Public Lecture

Advanced technologies underpinning Victoria’s COVID wastewater monitoring program

Associate Professor Aaron Jex, WEHI

To engage other disciplines and the wider community with the mathematical sciences, a FREE online public lecture will be held on Wednesday evening as part of the AMSI BioInfoSummer 2021 program. Aimed at Year 10 students and above, this lecture is accessible to a non-technical audience.

Date: Wednesday 1 December

Time: 3.00-4.15pm AWST / 5.00-6.15pm AEST / 5.30-6.45pm ACDT / 6.00-7.15pm AEDT

Link: The Zoom link will be sent to registrants 24 hours prior to the lecture

AMSI BioInfoSummer 2021 registrants do not need to complete this form. The Public Lecture is included in your conference registration.

Advanced technologies underpinning Victoria’s COVID wastewater monitoring program

Wastewater testing for SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as a key component of COVID control programs around the world. My team has played an important and on-going role in the development of these programs in Australia, with a specific focus on Victoria. In this seminar, I will introduce some of the critical ways in which computation biology is assisting global COVID control programs. I will discuss how advanced technologies, including computation biology and bioinformatics, have been used in wastewater testing programs in Victoria and how these methods are being developed to detect high-risk SARS-CoV-2 variants as they emerge and help track their transmission in the community.

Associate Professor Aaron Jex

Laboratory Head, WEHI

A/Prof Aaron Jex leads an infectious disease research laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He has worked with the Victorian water industry for more than 15 years, with a focus on molecular-based diagnostics and systems biology based studies of CryptosporidiumGiardia, harmful algae and SARS-CoV-2. A/Prof Jex has played a key role in the Victorian ColoSSoS program through the evaluation of PCR-based diagnostics, development of novel tools to verify positive test results, and implementation of the program. A/Prof Jex’s team are now developing methods to support wastewater-based detection of high-risk SARS-CoV-2 variants and whole genomic sequencing methods to assist community tracing.