A novel coronavirus emerged in China in late 2019; it has been officially named by the World Health Organization (WHO) as COVID-19. LabRoots will be working to educate the community about this pathogen in an ongoing series of virtual events.
Our 2020 Coronavirus Virtual Event Series including (4/2, 6,17, 9/17 and 12/3 events) were indeed a tremendous success! The event (s) are now available for on-demand viewing. Our next set of presentations will go live on April 14th, 2021.
June 17th Keynote Speaker: Stephen S. Morse, PhD, FAAM, F.A.C.E.
This virus is a member of the coronavirus family and is zoonotic, or transmissible from animals to humans, and is thought to have originated in bats like other coronaviruses. Researchers are working to learn more about how this virus made the jump from animals to humans, probably through an intermediate species.
The COVID-19 virus has already infected tens of thousands of people worldwide. In China, hundreds have been killed, leading the World Health Organization to declare an international health emergency, one of only four that have ever been declared.
Researchers have found evidence that the virus can be transmitted by people that don't have symptoms. Scientists are working to find ways to treat the fever, respiratory illness, cough, and breathing difficulties it causes.
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This free event does not require any travel, and will remain ongoing; webinars will continue to occur in the future as we find out more about this pathogen. The content will be available for unlimited, on-demand viewing. The global community will be able to interact using chat sessions and live-streaming. This seamless connectivity will be available on any desktop or mobile device so you can view, learn, and interact.
Call for Posters — Virtual poster sessions offer the opportunity to present data to a global audience via a PDF poster and video summary and discuss results with interested colleagues through email. Plan now to have your poster included in the Coronavirus Virtual Event Series and virtual event. Submission is free. Submit your abstract here.
LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this virtual event series, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit per presentation.
Use #LRcoronavirus to follow the conversation!
CoVID-19 is spreading with wildfire speed, to date, there are 215,565 of confirmed CoVID-19 cases and 8893 covid-19 related deaths in the world and these numbers are being updated constantly (view current outbreak status). Many countries, including the U.S, are now in a state of a public health emergency. There is no known medication or vaccine to this virus, and currently, the only measure of defense is social isolation and hand hygiene. Here is what we know so far about the CoVID-19 virus. Keep safe and make sure you follow the CDC guidelines.
Below are some fast facts about CoVID-19. To view the comprehensive and to-the-point infographic, click here
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Dr. Ehrlich is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCoM) in Philadelphia, PA, USA. He also directs: the Center for Genomic Sciences (CGS); the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing (CAMP); and the Center for Surgical Infections and Biofilms within the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at DUCoM. In addition, he directs the Core Genomics Facility for the Drexel University as a whole. CGS scientists utilize a broad array of comparative genomic techniques and bioinformatic tools, many developed in-house, to identify and characterize both virulence genes within pathogens, and susceptibility genes to pathogens within their hosts. Dr Ehrlich is also one of the founders of the field of Clinical Molecular Diagnostics (MDx), having been involved in the original application of PCR for the detection of human retroviruses in 19851. He founded the MDx Division at UPMC and used these experiences to author the first textbook/lab manual for infectious disease (ID) MDx2. Together with a team of like-minded pioneers he was one of the founders of the Association for Molecular Pathology and served as the first co-chair of the ID section. Dr Ehrlich counts among his major contributions to science the mapping and cloning of several major human disease genes3,4, and the re-writing of much of our understanding of chronic bacterial pathogenesis5,6. The latter began with his promulgation of the biofilm paradigm to explain many facets of chronic mucosal microbial infections7-9. Working with Chris Post, he started his explorations into chronic middle-ear disease in children in the early 90's which he has since repeatedly generalized such that it is now widely accepted that the vast majority of all chronic microbial infections are biofilm-associated10,11. He also advanced the Distributed Genome Hypothesis (DGH12,13) to explain the enormous clinical variability among strains of a bacterial species, which together with the biofilm paradigm form the bases for his rubric of Bacterial Plurality6. His work in human genetics combined with the laboratory resources necessary to test the DGH have resulted in his having played a role in the development of several waves of genomic technology over the last quarter century including microsatellite mapping, microarrays, and next-generation sequencing. More recently he has developed the concept of bacterial population-level virulence factors and has for the first time within the field of bacterial genomics used statistical genetics and machine learning algorithms approaches to identify unannotated distributed genes that are associated with virulence. These computational methodologies provides a non-biased, top-down