Date and time

Schwartz Auditorium, Ragon Institute (400 Tech Square, 1st Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139) and Zoom
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Profiling Host Respiratory Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Single-cell genomics have revolutionized the granularity with which we can dissect cellular phenotypes in both health and disease. Global atlases of homeostatic tissues have revealed rare cell populations critical to organ function and provide comprehensive genomic reference maps for the scientific community, and profiling of non-homeostatic tissues—across oncology, inflammation, autoimmunity, infectious disease and beyond—have revealed insights into the drivers of disease pathogenesis and potential avenues for prophylactic or therapeutic intervention. Over the past three years, we have studied SARS-CoV-2 infection through the lens of single-cell genomics, querying pre-existing single-cell datasets, developing in vitro models of disease, validating animal models of infection, and profiling human samples with our clinical collaborators, all the while adding to the vast trove of COVID-19 knowledge generated amidst a global pandemic. We profile nasopharyngeal swabs taken from individuals upon hospital admission, stratifying epithelial responses to infection based on ensuing peak disease severity. We identify a muted anti-viral response to infection within the nasal epithelia as a correlate of severe but not mild or moderate disease progression. Then, we turn to non-human models of SARS-CoV-2 infection to profile the lower respiratory response to viral perturbation across multiple acute time points, pinpointing cellular populations and attributes that are associated with enhanced protection in the lower respiratory tract. Together, our work highlights the use of single-cell genomics in uncovering tissue-based host-pathogen interactions and provides a framework for rapidly and systematically assessing the immune response to emerging pathogenic threats.

Thesis Supervisor:
Alex K. Shalek, PhD
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Core Member, Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, & Extramural Member, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT

Thesis Committee Chair:
Bruce Walker, MD
Director, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, & Harvard, Professor of the Practice of Medicine, MIT

Thesis Reader:
Nir Hacohen, PhD
Institute Member, Broad Institute, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Zoom invitation –
Vincent Miao is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Vincent Miao Thesis Defense
Time: June 12, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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