- Category Genomic Epidemiology
Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 genomes has emerged as the key technology for analyzing spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, including detection of variants of concern that may cause more rapid spread, more severe COVID-19 disease, or reduce vaccine efficacy. Over the past three years, I have invested a significant effort in helping the State of Alaska in their response to the pandemic through a collaboration led by Alaska INBRE called the Alaska SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing Consortium. During the past two years, I helped coauthor (Year 1) and lead (Year 2) the writing of NIH supplement proposals to provide funding for increasing our capacity to sequence SARS-CoV-2 specimens as well as provided support for research into the spread of variants of concern across urban and rural communities in Alaska. As a result of this funding, we have published two papers describing founder events of specific sublineages during the Alpha and Omicron waves (Haan et al., 2022; 2023). In addition to the sequencing work, I am working with colleagues on modeling COVID-19 disease dynamics in Alaska funded by NIH. I have joined a nationwide network of IDEA state researchers working on SARS-CoV-2 research. In addition to our long term research goals, every week, my lab analyzes current sequencing data and updates a dynamic web dashboard on Alaska SARS-CoV-2 variants that is linked directly to the Alaska Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard; this is used by the public in Alaska and is popular in the weekly COVID-19 informational sessions. This effort, in combination with other efforts including those by the lead investigators in this proposal, provides informed and accurate knowledge, awareness, and efficient communication of concerns about the COVID-19 situation in Alaska to the public.
- Haan, T. J., Smith, L. K., DeRonde, S., House, E., Zidek, J., Puhak, D., Mullen, L., Redlinger, M., Parker, J., Barnes, B. M., Burkhead, J. L., Knall, C., Bortz, E., Chen, J., & Drown, D. M. (2023). A Repeat Pattern of Founder Events for SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Alaska. Viruses, 15(1), 222. https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010222
- Haan, T. J., Smith, L. K., DeRonde, S., House, E., Zidek, J., Puhak, D., Redlinger, M., Parker, J., Barnes, B. M., Burkhead, J. L., Knall, C., Bortz, E., Chen, J., & Drown, D. M. (2022). Pattern of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.519 emergence in Alaska. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 20662. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-25373-1
- Eichelberger, L., Dev, S., Howe, T., Barnes, D. L., Bortz, E., Briggs, B. R., Cochran, P., Dotson, A. D., Drown, D. M., & Hahn, M. B. (2021). Implications of inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure for community spread of COVID-19 in remote Alaskan communities. Science of the Total Environment, 776, 145842. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145842