approach to prioritize the annotation of hypothetical genes14. Coincident with the recent relocation of his research enterprise to DUCOM he founded CAMP which functions as a collaborative multi-discipline facility for exploitation of a suite of technological advances, many developed within the CGS, which permit the identification, cloning, heterologous expression, and biochemical verification of commercially important biosynthetic and biodegradative pathways from what he refers to as the "Genomic Dark Matter". This approach came out his successful collaborative studies with Dr. David Sherman at the University of Michigan wherein they used multiple omics technologies (and developed the term meta-omics) to isolate and characterize all of the genes for a novel biosynthetic pathway for an important anti-cancer drug from an unculturable endosymbiotic bacterium of a tunicate15. Over the past several years Dr Ehrlich has overseen the development of a novel ultra-high-fidelity microbiome assay that provides quantitative, species-specific analyses of microbial consortia using whole-gene 16S amplification and sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences third generation long-read sequencing platform16. When combined with a state-of-the art bioinformatics pipeline that takes advantage of novel pathway- algorithms and a custom database, developed in-house, this system provides unprecedented accuracy. In collaboration with Dr Curtis Harris at the NCI, Dr Ehrlich and his team applied this high-fidelity microbiome assay to identify bacterial species-specific changes to the lung microbiome associated with a specific TP-53 mutation - providing the first microbial biomarker for cancer17. Dr Ehrlich's lifelong interest in emergent MDx and "omic" technologies led to his recent appointment as Director of the Meta-Omics Core Facility at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, a consortium NCI-designated Cancer Center involving Thomas Jefferson University and Drexel University. Dr Ehrlich's latest paradigm-changing hypothesis is that Alzheimer's disease results from a combination of chronic bacterial infections of the brain (primarily originating from the periodontium) and the brain's anti-microbial and inflammatory responses to these infections. Dr. Ehrlich was elected as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014 and has won numerous awards for his research and teaching.
Roumen Bogoev is the Director of Product Management for catalog products at GenScript. In his current role he is responsible for new product development and commercialization of life science and diagnostics products. He has over 10 years in marketing as well as over 16 years of research and development experience. He has extensive technical expertise in the areas of immunodetection, protein purification and analysis including, chromatography, electrophoresis, mass spectrometry and other methods and techniques. Roumen is an author and co-author of number of technology patents and publications in these areas. Roumen has worked in a variety of companies including GenScript, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Life Technologies (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific) and others. Roumen holds a Masters degree in Bioengineering.
Dr. Leslie Wolf began serving as Lab Director at Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) in July of 2013. In January of 2017, Dr. Wolf was also appointed as a Clinical Assistant Professor to direct the University of Louisville Infectious Diseases Laboratory. Dr. Wolf is one of several leaders at LMPHW with a shared appointment at UofL, contributing to the success of LMPHW as an Academic Health Department. Dr. Wolf earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky, and a PhD in Immunology/Microbiology from the University of Colorado. She began her career in public health in 1997 as a CDC/APHL Emerging Infectious Disease Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health. While serving as lab director at NCSLPH from 2006 to 2012, she earned the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Emerging Leader Award. This award honors an individual whose leadership has been instrumental in one or more advances in laboratory science, practice, management, policy or education within his/her first 5-10 years in the profession.
Russell Garlick, PhD, is the Chief Scientific Officer at LGC SeraCare Life Sciences. Since 2012 he has been focusing on expanding the company’s technologies, R&D organization, and product development pipeline. Throughout his career he has worked on the development, regulatory approval, and launch of a variety of technologies and assays, including an HIV/AIDS patient management program, molecular genomics technologies, and HIV drug discovery systems. Prior to joining LGC Clinical Diagnostics, Dr. Garlick was co-founder of Life Sciences Group and served as CEO and CTO of Protein Forest, Inc. He has also held executive R&D positions at PerkinElmer Life Sciences and DuPont NEN Life Sciences.
Marc Salit, PhD, is the founding director of The Joint Initiative for Metrology in Biology (JIMB) at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. His scientific work is focused on bringing the principles of metrology – systematic measurement science, measurement tool, and standards development – to biology. He brought his background in chemical and physical metrology to challenges in biology in 2003. This translation of metrology has led to innovation in genomic and synthetic biology, with most of that work conducted at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he cofounded and operated consortia like the External RNA Controls Consortium and The Genome in a Bottle Consortium.
