Top Northern Arizona University microbiologists are joining the fight to track COVID-19. Members of NAU’s Pathogen and Microbiome Institute are joining TGen and the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Arizona to form a union dedicated to tracking the coronavirus. The union was announced Wednesday. Researchers with the “Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union” want to better understand how the virus may be evolving, how it’s transmitted and how it’s moving through the general population. They will use samples from COVID-19 patients to analyze the virus’ genetic codes, track the different strains, and more, to possibly reveal details that could provide critical information for testing, anti-viral drug targets and vaccine development in the battle against COVID-19. The union hopes their work will give Arizona healthcare providers and public policy makers, an edge in responding to the pandemic.