Dr. Sevinsky has leveraged over two decades of experience in systems biology and taken aim at transforming public health and infectious disease surveillance through innovative implementation of NGS and bioinformatics technologies. During a three year tenure at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, he led several initiatives to build NGS testing and bioinformatics capacity at the state, regional and national levels. In 2019 Dr. Sevinsky’s ambitions to impact public health exceeded his role as a government scientist, resulting in the formation of Theiagen Genomics. Dr. Sevinsky and his team now work with over four dozen public health laboratories nationally, and more than a dozen internationally in Africa and Asia. Prior to his time in public health, Dr. Sevinsky held several positions in non-profit and industry, working in applied technologies for diverse applications such as biomarker identification and biofuel/biochemical production.
Large-scale genomic sequencing efforts are of ever-increasing importance especially in the context of early pathogen detection, disease outbreak prevention, and establishing a predictive and efficient public health response. Rapid generation and access to genomic sequence data for viruses and other pathogens, which could cause a pandemic or serious outbreak, enables the tracking of variants and emerging pathogens (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, influenza, enterovirus D68, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, etc.), and thus the expedient development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics essential to supporting public health responses. This very important subject will be the focus of this session.