COVID-19 Origins

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Date(s) - 15 Feb 2021
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


UArizona’s Michael Worobey to Discuss COVID-19 Origins

 University of Arizona researcher Michael Worobey will give a talk on “The Origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic” as part of the monthly Precision Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 lecture series, featuring medical and scientific experts from the UArizona BIO5 Institute and Precision Nutrition & Wellness Initiative.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Michael Worobey, head on the University of Arizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will discuss the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic during a free online seminar on Monday, Feb. 15.

Worobey uses genomes of viruses to trace the evolution of major communicable diseases. While his previous work has focused on HIV/AIDS and influenza, Worobey quickly pivoted his research at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to address the origins and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

In the last year, Worobey has been quoted in numerous news stories about COVID-19 and has written several analyses and research articles on the virus. He and colleague David Baltrus, associate professor in the UArizona School of Plant Sciences, were awarded a BIO5 seed grant for their genetic approach to studying the origin and spread of COVID-19 in Southern Arizona.

Worobey’s lecture is part of a five-part series hosted by the BIO5 Institute and The Precision Nutrition & Wellness Initiative.

Complete schedule of speakers:

  • Feb. 15: Michael Worobey, head of the UArizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • March 15: Michael Hammer, UArizona Genetics Core director and UArizona Cancer Center Genomics Shared Resource co-director
  • April 19: Floyd (Ski) Chilton, director of the The Precision Nutrition & Wellness Initiative and associate director of BIO5
  • May 17: Yves Lussier, associate vice president and chief knowledge officer for UArizona Health Sciences
  • June 21: John M. Ruiz, UArizona associate professor of clinical psychology and director of the Social Risk and Resilience Factors Lab

The symposia series is part of the BIO5 Institute’s DISCOVER BIO5 event series, designed to highlight the innovative bioscience and biomedical research at UArizona and to share the ways BIO5 members are preparing the next generation of scientists to tackle the world’s greatest mysteries.

Anyone interested in attending the virtual symposia series, including Worobey’s talk, can register for each event at the PNWI website.

Recordings will be available immediately following each session. Contact Brittany Uhlorn, UArizona BIO5 Institute coordinator of marketing and communications, at sends e-mail).

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Media contact:
Brittany Uhlorn
BIO5 Institute
214-783-7397 sends e-mail)

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation’s top 40 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university’s COVID-19 webpage.