Virtual Public Lecture - Learning from COVID-19 Data in Wuhan, the USA and the World


1 July 2020


Delivered online


COVID-19 is an emerging respiratory infectious disease that has become a pandemic. It was first detected in early December 2019 in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has quickly spread to over 210 countries and territories worldwide and infected more than 7.4 million individuals and caused 415,000 deaths globally.

In this talk, Professor Lin will provide a historical overview of the epidemic in Wuhan, then provide the analysis results of 32,000 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan to estimate the transmission rates and evaluate the effects of different public health interventions on controlling the COVID-19 outbreak, such as social distancing, isolation and quarantine, as well as summarizing the epidemiological characteristics of the cases. The results show that multi-faceted intervention measures successfully controlled the outbreak in Wuhan.

She will also present the estimated transmission rates in USA and other countries and intervention effects using social distancing, test-trace-isolate strategies. Including the analysis results of >500,000 participants of the HowWeFeel project on symptoms and health conditions in US, and discuss the risk factors of the epidemic.

Strategies and challenges for different types of tests, such as PCR and antibody tests, contact tracing, and handling asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases will be discussed and the main priorities for the community.

About the speaker

Xihong Lin is Professor of Biostatistics, Coordinating Director of the Program in Quantitative Genomics of Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Professor of Statistics at Harvard University, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Dr. Lin’s research interests lie in development and application of scalable statistical and computational methods for analysis of massive data from genome, exposome and phenome, such as large scale Whole Genome Sequencing studies, integrative analysis of different types of data, biobanks, and complex epidemiological and observational studies. She is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Lin received the 2002 Mortimer Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association, the 2006 Presidents’ Award and the 2017 FN David Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS). She is the PI of the Outstanding Investigator Award (R35) from the National Cancer Institute, and the contact PI of the Harvard Analysis Center of the Genome Sequencing Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute. She has been active in COVID-19 research.