Jan 21, 2021
Amy Sims, Ph.D., Senior Biomedical Scientist
COVID 19 and The New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented restrictions on international and domestic travel, daily life, and the global economy. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV 2), the causative agent of coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected more than 20 million people in approximately 200 countries and caused an estimated 1 million deaths. Scientists worldwide have banded together to fight the pandemic, publishing more than 50,000 manuscripts on COVID-19/SARS-CoV 2 since its identification in 2019. Amy’s talk will feature an overview of disease symptomology, how the virus spreads, vaccine and therapeutic options, and future studies at PNNL that will contribute to understanding the disease.

BIOGRAPHY:   

Amy Sims joined PNNL in early 2020 and is the newest member of the Chemical and Biological Signatures Division. Amy and collaborators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied highly pathogenic human coronaviruses since the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was identified in 2003. Using lung cells isolated from human donor tissue, Amy has worked to define how coronaviruses block the host immune response early in infection. For the past decade, Amy (while still in North Carolina) worked with PNNL collaborators using sophisticated computational analysis techniques to analyze data from coronavirus (CoV) infected human lung cells to better understand how viruses manipulate host cells to reproduce and avoid the host immune response. At PNNL, Amy and her multidisciplinary team of collaborators seek to identify host pathways that are critical for CoV replication, define novel CoV countermeasures, and contribute to the identification of pathogen agnostic biomolecular markers of infection and disease severity to predict disease outcomes.