“It was a great way to share my knowledge to something that could contribute to a better world”: speaking with COG-Train course’s Organisers
COG-Train delivered the Viral Genomics and Bioinformatics Virtual Course for scientists based in Asia, between 22-26 August 2022, in collaboration with the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Savitribai Phule Pune University and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. The course taught participants fundamental viral bioinformatic techniques including the analysis of viral genome sequences and interpreting genomic data, with an emphasis on SARS-CoV-2 genomics.
“The pandemic allowed me to build a network that I had always dreamed of”: In conversation with Professor Mariana Viegas
During the peak of the pandemic Professor Mariana Viegas (Professor of Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina), saw an opportunity to brainstorm, create and coordinate the Argentine Consortium for SARS-CoV-2 Genomics (PAIS project). She spoke to our Communications Coordinator, Dr Laia Delgado Callico, at our penultimate Women in COG event of the year.
“There are so many lessons from the pandemic”: Hear from global experts on why strengthening genomic surveillance approaches is critical for the future
A key lesson resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of strong and agile genomic surveillance capabilities globally, to be able to react at pace to public health threats. Global experts share their personal learnings from the pandemic, and explain why tools and resources to strengthen genomic surveillance approaches are so important.
Providing equitable genomic training globally: A recap from the Asia Pacific Advanced Network Workshop
In collaboration with Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS), the COG-Train programme organised the “Equity in training and capacity building for genomics and global health” workshop, which was held as part of the 54th Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN54) meeting. The workshop highlighted the importance of training in genomics and discussed the myriad of challenges that arise from catering to a global audience, especially during a pandemic. It also pointed out steps that can be taken to help overcome these hurdles.
COG-Train is an international educational initiative providing open-access learning in SARS-CoV-2 genomics. We spoke to Tracey Calvert-Joshua, an educator who took part in the third COG-Train online course.
“We kept learners engaged in a virtual setting” – Our COG-Train educators tell us about their experience
COG-Train provides open-access learning in SARS-CoV-2 genomics and is facilitating an increase in global genome sequencing and analysis capacity, reducing sequencing inequality, and helping to enhance pathogen surveillance. With two successful course launches, and an upcoming one, supporting over 4,000 learners to date, we spoke to some of the COG-Train educators and contributors to learn more about their experience, and the challenges they overcame in developing the course content.
Launch of our third COG-Train online course “Making sense of genomic data: COVID-19 web-based bioinformatics”. Explore the tools for web-based SARS-CoV-2 sequencing analyses and learn techniques to prepare data and share genomic outputs.
COG-Train’s ambition is to provide high quality, open-access training across the world, on all aspects of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and bioinformatics. Key to this is having a model which supports a standardised approach to training that is not limited by geography. Accordingly, we have adopted a distributed classrooms model.
The recently launched COG-Train programme is an open-access educational initiative focused on providing impactful learning opportunities around SARS-CoV-2 genomics to a global audience. We spoke to two educators who took part on the first and second COG-Train online courses.
WHO’s recently published global strategy for the genomic surveillance of pathogens offers a practical framework for future pandemic preparedness, which COG-Train is already starting to deliver on.
Answering public health questions with testing and sequencing strategies. Learn more with our second COG-Train course ‘From Swab to Server’
How do sequencing experts decide upon their testing and analysis strategy? Our second COG-Train online course “From Swab to Server: Testing, Sequencing, and Sharing During a Pandemic” will take you on the journey of a sample obtained from a COVID-19 patient and support you in comparing the different sample types and how sampling strategy affects test performance.
“The coverage of our work re-ignited people’s interest in science” – in conversation with Dr Senjuti Saha
For our April Women in COG event, the team hosted a discussion with Dr Senjuti Saha, a molecular microbiologist who is currently Director at the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) in Bangladesh – and also the country’s foremost researcher in the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2.
Genome sequencing enabled the world to rapidly identify SARS-CoV-2, classify variants and develop diagnostic tests and other tools to help manage the outbreak, yet how genome sequencing and analysis works is not widely understood beyond some scientific circles. It is only by deepening our collective understanding of genomic surveillance across the world that we will be able to better monitor the spread and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and how to quickly respond to it.
How global collaboration and genomics training will better prepare us to tackle COVID-19 variants and future pandemics
The global response to COVID-19 variants during the current pandemic has highlighted the need for open scientific collaboration. Providing training tools to help countries establish or expand their own SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance programme can play a key role in strengthening pandemic preparedness for ongoing and future global outbreaks.
The first course in our new global training programme on SARS-CoV-2 genomics and biodata was launched on the 7th February, 2022.
The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium and Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS) are delighted to have been jointly awarded a ‘Wellcome-FCDO Joint Initiative on Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response grant’ of nearly £1 million to support the global scientific and public health community in SARS-COV-2 genome sequencing.