Mr Muhammad Nasir Riaz – Single molecule whole genome sequencing of the hepatitis C virus and its applications

Event date
Tuesday 12th October 2021
Event time
1:00 PM
Event address
Online event



Webinar via Zoom
Please click on the link just before the start of the webinar




Contact for enquiries 

Rata Joseph, +61 (2) 9385 0900 or

Kirby Institute Seminar Series presents

Ms Alison Marshall  

Mr Muhammad Nasir Riaz
PhD Student, Viral Immunology Systems Program, Kirby Institute

Nasir Riaz's research is basically related to viral infections. During his M.Phil in the field of virology and immunology, he worked in several national and international research projects on molecular virology and epidemiology of viruses like dengue, HCV, HBV and HDV. He worked as Research Officer in a molecular diagnostic lab from 2009–2011. He played a major role in the establishment of this lab and developing/optimising different molecular diagnostic tests. From 2012 until starting his PhD at the Kirby institute UNSW in 2017, he served as a university lecturer (teaching and research) in the field of microbiology.



Rapidly mutating RNA viruses such as hepatitis C (HCV) and dengue virus exist as a population of variants within a single infected host. Yet this within-host diversity is not captured in most genomic analyses due to technical difficulties in sequencing full length within-host viral variants. The existing bioinformatics algorithms for generating within host haplotypes from “short read” next generation sequencing data have poor agreement with each other, and the gold standard of single genome amplification is too laborious to process large sample numbers.

The work presented here overcomes this barrier by improvising nanopore sequencing (a third generation long read sequencing technology) as a cost-effective strategy to sequence full-length HCV, alongside a novel in-house developed bioinformatics pipeline to differentiate within-host variants from long-read sequencing data. The generalisability of this workflow to other RNA viruses is demonstrated by adapting the pipeline to generate and study within host variants of the dengue virus.

Opinions expressed in the Kirby Institute Seminar Series are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Kirby Institute or UNSW.