Public health agencies protect the population from infectious diseases by monitoring disease-causing agents (pathogens) and intervening in disease outbreaks. Without these concerted efforts, our population’s health would be endangered. Today, public health workers can conduct pathogen whole-genome sequencing to investigate risks and determine the source of outbreaks. But the challenge of translating that data into actionable interventions remains.
Drs. Leonid Chindelevitch, Cedric Chauve (Simon Fraser University) and William Hsiao (UBC) are developing a statistically sound and robust computational framework called PathOGIST to enable public health workers and others to quickly classify pathogens into epidemiologically related groups based on sequencing data and generate interpreted genomic reports to inform their actions. PathOGIST will revolutionize how disease outbreaks are managed, ensuring faster responses that will significantly reduce the impact of these outbreaks on both health and the economy.