Viral Variants

Working Group Leads

Jacob Lemieux

Jacob Lemieux, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease, MGH

Jeremy Luban Jeremy Luban, M.D.
Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, UMass Medical School; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
David J. Freelander Chair in AIDS Research, UMass Medical School

The Variants Working Group focuses on mapping SARS-CoV-2’s changing biology and behavior, on understanding how the virus’s evolving features may alter the way the pathogen interacts with its human host, and on gathering clues about the virus’s evolutionary future. Such information is shared in the group’s biweekly informational meetings, which regularly draw more than 100 attendees from MassCPR participating institutions and beyond and span disciplines including virology, epidemiology, infectious diseases, immunology, computational biology, and critical care medicine. Additionally, the group coordinates a collaborative research program that meets each month.

To join the Viral Variants Working Group, please fill out this form.

Learn more about the Variants Working Group

The Variants Working Group meetings spotlight the emergence and track the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) such as Delta and Omicron, along with their sub-lineages, in New England and around the world. Data on these variants are shared and circulated in the form of weekly “Weather Reports.” Research updates and current manuscripts on SARS-CoV-2 are discussed in the “Literature Review” segment of the biweekly meetings. The second half of each meeting is devoted to an in-depth presentation by an expert on a timely topic. Speakers include researchers from within the group, as well as experts from across the United States. International collaborators have included researchers from South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, England, Scotland, France, and India, sharing local insights and emerging trends observed in these regions.

Members of the Variants group have published in prestigious journals such as Cell, Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Science, among others, and have made significant contributions toward understanding critical aspects of SARS-CoV-2’s evolution, epidemiology, and immunobiology. Additionally, the group has addressed other emerging infectious diseases, such as the monkeypox outbreak.