Hot Topics in Computing: Stacey Gabriel, Viral diagnostics for SARS-Cov-2: Setting up testing at massive scale

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event

CSAIL is pleased to host Dr. Stacey Gabriel for Hot Topics in Computing on February 24, 2021 at 4:00pm EST.

In mid-March of 2020, Broad converted part of our CLIA-certified lab into a high-throughput COVID-19 testing facility. Our team has steadily increased the pace and scale of diagnostic testing, while also developing test protocols that make them easier to administer and process. The testing facility processes samples obtained from nasal swabs, using an RT-PCR assay, and has an average turnaround time of less than 24 hours from the time tests arrive at our facility.

All this is being done at low cost, to make it as affordable as possible for the people and communities who need support. As the number of tests performed increases, we are able to bring down the cost-per-test even further.

We have organized our testing to support over 1,000 different sites around New England, focusing on these areas of need: Nursing Homes, Colleges and Universities, Hospitals and Clinics, and new programs for K-12 students and teachers.  The path that we took to our current scale of almost 200,000 tests per day will be discussed.

Stacey Gabriel, Ph.D. is Institute Scientist and Senior Director of the Genomics Platform, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and has led platform development, execution and operation since the Institute’s founding. She is also Chair of Professional Scientists and serves on the Institute’s Executive Leadership Team.

Gabriel is widely recognized as a leader in genomics technology and project execution. Her early work provided foundational research for the International HapMap Project. She has led the Broad Institute’s contributions to numerous flagship resource generation projects in human genetics including the HapMap, 1000 Genomes Project, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA); National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s TOPMed program. She is Principal Investigator of the ​ ​Broad Institute All of Us (AoU) Genomics Center, and serves on the AoU Program Steering Committee.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gabriel led the development and execution of Broad's viral diagnostic effort. The lab rapidly became the largest single testing lab in New England and contributes substantially to national testing numbers. For the work she was recognized by the Boston Globe as a “Bostonian of the Year” in 2020.

Dr. Gabriel has directed the Genomics Platform since 2012, and prior to that instantiated the first Broad ​ ​Institute Platform for Genomic Analysis. Under Gabriel’s guidance, the Genomics Platform operates as ​ ​one of the largest sequencing centers in the world, and continually explores, validates, optimizes, and ​ ​implements new technologies, methods, and analysis tools to meet the needs of the Broad community​ ​and beyond. Gabriel and the members of her team are committed to pushing the boundaries of the​ ​genomic frontier through the application of operational excellence, advanced process design, clinical ​ ​application and technology development capabilities. She has been recognized by​ ​Clarivate Analytics as one of the most highly cited in molecular biology and genetics scientists in the world six years in a row.

Dr. Gabriel received her B.S. in molecular biology from Carnegie Mellon University and Ph.D. in human​ ​genetics from Case Western Reserve University.

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Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
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