I am currently a PostDoc fellow at the Immunosurveillance Lab at the Francis Crick Institute. During the last 10 years, I have performed my work in 3 different research institutes in 3 different countries (Spain -Complutense University of Madrid-, Portugal -Instituto de Medicina Molecular-, and the UK -The Francis Crick Institute-), where I have had the opportunity not only to develop experience in cell biology and immunology but also to observe and take part in the development of different aspects of science policy, such as scientific training, networking, and university teaching. I have investigated in the field of T cells with an especial interest on γδ T cells in both mouse and human. Results and achievements are listed below: - TCR signal strength controls thymic differentiation of discrete proinflammatory γδ T cell subsets. Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al. Nat Immunol. 2016 Jun; 17(6):721-7. - Primary T-cell immunodeficiency with functional revertant somatic mosaicism in CD247. Marin AV, Jiménez-Reinoso A, Briones AC, Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al., J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Aug 20. pii: S0091-6749(16)30619-4. - Enrichment of the rare CD4+ γδ T cell subset in patients with atypical CD3δ deficiency. Garcillán B, Mazariegos MS, Fisch P, Res PC, Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014; 133 (4); 1205-8. - Human CD3γ, but not CD3δ, haploinsufficiency differentially impairs γδ versus αβ surface TCR expression. BMC Immunology. Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al. 2013, 14(1):3. In addition to this, since March 13th, 2020, I have joined the Covid-IP (Covid–ImmunoPhenotype) project with the aim of understanding the status of the immune system in persons who are or who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 disease.
Ali H. Mokdad, PhD, is Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington. Prior to IHME, Dr. Mokdad worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has published groundbreaking research on local-level disease trends and leading risk factors for poor health. His work on obesity is among the most highly cited in the field.
Jeffrey Shaman is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of the Climate and Health Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He studies the survival, transmission and ecology of infectious agents, including the effects of meteorological and hydrological conditions on these processes. Work-to-date has primarily focused on mosquito-borne and respiratory pathogens. He uses mathematical and statistical models to describe, understand, and forecast the transmission dynamics of these disease systems, and to investigate the broader effects of climate and weather on human health.
Dr. Memoli is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and he received his master’s degree in microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He then received his medical degree from St George’s University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Washington Hospital Center Georgetown University Internal Medicine Program in Washington, DC. After completing an infectious disease fellowship in NIAID at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Memoli developed a clinical/translational research program to study influenza and other respiratory viruses in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases. He now serves as the Director of the LID Clinical Studies Unit (CSU) that seeks to perform translational research studies to answer fundamental questions regarding human influenza, respiratory viruses, and other emerging viral infections to inform and impact future vaccine and therapeutic design, while also making an effort to assist in evaluation of novel products that may impact human health. With a focus on healthy volunteer research, the LID CSU has been able to continue their primary work on influenza while quickly able to respond to assist in research of emerging infections. Dr. Memoli is considered a leading expert in healthy volunteer challenge trials, respiratory virus infections, and influenza vaccines. In addition, in recent years Dr. Memoli’s LID CSU has been heavily involved in the NIH response to emerging threats including the 2009 Influenza Pandemic, Zika, EBOLA, and COVID19.
