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Dec - Natalie Prystajecky

Speaker: Natalie Prystajecky

Talk Title: Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 as a tool for pandemic response

Event Details


Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 11:00am ~ 12:30 pm (Pacific Time)


Virtually on Zoom at: here

Affiliation: Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC


Dr. Natalie Prystajecky received her PhD in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010 and has been with the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory since 2011. At the BCCDC PHL, she oversees two laboratories: Environmental Microbiology, focusing on foodborne and waterborne illness, and the Molecular and Microbial Genomics laboratory, an R&D program focused on molecular/genomic test development and deployment. Through her leadership in these two programs, she uses emerging technologies such as genomics to improve routine surveillance and outbreak investigations. Dr. Prystajecky is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are broad, ranging from development of new water quality tests using metagenomics, to targeted resequencing of wetland sediments to study the emergence of avian influenza strains to whole genome sequencing of COVID-19. She is keen to promote the translation of research methods to routine testing in diagnostic and reference laboratories.


Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 genome has been a critical part of the pandemic. Early release of the viral genome sequence allowed laboratories around the world to rapidly respond and develop diagnostic tests. Since then, there has been a tremendous sequencing effort around the world, with over 245K SARS-CoV-2 genomes submitted to GISAID. BCCDC PHL, with partners at UBC, has been sequencing the virus since February. In this talk, I will share details of the sequencing and analysis approaches, along with the ways in which the data is being used for public health purposes.