Health Futures Institute

Powering COVID-19 research through genomics

The Genomics Core Research Facility is playing a large role in progressing COVID-19 research, helping scientists around the world to dive into the complex genetics behind the virus.


Areas of research


Technology utilised


Lead researchers

Associate Professor Abha Chopra


What was the need for this project?

The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the defining global challenges of our time. Its aggressive virality and asymptomatic nature has created the need for an urgent health response.

From detection tests to vaccines, researchers are dedicating their time and resources into better understanding how to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on global health.

With the virus is constantly changing as new strains are being borne, understanding both the virus and host genomics is becoming a more important step to identify new prevention and diagnostic techniques.


How the project was completed

One of the biggest obstacles to tackling a changing virus is the race against time. The team’s extensive experience researching the genetics behind HIV, the most adaptable virus in the world, has equipped the unique facility at Murdoch to rapidly handle the influx of COVID-19 research projects.

The genomics lab examining thousands of COVID-19 samples each day. Then using the bioinformatic tools developed in-house, the team able to provide research partners with compact visual datasets for analysis within weeks.


Results and achievements for this project

Using the tools and techniques developed from their previous HIV research, the data collected is helping researchers globally to identify genetic markers that may help to predict the severity of COVID-19 infections for individuals, as well as informing potential vaccination strategies and high-throughput COVID-19 screening tests.


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