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Epidemiological investigations using pathogen genomic data (or genomic epidemiology) is being pioneered by microbiological laboratories worldwide, and is recognized as a critical part of tackling the global threats of antibiotic resistance and outbreaks of both known and emerging pathogens. With the decreased cost and increased capacity in DNA sequencing, it is likely that within a few years genomic sequencing will be embedded in many public health and frontline microbiological laboratories as a microbial typing and characterization method. However, data processing and bioinformatics analysis of genomic data, interpretation of the results, and data integration and data sharing within and between health agencies remain challenging.
Canada’s Integrated Rapid Infectious Disease Analysis (IRIDA) platform is a national initiative to address these challenges. This talk will present some recent studies and focus on identifying the gaps and opportunities to implement genomic epidemiology in public health settings.
Presenter: Dr. William Hsiao
Dr. William Hsiao is Lead Bioinformatician, BCCDC Public Health Laboratory, and a Clinical Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC. He is currently, as part of a national collaborative effort, developing a bioinformatics platform and associated tools to use whole genome and metagenome sequencing to facilitate public health infectious disease surveillance and outbreak investigations. He is also interested in applying semantic web technologies to improve data integration in public health and clinical microbiology. His research is funded by Genome Canada, Genome BC, Compute Canada, and Ministry of Agriculture and Land, BC.
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