The GHA says it will soon be carrying out whole genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV 2 virus that causes COVID-19.

The service will be located at the GHA’s COVID Laboratory currently located at the University of Gibraltar which was set up to undertake COVID screening tests.

The lab is already staffed by senior scientists with extensive Molecular Biology Experience. Dr Zoe Vincent-Mistiaen MA (Oxon) PhD is the lead PCR Molecular Biology Scientist at Covid Laboratory, and Ms Charlotte Gillborn-Jones MSc LIBMS Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology at SBH and Dr Martyn Bell BSc D.Phil (Oxon) MBChB a Medical Doctor from St Bernard’s Hospital and has extensive experience in genetic sequencing academic research at Oxford University, and has been temporarily seconded to the COVID laboratory to set up this service.

The project, led by Dr Nick Cortes, GHA Consultant Medical Microbiologist & Dr Daniel Cassaglia ConsultantPaediatrician and clinical lead for theCOVIDlaboratory, has over the lastfew weeks assembled an expert scientific team and procured highly specialised sequencing equipment and chemical reagents. The sequencing work, consisting of initial validation before formal processing commences, has started this week. Dr Zoe Vincent-Mistiaen will also be attending the FrancisCrick Institute in London nextweek for hands-on experience and advanced technical advice on the sequencing process.

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