Virus Genomics and Evolution (Virtual Conference)

13–15 September 2021

Virtual from Wellcome Genome Campus, UK


This meeting will provide a multidisciplinary forum for researchers interested in the genomics and evolutionary analysis of viruses and will address the fundamental questions of viral origins, transmission and pathogenesis.

Sessions will run online in afternoons for Europe and Africa | mornings for the Americas, enabling participation of evolutionary biologists, bioinformatics and public heath practitioners from across the globe.

Virus genome sequencing is now widespread and the conference will showcase advances in viral genomics, bioinformatics and sequencing technology. Genomic studies have provided major insights into the epidemiology transmission and pathogenesis of viral infections, and are increasingly being applied to patient management and public health. The conference will cover the genomics of epidemic and non-epidemic viruses, emerging viral infections and pathogen discovery.

This year’s meeting will focus on virus evolution, epidemics and outbreaks and emerging viral infections and zoonoses. We will also explore new technologies to analyse viruses and large datasets and discuss diagnostic methods to improve public health.


The conference will run from Monday 13 September until Wednesday 15 September 2021. Sessions will start at 13:00 BST and finish at approximately 18:00 BST each day.  See the time where you are here.

Sessions will include:

  • Epidemics and outbreaks
  • Emerging viral infections and zoonoses
  • Virus evolution
  • Virus-host interactions
  • Vaccines and viral genomics in health

Organisers and speakers

Scientific programme committee

George Githinji
 KEMRI | Wellcome Trust, Kenya

Tsan Yuk Tommy Lam
University of Hong Kong

Katrina Lythgoe
University of Oxford, UK

Andrew Rambaut
University of Edinburgh, UK

Emma Thomson
University of Glasgow, UK

Special guest speaker

Kai Kupferschmidt
Contributing correspondent Science, Germany

Keynote speakers

Martine Peeters
University of Montpellier, France

Chikwe Ihekweazu
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria

Confirmed speakers

Jesse Bloom – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA
Judith Breuer – University College London, UK
Santiago Elena – CSIC | Universitat de València , Spain
Katie Ewer –  University of Oxford, UK
Nuno Faria – Imperial College London, UK
Stephanie Johnson – Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, UK
Jeremy Luban – University of Massachusetts, USA
Samantha Lycett – University of Edinburgh, UK
Placide Mbala – INRB, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sarah Sawyer – University of Colorado, USA
Robin Shattock – Imperial College London, UK
Paul Turner – Yale School of Medicine, USA
Lena Wilfert – Ulm University, Germany
Huachen Maria Zhu – University of Hong Kong

Organisers – Wellcome Connecting Science

Zoey Willard – Conference Organiser
Jane Murphy – Scientific Programme Officer

Registration and bursaries

Registration deadline: 6 September 2021
Bursary deadline: 20 July 2021

Registration rate
Student £50
Delegates from LMICs* £50
Academic £100
Commercial  £150

Registration includes:

  • access to the virtual event portal (Log in details will be emailed a few days before the event starts)
  • live-stream sessions, including posters and online networking channels
  • recordings of the live-stream sessions, available ‘on-demand’ for four weeks after the event ends.

*To increase the international diversity of attendees at our meetings, we have reduced fees for delegates from Lower and Middle Income Countries (see list of countries here).

If you are in need of financial support and would like to apply for a bursary, please follow the instructions below.


A limited number of bursaries are available to cover up to 100% of the registration fee.

To apply, please complete your event registration and bursary application via this unique link before the bursary deadline. For your application to be considered and your place reserved, you must also submit the following supporting documents:

  • letter stating financial need and explaining how you will benefit from attending the event
  • brief CV.

We will be contact with the result of your application shortly after the bursary deadline.

If you have any questions, please contact the conference organiser.


We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the meeting, for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted.

Abstracts will only be considered from registered delegates. Please use our online abstract submission system and follow the instructions given to ensure your abstract is submitted correctly. All abstracts must be submitted by the deadline. If you are intending to submit more than one abstract, please contact the conference organiser prior to registration.

The scientific programme committee will assess your abstract after the deadline has passed and you will be notified whether you have been selected for an oral or poster presentation.

All those accepted for a poster presentation will be given the opportunity to upload a short video describing their work.

Abstract deadline: 20 July 2021

How to upload an abstract once you have already completed registration:

  1. Log back into your registration account using either Firefox or Internet Explorer as your browser, via link above the ‘Share’ button on the right hand column of this page
  2. Click on ‘Account’ (top right).
  3. Then click on ‘View account history’. This will show a table of your event registrations.
  4. In the right-hand column you will see the option to ‘Upload file’ – click on this and select to upload an abstract.


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