This fall quarter, the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series, a year-long series of exciting and impactful talks presented by world renowned scientists and clinicians, looked a little different.
Instead of hosting visits of special guests on campus this quarter, New Frontiers welcomed multiple guests to on-line events to share the current research and latest information on the biology, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, and future prevention for SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19.
In September, Dr. Barbara Osborne, Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at UMass Amherst, shared critical information and research on the immune system and its response to SARS-CoV2. Dr. Gordon Love, ‘73, Professor of Pathology at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, shared his own research related to COVID-19 pathology and the tissue damage sustained by those suffering from the disease.
“The event was live on WebEx with nearly 150 students, faculty, alumni, and members of the community tuning in to learn and participate in an active question-and-answer discussion,” said New Frontiers co-founder Dr. Jamie Newman. “This new platform allowed us to welcome viewers from throughout the country to share the newest research and information about our nation’s current health crisis.”
In November, the series welcomed Dr. Bryon Crawford II, ’74, Professor and Chair of Pathology at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Shreveport, who discussed how he and others worked to bring testing to the New Orleans area and then north Louisiana so the regional population could have access to efficient and reliable COVID-19 tests. Dr. Rodney Rohde, Professor and Chair for the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) Program in the College of Health Professions and Associate Director for the Translational Health Research Center at Texas State University, discussed his own efforts in communication and public health. Rohde also detailed testing strategies at Texas State used to monitor the health of the population. Finally, Dr. Krishnendu Roy, Robert A. Milton Chaired Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology; Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT); Director of the Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M); Director of the Center for ImmunoEngineering at Georgia Tech, shared the latest on vaccine and therapeutic development.
“In each of these two seminars and through comments made by each of these five experts, the message was clear,” said Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore, co-founder for the seminar series. “We have learned a lot, but we have a long way to go. We all play a part in keeping each other safe and healthy while preparing for the future.
“Not only was the focus of each presentation on what we know, but there was also a critical discussion about where the next generation of students and experts will play a significant role in preparing for the future through communication, research, planning, and health care.”
In the winter quarter, the series will shift to focus on patient care. These seminars will once again be through WebEx with registration free and open to anyone who is interested.
Jan. 11, New Frontiers welcomed Dr. Ghali Ghali, Chancellor of LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, and Theresa Sokol, Interim State Epidemiology and Program Manager for the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section in the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Ghali and Sokol discussed the spread of the disease and the care of patients throughout the pandemic.
Feb. 1, the series will welcome Dr. Karriem Watson, Associate Executive Director at the University of Illinois Health Center, Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the University of Illinois Cancer Center and Research Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, Dr. John Stewart IV, ’91, Professor of Surgery and Associate Director for Clinical Sciences at the University of Illinois Cancer Center, and Rudy Macklin, Director of the Bureau of Minority Health Access for the Louisiana Department of Health. Watson, Stewart, and Macklin will discuss the disparities in health care that have become highlighted throughout the pandemic and ways in which doctors, scientists, and the public can address these on-going issues in treatment.
“As the format of these events has moved online, we have the opportunity to reach a broader audience,” Newman said. “In order to achieve that goal of creating a platform where people can easily access the virtual educational experiences being provided through series like the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research seminars, the University has developed a Community connection website.”
At community.latech.edu, visitors can find information about Louisiana Tech University seminars, concerts, performances, and other ways to engage on the Tech campus. The site compiles information about LA Tech Athletics, the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center, and the Tech Farm store.
“As we continue to develop the Community site, we’ll add a wealth of opportunities for Ruston residents and our Tech Family throughout the world to engage with Louisiana Tech,” said Tom Soto, Digital Communication Manager. “We hope to keep building bridges to connect with and serve our community.”