University of California - Davis

05/29/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/29/2020 19:04

Live Programs June 3 and 4 Will Focus on COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing

UC Davis continues its public outreach on the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic with two livestreamed programs featuring experts from the university and around the country discussing the progress being made in testing for and vaccinating against the disease.

The first program, focusing primarily on vaccines, is scheduled for Wednesday (June 3), as the third symposium in a public awareness series organized by Distinguished Professor Walter Leal of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Guests will include the virologist who co-discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS, Robert Gallo, a professor in the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He's also the co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at Maryland, and co-founder and international scientific advisor, Global Virus Network

Other guests:

  • Dean Blumberg, professor and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, UC Davis Health
  • Allison Brashear, dean, UC Davis School of Medicine
  • Stuart H. Cohen, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, UC Davis School of Medicine
  • Elina Lastro NiƱo, statewide extension apiculturist, UC Cooperative Extension, who is expected to share her expertise on bee venom, one of the possible COVID-19 treatments suggested by researchers but not yet investigated
  • Kate E. Broderick, senior vice president, research and development, Inovio Pharmaceuticals
  • Atul Malhotra, professor, UC San Diego Health

Leal will moderate and Chancellor Gary S. May will deliver opening remarks.

The following day, Thursday (June 4), will bring the third installment of UC Davis LIVE: COVID-19, this edition focusing on testing for the new coronavirus and featuring two UC Davis Health clinicians: Nam Tran and Larissa May, who will answer questions on the different types of tests, their accuracy and how they are being used as health officials take steps to reopen the state and the country.

Tran is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in California, he worked with colleagues to develop UC Davis' own in-house test for SARS-CoV-2 based on samples from the first patient treated at UC Davis. In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed him to the state's COVID-19 Testing Task Force, a public-private collaboration to more quickly increase coronavirus testing capacity.

May, a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, is the principal investigator for a study of a test developed at UC Davis to detect antibodies to the new coronavirus. She is the director of the Emergency Department's Antibiotic Stewardship Program and has been involved in emergency preparedness around infectious disease outbreaks.

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