Pardis Sabeti

Computational geneticist, infectious disease researcher
Pardis Sabeti investigates the genomes of microbes, like Ebola and coronavirus, to understand how to slow them.

Why you should listen

Pardis Sabeti develops algorithms to detect the genetic signatures of microbial organisms and their adaption in humans. Her lab examines the genetic factors that drive disease susceptibility to Ebola and Lassa fever and investigates the genomes of microbes to help find cures for diseases, including Lassa virus, Ebola, malaria, Vibrio cholera and Mycobacterioum tuberculosis.

A computational geneticist at Harvard and the Broad Institute, Sabeti has devoted her career to harnessing genomics to transform outbreak detection and response. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, her team in Sierra Leone sequenced the virus's genome in real time. She and her team have since tackled Zika and Lassa fever and are working on numerous projects to enhance global viral surveillance and equip lower-income countries with rapid, field-deployable diagnostic tools.

After completing her undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sabeti attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship where she researched human genetic resistance to malaria. She then earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and was named a TIME magazine "Person of the Year" in 2014 for her work fighting Ebola.

Pardis Sabeti’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Pardis Sabeti

In Brief

Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize and other TED news

April 9, 2019

The TED community is brimming with new projects and ideas. Below, a few highlights. Youth climate change protests kick off across the world. Students from 112 countries skipped school in mid-March to join climate activist Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate demanding government action on climate change. The global event was part of the Fridays […]

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In Brief

A celebrated building turns 50…and other TED news

May 5, 2017

Behold, your recap of TED-related news: Habitat turns 50! First conceptualized in 1961 as part of architect Moshe Safdie’s thesis at McGill University, Habitat 67 has gone on to inspire several generations of architects. Combining high-rise living with community connection, Habitat’s concrete cluster of homes challenged the contemporary notions of apartment complexes and Brutalist architecture. […]

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In Brief

Wireless advances in treating spinal cord damage, morphing wings for aircraft, and the world’s tallest tropical trees

November 22, 2016

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: Advances in treating spinal cord damage. In Nature, Grégoire Courtine and a team of scientists announced that they had successfully used a wireless brain-spine interface to help monkeys with spinal cord damage paralyzing one leg regain the ability to walk. […]

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