A side by side of headshots for Prof. Brian Mailloux and Prof. JJ Miranda


On May 27, 2021, Brian Mailloux, professor of environmental science and Co-Chair of the Environmental Science Department, and JJ Miranda, assistant professor of biology, published a new article in the journal Microbiology Resource Announcements that details an innovative protocol for detecting traces of the novel coronavirus, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic, in wastewater samples. Barnard affiliates Nicole Rondeau ’18, Lina Ariya ’22, and Oliver J. Rose in the Office of Facilities also collaborated on the research. The work, titled “Accessible and Validated Processing of SARS-CoV-2 from Wastewater,” outlines how the co-authors extracted viral RNA for downstream experiments. The approach they employed is a vast improvement over existing protocols since the latter requires no large equipment (e.g. an ultracentrifuge); eliminates the need for multiple processing steps (e.g. membrane absorption); and emphasizes simplicity to allow adaptation to different infrastructures and team member training. The more easily executed protocol that these researchers developed could be used to study other viruses or metagenomes in the future.