On Friday, July 17, 2020, the second COV-IRT symposium on COVID-19 was attended by more than 400 people, in addition to the almost 4000 views on Facebook Live. Co-led by GeneLab’s Afshin Beheshti from Ames Research Center and Todd Treangen from Rice University, this virtual Zoom symposium was hosted by Rice University. Attendees included officials from many government agencies including BARDA, DHS, CDC, DARPA, DoE, DoD, FDA, and NIH.
The symposium included topics from vaccine development, plasma therapy, the NASA-Developed ventilator (VITAL), various COVID-19 platforms, basic COVID-19 biology and diagnostics, and highlights of work currently being done in COV-IRT. Speakers included:
- Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist leading the NIAID/NIH in vaccine development. She has been in the news recently for important work on the mRNA-1273 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and promising results from the NIH-sponsored phase-1 clinical trials.
- Peter Hotez is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. He is the Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also University Professor at Baylor University, and Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.
- Michael Joyner, a professor at the Mayo Clinic, is leading a national program sponsored by the U.S. Government to coordinate the collection and distribution of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with severe or life-threatening disease.
- Melissa Haendel leads the National COVID Cohort Collaborative program backed by the NIH. She is also an Associate Professor of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, School of Medicine; Co-Director, OHSU Library; Director of the Ontology Development Group.
- Donald Milton, Professor at University of Maryland, is a leading expert in airborne transmission of diseases.
As COV-IRT and the rest of the scientific community continues to better understand the virus, all the knowledge gained is a step forward in finding effective treatments for COVID-19.
For more information on the COV-IRT Team’s research, click here.