Monica Gandhi MD, MPH is an Infectious Diseases doctor, Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is also the Director of the UCSF Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the Medical Director of the HIV Clinic ("Ward 86") at San Francisco General Hospital. Her research focuses on HIV and women and adherence measurement in HIV treatment and prevention and most recently, on how to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Adalja is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. His work is focused on emerging infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity. Dr. Adalja has served on US government panels tasked with developing guidelines for the treatment of plague, botulism, and anthrax in mass casualty settings and for the system of care for infectious disease emergencies. He also served as an external advisor to the New York City Health and Hospital Emergency Management Highly Infectious Disease training program and on a Federal Emergency Management Agency working group on nuclear disaster recovery. He is a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America; he previously served on their public health and diagnostics committees and their precision medicine working group. Dr. Adalja is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Pennsylvania Chapter’s EMS & Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Committee as well as the Allegheny County Medical Reserve Corps. He was formerly a member of the National Quality Forum’s Infectious Disease Standing Committee and the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System, with which he was deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake; he was also selected for their mobile acute care strike team. Dr. Adalja’s expertise is frequently sought by international and national media. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Adalja served on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) coronavirus advisory group and as a consultant to various businesses, schools, and organizations as well as an informal advisor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Dr. Adalja is an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security. He was a coeditor of the volume Global Catastrophic Biological Risks and a contributing author for the Handbook of Bioterrorism and Disaster Medicine, the Emergency Medicine CorePendium, Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, UpToDate’s section on biological terrorism, and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization volume on bioterrorism. He has also published in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Adalja is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is a member of various medical societies, including the American Medical Association, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, and critical care medicine. Dr. Adalja completed 2 fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh—one in infectious diseases, for which he served as chief fellow, and one in critical care medicine. Prior to that he completed a combined residency in internal medicine and emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he served as chief resident and as a member of the infection control committee. He was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2010 through 2017 and is currently an adjunct assistant professor there. He received an MD from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and a BS in industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Adalja is a native of Butler, Pennsylvania, and actively practices infectious disease, critical care, and emergency medicine in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, where he was appointed to the City of Pittsburgh’s HIV Commission and to the advisory group of AIDS Free Pittsburgh.
Dr. Deborah Fuller is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Chief of the Infectious Diseases and Translational Medicine Division at the Washington National Primate Research Center. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Fuller worked in biotechnology developing vaccines against HIV, HBV and emerging infectious diseases. In 2004, she transitioned to academia where she is leading a team developing nucleic acid vaccine platform technologies and investigating immune mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis of viral infections. She recently developed a vaccine for COVID-19 that is scheduled to enter human clinical trials in Fall 2020. Dr. Fuller is a co-founder of a biotechnology company, Orlance, Inc (www.orlance.com) that aims to advance nucleic acid vaccines to clinical testing. She is currently a member of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccines for Microbial Diseases (VMD) study section and serving on the leadership team for the Nonhuman Primate COVID Vaccines and Therapeutics Evaluation Network to accelerate the development of promising COVID-19 vaccines and antivirals. She has led translation of two vaccines from bench to clinical trials, authored 80 manuscripts and is a co-inventor on over a dozen patents for vaccines and antivirals.
Dr. Schroth is currently a Vice President and Distinguished Scientist at Illumina where he leads the Emerging Applications Group in Product Development. Gary obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis and has been working in the field of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for over 15 years as part of Illumina (and Solexa). In his research Gary uses NGS to study genomics, gene structure, expression and regulation and applies this to projects in the fields of cancer, immunology, microbiology and infectious disease. Over the course of his career Dr. Schroth has been an author on more than 100 peer reviewed research papers and holds 17 U.S. patents.
Dr. Nikolich-Zugich is internationally recognized as a leading immunologist and gerontologist. He received his M.D., MSc and Ph.D. in Immunology from Belgrade University and did his postdoc at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation with Dr. M.J. Bevan, FRS, NAS, HHMI. He held faculty positions concurrently at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and then at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. From 2008 he is serving as, Bowman Professor and Head, University of Arizona Department of Immunobiology and the Arizona Center on Aging (co-Director). He is Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association. Dr Nikolich investigates, in mouse and human models: (i) basic mechanisms of immunity and how these mechanisms decline and deteriorate with age to erode protective immunity against infection; (ii) how persistent infections such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), modulate immunity and healthspan with aging; (iii) how we can devise methods to correct or ameliorate immune dysfunction by means of new vaccines, immunomodulatory and metabolic intervention and/or immune rejuvenation; and (iv) whether and how different longevity extension treatments can improve function of the immune system while still providing longevity/healthspan benefit.
Sean Nolan was CTO at Adaptive from 2014 through 2019. Now as Distinguished Engineer, Sean works on specialized projects primarily supporting internal and external research at Adaptive Biotechnologies.
Dr. Patrick Raber is a Senior Manager on the Research and Business Development Team and focuses on the incorporation of immunosequencing into translational research and clinical trials for Adaptive's academic and biopharmacuetical partners.
