We are thrilled to congratulate WARN-ID Principal Investigator Pardis Sabeti, MD, PhD, for her achievement in being recognized with a TIME100 Impact Award. The TIME100 Impact Awards seek to recognize leaders who are at the forefront of their respective fields and making a global impact through their work. Dr. Sabeti embodies these characteristics, both through her crucial research and as a voice for those who are underrepresented in science and medicine. The TIME100 Impact Awards were held at the National Gallery Singapore on October 2nd, where Dr. Sabeti received her award.
The TIME100 article highlights Dr. Sabeti’s role as an innovator in real-time genomic sequencing through her work tracing the evolution of Lassa virus, Ebola, and SARS-CoV-2. She describes the key lessons she learned through studying Lassa virus, specifically the major threat posed by viruses that have already left a footprint on human genomes. The article then delves into her work during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, in which genomic sequencing and analysis methods developed by the Sabeti Lab informed public health guidelines critical to containing the spread of the virus. Read more here.
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Sabeti drew attention to the parallels between the threat posed by emerging pathogens and the threat posed by autocracy, “You see, viruses, they expose and they exploit the cracks in our society: the lack of justice, transparency, and equity; the ways that we are indifferent to each other’s pain; the loss of trust. This is where viruses thrive.” She dedicated her award to Mahsa Jina Amini, the Iranian woman whose death in police custody has ignited a sweeping protest movement. As an Iranian refugee herself, Sabeti could see herself in Mahsa, who was about to begin her degree in microbiology prior to her untimely death, “Had Mahsa lived, she may one day have worked like me, responding to outbreaks and contributing to the vast number of technologies that we humans can create to mitigate and eradicate pandemics.” Before making a call to action to those who could help bring back the internet in Iran, Dr. Sabeti stated, “Viruses illuminate the way that all existential threats are borderless. A fight and a threat to freedom, to human rights, to women’s rights in Iran, is a threat to every human everywhere.” Read or watch her full speech here.