Michael Berg is a senior scientist in infectious disease research in Abbott’s diagnostics business. In this role, he is responsible for implementing next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technology into Abbott’s Global Surveillance and new virus discovery programs. Abbott’s Global Surveillance Program was established two decades ago to detect and actively monitor emerging HIV and hepatitis strains around the world. By monitoring the diversity of current epidemics as well as the next public health threats, these programs serve as the scientific foundation upon which Abbott’s diagnostics tests are built.
Through a collaboration between Abbott and University of California, San Francisco, Michael played an important role in a recent discovery of a virus, known as human pegivirus 2 (HPgV-2), and proved it is found among some patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV). This research identified eight complete strains of HPgV-2, which made it the first study to reveal the entire genetic makeup of this new virus.
Michael received his Ph.D. in molecular microbiology and immunology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He joined Abbott in 2013 and currently focuses on mining divergent viral sequences to help characterize diseases of unknown origin.