Dr. Thomas Snyder is VP, Research for immunoSEQ Dx at Adaptive Biotechnologies where he leads the scientific program, in collaboration with Microsoft, to map T-cell receptor sequences to the antigens they bind to in order to create diagnostics for infectious disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
Brian McNally joined Molecular Biology Systems (MBS) as Chief Commercial Officer after 12 years in the life science and diagnostic industry. Previously, Brian has commercialized numerous nucleic acid, protein and cell-based assays for leading technology providers, many focused on multiplex panels for infectious and genetic diseases. Brian has fifteen years of practical experience at the laboratory bench, and his work has been published and presented at international conferences. Brian has a BSC from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate in Cell & Molecular Biology from University of Texas Southwestern.
Richard is the Associate Scientific Director within the large molecule bioanalytical group at LGC, where his responsibility lies with overseeing LBA method development and validation to support ADA, PK and biomarker studies. Richard has been at LGC for 10 years, but also has had previous roles at GlaxoSmithKline and Respiratory Clinical Trials Ltd.
Joel A. Lefferts, PhD, HCLD, DABCC is an assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Assistant Director of the Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technology (CGAT) Laboratory at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, New Hampshire and also serves as a medical director of the clinical laboratory at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH. Within the CGAT Laboratory, he leads the chromosome microarray and molecular infectious disease services, is responsible for evaluating new platforms and validating new clinical tests for infectious disease, oncology and genetic applications. He also is active in the laboratory’s next generation sequencing efforts, serves as IRB chair at DHMC, and is the director of the lab’s Molecular Diagnostics Fellowship program.
Imre Berger was trained as a biochemist at Leibniz University and Medical School (MHH) in Hannover (Germany), MIT (Cambridge, USA), and ETH Zurich (Switzerland). He researches essential proteins complexes in human health and disease, creates synthetic vaccines and develops enabling technologies for this purpose. After Group Leader posts at ETH (2005) and EMBL (2007), Imre was appointed Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of Bristol (2014). In 2017, he became Director of the Bristol Synthetic Biology Centre and Co-Director of the Bristol Biodesign Institute BBI, Since 2019, Imre is Founding and Managing Director of the Max Planck Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology. Imre Berger has pioneered synthetic viral nanosystems for DNA delivery and complex biologics production. The tools he developed are accelerating research and development in academia and industry world-wide. He holds international patents for protein and DNA technologies, published more than 130 papers in leading periodicals, co-founded three biotech companies and received numerous distinctions, including the Swiss Technology Award, the W.A. DeVigier Foundation Award and the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for his innovative research. Sicne 2019, Imre is Investigator of the European Research Council ERC.
Jacqueline Fabius obtained her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College in Comparative Literature and Spanish. She worked in media and management consulting for 11 years prior to joining the United Nations and later UCSF in the role of the Chief Operating Officer for the Quantitative Biosciences Institute, where she heads a number of initiatives including establishing relationships and collaborations as well as media and communication strategy for the institute. In alignment with QBI’s mission to bring young investigators and women scientists to the forefront at QBI, she started the Scholarship for Women from Developing Nations. Her focus is facilitating communication and networking across wide audiences ranging from scientists to lay audience.
Nevan Krogan, PhD, is a molecular biologist, UC San Francisco professor, and director of the intensely interdisciplinary Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) under the UCSF School of Pharmacy. He is also a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. He led the work to create the SARS-CoV-2 interactome and assembled the QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG), which includes hundreds of scientists from around the world. His research focuses on developing and using unbiased, quantitative systems approaches to study a wide variety of diseases with the ultimate goal of developing new therapeutics. Nevan serves as Director of The HARC Center, an NIH-funded collaborative group that focuses on the structural characterization of HIV-human protein complexes. Dr. Krogan is also the co-Director of three Cell Mapping initiatives, the Cancer Cell Mapping Initiative (CCMI), the Host Pathogen Map Initiative (HPMI) and the Psychiatric Cell Map Initiative (PCMI). These initiatives map the gene and protein networks in healthy and diseased cells with these maps being used to better understand disease and provide novel therapies to fight them. He has authored over 250 papers in the fields of genetics and molecular biology and has given over 250 lectures and seminars around the world. He is a Searle Scholar, a Keck Distinguished Scholar and was recently awarded the Roddenberry Prize for Biomedical Research.
