clinical data, and many other types of structured and unstructured data. Data mining is being used to find patterns, associations and even train predictive models that can help reveal important changes in viral genomes, help us understand why the virus is so deadly and infectious, as well as study the structure and function of viral proteins to understand how we can design effective interventions. For any questions, feel free to reach out to us via email at

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