The science used to identify the source of the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak and the anthrax letter criminal investigation will be explored in the 2017 Kimball Lecture at Wilkes University. “Tracking Dangerous Pathogens Using Whole Genome Sequencing – Examples from Anthrax and Cholera” will be presented by Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University on March 27 at 8:00 p.m. in the Stark Learning Center, Room 101. The event is free and open to the public.
Keim is the Regents’ Professor in Biology and the Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology at Northern Arizona University. He earned his doctorate in plant biochemistry from the University of Kansas. His work led to the founding of the FBI’s Scientific Working Group on Microbial Forensics, in which he has played a major role in DNA-based methods. The ability to identify a bacterial isolate and discriminate between isolates has improved with the development of next-generation DNA sequencing. Keim will present data from recent disease outbreaks in which the low genomic variation necessitated whole genome sequencing to identify a source.
The Kimball Lecture Series is named for Grace Kimball, former professor of microbiology at Wilkes. The Kimball lecturer is chosen by the Wilkes University biology department as a scientist who has distinguished themselves in evolutionary biology.