HIPS Talk online: “Genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Russia”

Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at 15:00 CEST s.t. via YouTube

Prof. Dr. Yegor Bazykin (Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia) will give a presentation entitled
“Genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Russia”

When?: Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 15:00 CEST
Where?: via YouTube: https://hips.saarland/youtube
Host: Prof. Dr. Olga Kalinina

Guests are welcome!

SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly across the globe, with most nations failing to prevent or substantially delay its introduction. While many countries have imposed some limitations on transborder passenger traffic, the effect of these measures on the spread of COVID-19 strains remains unclear. We analyzed the results of whole-genome sequencing of several thousand SARS-CoV-2 samples from 78 regions of Russia. Combining phylogeographic analysis with travel history data, we estimate that early viral diversity has originated from over 67 closely timed introductions into Russia, mostly in late February to early March 2020. All but one of these introductions came from non-Chinese sources, suggesting that border closure with China has helped delay establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in Russia. Furthermore, we detected recurring imports of multiple COVID-19 strains later in the year, giving rise to hundreds of distinct lineages corresponding to domestic transmission in Russia by November 2020, as well as repeated cross-border transmissions of local circulating variants out of Russia. A notable transmission cluster corresponded to a nosocomial outbreak at the Vreden hospital in Saint Petersburg; phylodynamic analysis of this cluster revealed multiple introductions each giving rise to a large number of cases, with a rapid initial spread.

Research interests
I am interested in biological evolution at different levels. I mainly focus on disentangling the roles of natural selection and non-selective processes in evolution of genotypes, and on clarifying how genetic interactions shape the patterns of evolution and variation. I use comparative genomics and bioinformatics to investigate different aspects of sequence evolution, and theoretical analyses to interpret the observed patterns. I am particularly interested in evolution of immune system avoidance and drug resistance in pathogens, and in applications of evolutionary reasoning to medical genetics.

Academic positions
Full Professor
, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia, 2020–present (Assistant Professor, 2016–2018; Associate Professor, 2018-2020)
Head of Laboratory of Molecular Evolution, Kharkevitch Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, 2007–present
Senior lecturer, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, 2008–present
Leading researcher, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, 2011–2017
Short-term scholar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008 (3 months), 2009 (2 months)

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