SARS-CoV-2 has put unprecedented pressure on medical professionals, public health organizations, and the general public. The accurate and timely diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is paramount to controlling the spread of this virus. This, in turn, relies on the establishment of well-validated testing and detection measures to ensure rapid result dissemination without sacrificing sensitivity and specificity.
This virtual symposium, brought to you by The Scientist, will explore the limitations and challenges of current SARS-CoV-2 qPCR-based testing approaches, their root causes, and what can be learned for the future.
11:00 AM – Basic considerations for SARS-CoV-2 testing by RT-qPCR
Stephen Bustin, PhD
qPCR data needs to be validated in a standardized manner. In this talk, Dr. Bustin will address qPCR sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency, as well as comment on data robustness and how to best analyze qPCR-derived data for SARS-CoV-2 testing.
11:40 AM – Current standards and validations for SARS-CoV-2 testing
Jim Huggett, PhD
SARS-CoV-2 arrived in the different regions of the world at different times and in differing magnitudes. As such, SARS-CoV-2 testing responses have been somewhat varied. Dr. Huggett will speak on the current QA/QC standards for qPCR-based SARS-CoV-2 testing, discuss the limitations and challenges that have been encountered with regard to testing validation and standardization, and explore the root causes for these issues.
12:20 PM – Learning from a pandemic: How do we do it better?
Mikael Kubista, PhD
SARS-CoV-2 may be unparalleled in impact, but it is far from the first—or last—pandemic to afflict the world. Here, Dr. Kubista will discuss the lessons to be learned from the preparations and responses to SARS-CoV-2 made by various nations, governments, and health entities across the world, as well as the necessary preparations for future waves of SARS-CoV-2 and for future pandemics.
1:00 PM – Open Panel Q&A Session
Bustin, Huggett, and Kubista will be joined by colleagues Jo Vandesompele and Michael Pfaffl in an open question and answer session where they will address questions posed by the audience.
Meet the speakers:
Stephen A. Bustin, PhD
Professor of Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care
Anglia Ruskin University
Jim F. Huggett, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Analytical Microbiology
School of Biosciences and Medicine
University of Surrey
Mikael Kubista, PhD
Head, Institute of Biotechnology
Czech Academy of Sciences
Founder and Chairman of the Board
Jo Vandesompele, PhD
Department of Biomolecular Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Michael W. Pfaffl, PhD
Professor of Molecular Physiology
Animal Physiology & Immunology
School of Life Sciences
Technical University of Munich