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Condensed Matter/ Biophysics Seminar – John Barton (Univ o California Riverside)
Viral evolution through the lens of statistical physics
Pathogens such as HIV and SARS-CoV-2 pose serious threats to public health. Better understanding of how these pathogens evolve could inform efforts to control outbreaks and improve the design of vaccines. In this talk, Iâ€™ll discuss how we can model the evolution of viruses quantitatively. Iâ€™ll also show how we can use ideas from statistical physics to fit quantitative evolutionary models to data, allowing us to understand how different mutations affect viral replication or transmission. Weâ€™ll explore two examples: understanding how HIV evolves within patients to escape from the immune system and how SARS-CoV-2 has evolved to become more transmissible over the course of the pandemic.
Host: Purushottam Dixit