About the session

Wastewater samples are challenging substrates for nucleic acid extraction, and the choice of extraction method determines the success of the downstream analysis. Extraction methods must address high levels of inhibitory substances and achieve extraordinary sensitivity to ensure accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2. Even with ideal extraction, SARS-CoV-2 RNA from wastewater often remains highly fragmented and at a low copy number. However, with optimized next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques, it is still possible to produce NGS-ready, high-quality SARS-CoV-2 libraries from wastewater samples. Join this session to discover how to optimize sample extraction and NGS workflows for SARS-CoV-2 wastewater analysis. We’ll provide valuable tips and solutions for accurately detecting emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Dominic ONeil
Dominic O'Neil has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. Before joining QIAGEN, he gained molecular biology expertise at several companies, including three years at the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research in Cambridge, MA, where he participated in the completion of the initial draft of the human genome. Dominic joined Digene (which later became part of QIAGEN) in 2004 to work on new technology research and development, focusing in particular on sample preparation and diagnostic applications. In 2011, he joined the QIAGEN R&D group in Hilden to work on solutions for next-generation sequencing. Starting in 2015, he focused on microbiome extraction and associated workflows and now leads the R&D group as Director for Microbiome Product Development.
Jon Shaffer
Dr. Jonathan Shaffer received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular genetics from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2008, where his research focused on determining mechanisms that regulate non-receptor tyrosine kinase expression and activity. Jonathan also received his MBA from the University of Würzburg in 2018 where his research focused on project management methodologies. Jonathan did his postdoctoral training at SABiosciences Corporation, now part of QIAGEN. He joined QIAGEN in 2009 and has since worked with various development groups, the most recent being NGS assay library technologies. He has been instrumental in developing miRNA and gene expression analysis solutions, both for qPCRand NGS. Currently, Jonathan is Director of R&D for NGS assay technologies.