Distinguished Speaker Series: Koret-Berkeley-Tel Aviv-Initiative in Computational Biology: COVID19 seminars

Prof. Joseph Lewnard, School of Public Health and Center for Computational Biology, University of California, Berkeley

07 July 2020, 20:00 
Distinguished Speaker Series

Koret-Berkeley-Tel Aviv-Initiative in Computational Biology: COVID19 seminars


Please join us Tuesday, 7 July 2020 at 8-9pm Israel time (10-11am PT)


Webinar link: https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/95769042863?pwd=OWx3NkxCM0N0ck1sSUU0V2NvME1wZz09
Password: 531019


Koret-Berkeley-Tel Aviv-Initiative in Computational Biology presents two seminars on studies of COVID-19 spread. This is a joint seminar series between University of California, Berkeley and Tel Aviv University.


08:00 pm Israel time: Adi Stern, Principal Investigator (10:00 am PT)

School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology

George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, 

Tel Aviv University


"Full genome viral sequences inform patterns of SARS-CoV-2 spread into and within Israel"


Full genome sequences are increasingly used to track the geographic spread and transmission dynamics of viral pathogens. Here, with a focus on Israel, we sequenced 212 SARS-CoV-2 sequences and use them to perform a comprehensive analysis to trace the origins and spread of the virus. We found that returning travelers from the U.S. contributed dramatically more to viral spread relative to their proportion in incoming infected travelers. Using phylodynamic analysis, we estimated that the basic reproduction number of the virus was initially around 2.5, dropping by more than two-thirds following the implementation of social distancing measures. We further found high levels of transmission heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2 spread, with between 2-10% of infected individuals resulting in 80% of secondary infections. Overall, our findings demonstrate the effectiveness of social distancing measures for reducing viral spread.


08:30 pm Israel time: Joseph Lewnard, Assistant Professor (10:30 am PT)

School of Public Health and

Center for Computational Biology

University of California, Berkeley


"Transmission dynamics of COVID-19: observations from the United States and India"


Recent experience in China, Europe, and the United States demonstrates the threat posed by COVID-19 to public health and healthcare systems in high-income settings. Little is known about the threat posed by COVID-19 in low-resource settings where populations encounter prevalent overcrowding and healthcare capacity is limited. I will review the epidemiology of severe COVID-19 within a cohort of 9 million individuals in California and Washington State receiving healthcare from Kaiser Permanente during the first epidemic wave. I will then present data from comprehensive surveillance and contact-tracing studies from two states in South India, highlighting differences from the experience of high-income settings.


Webinar link: https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/95769042863?pwd=OWx3NkxCM0N0ck1sSUU0V2NvME1wZz09
Password: 531019



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