3-year anniversary of national viral genomics consortium

Collaborating organizations across the nation have fostered the rapid release of coronavirus sequence data. These data have been used to guide the COVID-19 public health response, drive innovation and discovery, and advance understanding of this and future pandemics.

In early 2020, CDCs Office of Advanced Molecular Detection (OAMD) launched the Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium to coordinate SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and help accelerate the use of pathogen sequence data and molecular epidemiology for the pandemic response.

Today, the SPHERES collaboration includes 1,800 scientists from clinical and public health laboratories, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations. It includes private sector leaders in pathogen genomics, bioinformatics, and public health from across the country.

The consortium is now an active technical community of practice for scientific updates on genomic epidemiology. It focuses not just on SARS-CoV-2, but other pathogens of interest such as mpox, and on advances in infectious disease bioinformatics. Through the SPHERES consortium, researchers share best practices and present difficulties for group problem solving.

Check out the SPHERES webpage for more details.