Coming Up: Current Topics in COVID-19 Research

Post Date: January 5, 2021

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Join us for this exciting virtual seminar series featuring cross-disciplinary research experts who will discuss the latest information and cutting-edge science on COVID-19.

Hosted by the Cincinnati Children’s Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Biostatistics & Epidemiology, these one-hour sessions will highlight important research and cover a range of topics on the COVID-19 pandemic, such as vaccine development and implementation, antivirals, transmission, racial and ethnic disparities, pregnancy, and epidemiology.

The series will be hosted on Zoom and moderated by Cincinnati Children’s faculty members Paul Spearman, MD, Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Katherine Bowers, PhD, MPH, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.

“I see this seminar series as an opportunity to learn from global experts in some of these areas at a point in the pandemic where we have learned a lot,” Bowers says. “This is one opportunity to bring people ‘together’ who have common interests. The variety of cross-disciplinary talks will be of interest to anyone tuning in.”

These virtual seminars are free and open to the public. A Q&A session with each presenter will follow their presentation. A recording of each presentation will be available after the conclusion of the seminar.

Presentations are open to all. No registration fees required.

Wednesdays, 2 – 3 PM via Zoom

Jan. 13, 2021

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Mark R. Denison, MD

Stahlman Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Targeting the SARS-CoV-2 replicase for antivirals

One of the world’s leading experts on coronaviruses, Dr. Mark Denison will review the biology of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) as well as the mechanisms and potential targets for antivirals. Dr. Denison has studied coronaviruses since 1984 and has made many groundbreaking discoveries in their biology, in antivirals, and in vaccines. Investigators in his lab seek to understand the replication, pathogenesis, and evolution of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and the current SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Most notably, the Denison Lab helped to define the functions of multiple coronavirus replicase proteins and collaborated on the development of the COVID-19 antiviral Remdesivir and EIDD-2801 (Molupiravir).

Jan. 27, 2021

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Robert W. Frenck Jr., MD

Director, Vaccine Research Center
Executive Chair, Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Professor, University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics

 

COVID-19 vaccine development and implementation: the here and now

Dr. Robert Frenck is a world-renowned expert in vaccine development for the prevention of pediatric infectious diseases and has been at the forefront of development and testing of two RNA vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2. During his presentation, he will discuss the development of the current leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, review data from the clinical trials evaluating COVID-19 vaccines, and describe potential issues with implementation of vaccine delivery.

Feb. 10, 2021

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Justin Lessler

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University

Understanding COVID-19 transmission: from households to populations

The key to controlling SARS-CoV-2 is understanding how the virus moves from one person to another, and what actions stop this from happening. The evidence for understanding transmission comes from data on individual exposures coming from households and contact tracing studies to analysis of population level trends. In this presentation, Justin Lessler will examine how to merge evidence from these levels to gain a full picture of viral transmission.

March 10, 2021

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Denise J. Jamieson, MD, MPH

James Robert McCord Professor and Chair
Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Emory University School of Medicine

Pregnancy in the time of COVID-19

During her presentation, Dr. Denise Jamieson will provide updates on what is known about COVID-19 in pregnancy including clinical course and severity, birth outcomes, and risks of perinatal and breastfeeding transmission. Her presentation will also highlight the latest developments on COVID-19 vaccinations for pregnant and lactating women. In addition to her current role at Emory University, Dr. Jamieson is a retired member of the U.S. Public Health Service and received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award granted to an officer in the Commissioned Corps, for notable contributions to reproductive health and public health practice. She served in a variety of leadership roles at the CDC, including as medical care task force lead for the Ebola response in 2014 and as incident commander for CDCs response to Zika in 2016-17.

Apr. 14, 2021

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Monica Webb Hooper, PhD

Deputy Director
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Institutes of Health

COVID-19 and equitable diffusion of the vaccines

With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines and others possibly forthcoming, there is concern about vaccine hesitancy among populations that experience health disparities and equitable diffusion. Dr. Monica Webb Hooper will describe the rationale and data supporting these concerns, existing racial/ethnic differences in common vaccine uptake, and science that NIMHD is seeking to support. As an internationally recognized translational behavior scientist and clinical health psychologist, Dr. Webb Hooper has dedicated her career to the scientific study of minority health and racial/ethnic disparities, focusing on chronic illness prevention and health behavior change. Her goal is to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge and disseminate findings into communities with high need. This past May 2020, Dr. Webb Hooper’s early findings of racial/ethnic disparities of COVID-19 were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

May 12, 2021

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Natalie E. Dean, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biostatistics
Colleges of PHHP and the College of Medicine
University of Florida

Evaluating vaccines for emerging infectious diseases

During an outbreak of an emerging infectious disease, vaccines are a key prevention tool, but evaluating investigational vaccines can be challenging due to limited resources, shortened timescales, and unpredictable epidemiology. Dr. Natalie Dean will describe several innovative strategies for evaluating vaccines tailored to the epidemic context. As an expert in novel vaccine trial design and analysis, Dr. Natalie Dean specializes in infectious disease epidemiology and is a statistical consultant for the World Health Organization where she has worked on evaluation of a coronavirus vaccine.

June 9, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines revisited: uptake status and remaining questions

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Paul Spearman, MD

Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Professor, University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Paul Spearman has been at the forefront of research for the prevention and treatment of emerging infectious diseases starting with the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. His laboratory focuses on several aspects of HIV biology including viral interaction with host cells and cellular pathways responsible for the immune response. Dr. Spearman also directs adult and pediatric vaccine trials for Ebola, HIV and SARS-COV-2.

Robert W. Frenck Jr., MD

Director, Vaccine Research Center
Executive Chair, Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Professor, University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Robert Frenck is a world-renowned expert in vaccine development for the prevention of pediatric infectious diseases and has been at the forefront of development and testing of two RNA vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2.

 

Zoom Meeting Information:

Zoom Meeting Link: Click here to join any of the seminars above via Zoom
Meeting ID: 841 0849 7968
Passcode: COVID2021

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NOTE: These presentations will be recorded via Zoom for educational purposes.