Dr. Richt came to Kansas State University in 2008 as The Regents Distinguished Professor and Kansas Bioscience Eminent Scholar. In 2010, he became Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) and in 2020 Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID). He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Munich and a PhD in Virology and Immunology from the University of Giessen, both in Germany. After coming to the United States in 1989, he completed three years of postdoctoral/residency studies at The Johns Hopkins University and later served for eight years as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Animal Disease Center (USDA-ARS) in Ames, Iowa. He has edited several books, published more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and raised more than $50 million in grants for veterinary research. Dr. Richt is a pioneer in veterinary science, most notably in the “One Health” field. His work on high consequence pathogens with zoonotic and transboundary potential led to strategies to identify, control and/or eradicate such agents. His basic and applied research includes studies on animal influenza viruses, animal prion diseases including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV), African Swine fever virus (ASFV) and Borna Disease virus (BDV). Dr. Richt established the first reverse genetics system for swine influenza virus (SIV), and made seminal contributions to the development of a modified live SIV vaccine now sold in the U.S. as “Ingelvac Provenza™” and to understanding the virulence of the reconstructed 1918 “Spanish Flu” virus in livestock. He identified an atypical BSE case with a causative mutation (“genetic BSE”), used gene-editing approaches to develop the first prion protein knock-out cattle which are resistant to prion infection, and provided valuable information on host range of animal prions essential for risk analysis. Dr. Richt’s RVFV work led to the development of novel domestic and wild ruminant models for RVF and a safe, efficacious, and DIVA compatible subunit vaccine which is presently undergoing USDA licensure. For ASFV, he is developing subunit and modified live virus vaccine candidates as well as Point-of- Need diagnostics (PenCheckTM) to protect swine from this devastating disease. His recent work focused on the establishment of preclinical animal models for COVID-19 in cats, hamsters and ferrets. As founding Director of the DHS CEEZAD and the NIH CEZID Centers, he is supporting NIH, DHS and USDA in protecting public health and U.S. agricultural systems from devastating animal and zoonotic diseases.
Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is a Professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has solved the structures of the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Bundibugyo and Lassa virus glycoproteins, explained how they remodel these structures as they drive themselves into cells, how their proteins suppress immune function and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses. Dr. Saphire, herself, solved the first crystal structure of the entire human antibody, revealing at the same time, the hexameric assembly by which the IgG activates the complement cascade for immune protection. Another discovery from her lab expanded the central dogma of molecular biology by proving that certain viral proteins actually rearrange into different structures at different times for different functions. A recent discovery revealed why neutralizing antibodies had been so difficult to elicit against Lassa virus, and provided not only the templates for the needed vaccine, but the molecule itself: a Lassa surface glycoprotein engineered to remain in the right conformation to inspire the needed antibody response. This molecule is the basis for international vaccine efforts against Lassa. Dr. Saphire was also the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is the Director of this organization. This consortium, united 44 previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses. This year, the Gates Foundation asked her to head up CoVIC, a similar consortium to understand, evaluate and mobilize antibody therapy against SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has also been recognized with an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and by the Surhain Sidhu award for the most outstanding contribution to the field of diffraction by a person within five years of the Ph.D. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to develop international collaborations around human health and molecular imaging through cryoelectron microscopy.
Lorna Ewart is Emulate’s Executive Vice President in Europe. She brings over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, spanning Bioscience and Drug Safety. In her role at Emulate, Ewart is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and provides oversight for the corporate vision, goals and, science with academics, industry, and regulatory partners. Prior to joining Emulate, Ewart created Veroli Consulting Limited. Here, she served as an independent scientific consultant directing academics, start-up biotechnology companies, and pharmaceutical companies working with Organ-Chips and organoids. Within the pharmaceutical industry, Ewart rapidly developed a reputation as a valued partner with academic institutions, regulatory bodies, and technology developers and most recently successfully established the Microphysiological Systems Centre of Excellence within AstraZeneca’s R&D Biopharmaceuticals Unit in Cambridge, UK. This positioned AstraZeneca at the leading edge of industrial adoption of Organs-on-Chips technology. Earlier in her career, Ewart was the therapy area lead toxicologist for Respiratory and Inflammation in AstraZeneca’s Gothenburg R&D site, Sweden. Following her Ph.D., she joined the Respiratory and Inflammation research area within AstraZeneca, optimizing efficacy in small molecules before moving into preclinical Drug Safety where she led a Safety Pharmacology team delivering GLP data across multiple therapeutic areas. Ewart is a classically trained pharmacologist and obtained her honors degree at the University of Aberdeen and her Ph.D. at the William Harvey Research Institute in London. She has authored over 35 publications and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and British Pharmacological Society.
