UW Data Science Seminar: Helen Chu


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Event Type

Please join us for a UW Data Science Seminar event on Thursday, February 2nd from 4:00 to 4:50 p.m. PST. The seminar will feature Helen Chu, UW Associate Professor of Medicine (Allergy and Infectious Diseases). UW’s Population Health Initiative and eScience Institute welcome you to our joint seminar series which brings together thought-leading speakers and researchers from across campus to explore diverse applications of data science to pressing topics in population health.

Use this zoom link to join – please note the earlier start time at 4:00 p.m.

This hybrid event will take place over zoom and in the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health, conference room 101.

There will be a 30-minute reception in the conference room following the seminar presentation.

Please RSVP if you are joining.


“Community-based approaches to understanding respiratory virus transmission”

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Chu will describe the integration between clinical and laboratory data from the Seattle Flu Study that allowed for an understanding of community spread of respiratory viruses in a major metropolitan area. She will describe the studies done in homeless shelters, on a university campus, and in families with young children, with a focus on diagnostics and sequencing for respiratory viruses.

Bio: Helen Chu is a physician-scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. She studies respiratory viruses and vaccines, and has conducted clinical trials of vaccines and therapeutics, including maternal influenza vaccine trials in Nepal, studies of remdesivir for treatment of SARS-CoV-2, and efficacy studies of the Moderna mRNA vaccine in the US. She has also conducted several studies in south Asia to understand the correlates of protection against RSV disease in pregnant women and infants. As part of the Seattle Flu Study, she developed a prototype pandemic preparedness platform. As part of this study, she developed strategies to conduct home-based testing for respiratory viruses, to deliver antivirals directly to homes, and to understand transmission of respiratory pathogens in families with young children and the sheltered homeless. This study first identified COVID-19 community transmission in the United States. She currently is the site principal investigator for a NIH-funded study of long COVID, and a CDC-funded study of SARS-CoV-2 population vaccine effectiveness study in children and adults. Early in the pandemic, she established a cohort of convalescent individuals with SARS-CoV-2, including the first US patient, and has followed this group for over two years to understand vaccine and infection-induced immunity, particularly against novel variants, and the risk factors that predict long COVID.

The UW Data Science Seminar is an annual lecture series at the University of Washington that hosts scholars working across applied areas of data science, such as the sciences, engineering, humanities and arts along with methodological areas in data science, such as computer science, applied math and statistics. Our presenters come from all domain fields and include occasional external speakers from regional partners, governmental agencies and industry.

The 2022-2023 seminars will be virtual, and are free and open to the public.