Dr. Florian Krammer is a Professor of Vaccinology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His lab focuses on understanding broadly-reactive immune responses against the surface glycoproteins of RNA viruses such as influenza, with the goal to develop better vaccines and novel therapeutics. He talks about his lab’s shift to COVID-19 research, strategies for vaccine development, and how we can prepare for future pandemics.
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Dr. Jennifer Gommerman is a Professor of Immunology at the University of Toronto. Her team has uncovered a novel gut-brain axis that regulates neuroinflammation and is examining the role of B lymphocytes in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and in animal models of MS. More recently, she has been studying the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in saliva samples from patients with COVID-19. She talks about the role of gut-derived plasma cells in multiple sclerosis, and how salivary immunoglobulin A can protect against breakthrough COVID-19 infections.
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Dr. Caetano Reis e Sousa is the Assistant Research Director and Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. His lab studies the molecular pathways that trigger dendritic cells into action. He talks about the mechanisms of dendritic cell cross-presentation, RNA interference, and dendritic cell progenitors in influenza.
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Dr. Mihai Netea is a Professor of Experimental Medicine at Radboud University Nijmegen and a Professor of Immunometabolism at the University of Bonn. He discusses the mechanisms of trained immunity, transmission of immune traits across generations via epigenetics, and how some vaccines can enhance immunity to other pathogens.
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Dr. Keke Fairfax is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and the Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Utah.  Her lab uses helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni as a tool to understand the consequences of IL-4 induced immuno-modulation.  She explains how helminth infections can reduce the efficacy of childhood vaccinations, and how mentorship and networking can help minority scientists thrive in Utah.
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