Sumit Chanda earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2001, and received his post-doctoral training at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). He subsequently transitioned to a Group Leader position, and established his research group in the Division of Cellular Genomics at GNF. In 2007, he joined the Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research as an Associate Professor. Dr. Chanda was promoted to Professor in 2013. In 2015, he was appointed Director of the Immunity and Pathogenesis Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.
Kevin Francis began his scientific career in 1987 as a viral research scientist, developing FMDV vaccines for Wellcome in the UK. In 1990 he returned to academia to pursue a PhD in bacterial pathogenesis at University of Edinburgh, followed by 4 years as a postdoctoral scientist at University of Nottingham and 2 years as an Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Munich. In 1999 he joined Xenogen Corporation, now part of PerkinElmer, as Director of Infectious Disease Research, before becoming Head of Biology R&D. He is currently a Fellow within this organization, helping to direct scientific innovation both internally and externally through collaborative research with PE’s extensive customer base. In February 2008 Kevin was awarded an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Surgery at the University Medical Center Groningen, and currently serves as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCLA and in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology at Texas A&M.
Joe began his flow cytometry career in graduate school by sorting genetically engineered microalgae for use. After completing his doctorate degree and joining Miltenyi Biotec as an Application Scientist, he became proficient in another area of flow cytometry; one focused on clinical assay development, regulatory compliance, and validation. As a Flow Cytometry Specialist, Joe has partnered with a variety of flow experts, ranging from individual researchers in academia all the way to large pharmaceutical companies in order to support and build multifaceted cytometry solutions to fit their diverse laboratory needs. When he is not analyzing results, he spends most of his free time wrangling his one-year old son, picking up the destruction left behind, and keeping him from falling down the stairs.
Ashish K. Jha, M.D., M.P.H., is the K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI). He is a practicing General Internist and is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jha received his MD from Harvard Medical School and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. He completed his General Medicine fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and received his MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Jha is a member of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In September, Dr. Jha will begin work as the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Jha’s research focuses on improving the quality and costs of healthcare systems with a specialized focus on the impact of policies. He has published over two hundred papers in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and the BMJ, and heads a personal blog on using statistical data research to improve health quality. He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. Dr. Jha leads national analysis of key issues around the COVID-19 pandemic, advising policy makers and elected officials at the state and federal level and appearing frequently on national television news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, and in written coverage from national newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post. HGHI is providing critical analysis and data on national and state by state testing with Dr. Jha, a vocal advocate for increased testing and contact tracing who has written extensively on the subject. His work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and Stat News among others.
Dr. Robert Schwartz is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and of the Department of Physiology, and Biophysics, and Systems Biology at Weill Cornell Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His thesis work was on the derivation of stem cell derived hepatocytes and in vitro liver model systems. He completed his insternship and residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis/Barnes Jewish Hospital. His fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology with a focus on hepatology was completed at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. He did a postdoc at MIT and his research continued to focus on the development of stem cell derived hepatocytes as a model system to study human liver disease and for clinical therapy. In his own lab at Weill Cornell Medical College he has continued to focus his work on the clinical translation and research applications of stem cell derived hepatocytes and primary human hepatocytes. In recognition of his work, he was an University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellow, an AGA Research Scholar, a UEG Rising Scholar, a Bohmfalk Clinical Scholar, and an Irma Hirsch Trust Scholar. He has >50 peer-reviewed papers and scholarly works that have been featured in Nature, Cell, Nature Chemical Biology, Cell Stem Cell, Journal for Clinical Investigation, and Gastroenterology. He is an inventor on three patents.
Dr. Hochleitner is a cell and molecular biologist and has covered different roles in the field of membrane research and development, and developing diagnostic tests on solid surfaces. He is working in the field of lateral flow tests for more than 25 years.
Part of the Senior Management team within the Whatman business area of Cytiva, with overall responsibility for the performance of a large portfolio of products and services, primarily focused on the diagnostic rapid testing market. Experience of involvement with diagnostic development companies for over 5 years and part of the Cytiva (formerly GE Life Sciences) business for over 9 years.