Searching for the Origin of Covid-19 (Video Available)

Speaker: Alina Chan, at the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard University

Date: November 15, 2021 at 4:00PM - 5:30PM

In May 2020, I co-authored a preprint that asked whether SARS-CoV-2 might have emerged naturally or from a lab. The preprint propelled me into an unpredictable year-and-a-half journey of searching for the origin of Covid-19. In May 2021, I agreed to write down what I had learnt in a book that will be released on November 16, VIRAL: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19.

In this Landmark talk, I will discuss the role of scientists in the investigation of how SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan in late 2019. I will also describe the available data relevant to the origin of Covid-19, and how scientists can and must play an important role in what is possibly the most important mystery of our generation. This virus will be with us forever. We need to know where it came from.

Dr. Alina Chan is a postdoctoral researcher with a background in medical genetics, synthetic biology, and vector engineering. At the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, Dr. Chan is currently creating next generation vectors for human gene therapy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Chan began to investigate problems relevant to finding the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and in parallel spearheaded the development of the COVID-19 CoV Genetics (covidcg.org) browser for scientists worldwide to rapidly track virus lineages and mutations by locations and date ranges of interest. Dr. Chan is the author of Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19.


Publications

Nelson LF, Weitzman ER, Levy S. Prevention of Substance Use Disorders. The Medical clinics of North America 2022.

Kristensen NP, Heeke C, Tvingsholm SA, Borch A, Draghi A, Crowther MD, Carri I, Munk KK, Holm JS, Bjerregaard AM, Bentzen AK, Marquard AM, Szallasi Z, McGranahan N, Andersen R, Nielsen M, Jönsson GB, Donia M, Svane IM, Hadrup SR. Neoantigen-reactive CD8+ T cells affect clinical outcome of adoptive transfer with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in melanoma. The Journal of clinical investigation 2021.

Perlis RH, Green J, Simonson M, Ognyanova K, Santillana M, Lin J, Quintana A, Chwe H, Druckman J, Lazer D, Baum MA, Della Volpe J. Association Between Social Media Use and Self-reported Symptoms of Depression in US Adults. JAMA network open 2021.

Kossowsky J, Weitzman ER. Instrumental Substance Use Among Youth with Rheumatic Disease-A Biopsychosocial Model. Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America 2022.

Taxter AJ, Natter MD. Using the Electronic Health Record to Enhance Care in Pediatric Rheumatology. Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America 2022.