In this exclusive KSQA interview, conference organizers Dr. Paul Thomas and Dr. Katherine Kedzierska, discuss their vision for the upcoming meeting on Viral Immunity: Basic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Applications, as well as emerging research on COVID-19, with Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Dr. David Woodland.
Their conversation spans topics ranging from host susceptibility to COVID-19, to pathology behind severe cases, immune evasion strategies of the virus, causes of breakthrough infections, novel therapeutic strategies, and projections about how the pandemic will unfold over time.
Host susceptibility to COVID-19: Interferon defects and autoimmunity as risk factors for severe cases
COVID-19 Disease Pathology: Cytokine ‘storm’ impact on course of infection and disease severity
Immune Evasion Strategies: Emerging data on SARS-CoV2 mutation rates and mechanisms of evasion
Breakthrough Infections: Comparison to flu, and the challenges of inducing mucosal immunity
Novel Treatment Strategies: Development of vaccines, antibodies and host-targeted drugs
Tools and Technologies: Big data integration for monitoring the pandemic and viral evolution
Epidemiology of Coronaviruses: Historical significance of other coronaviruses as remnants of past pandemics
Future of the Pandemic: Inevitable transition from pandemic to endemic status and decline is severe disease cases
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Shannon Weiman earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in microbiology and immunology. Prior to joining the Keystone Symposia team, she worked as a freelance writer for leaders in academic, industry and government research, including Stanford University’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative, the University of Colorado’s Biofrontiers Program, UCSF, the FDA and the American Society for Microbiology.