Next New Frontiers seminar focused on Diagnostics, Treatments, and Vaccines for SARS-CoV2, COVID-19

Oct 26, 2020 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Science, General News, Innovation

Louisiana Tech University’s New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series will host its second virtual seminar of the 2020-21 series at 3:30 p.m. CST Nov. 2.

This seminar and panel discussion will focus on diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines for SARS-COV2 and COVID-19. The virtual seminar will be will moderated by Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore from Biomedical Engineering and Dr. Jamie Newman from the School of Biological Sciences and feature presentations from:

  • Rodney Rohde PhD, 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.
  • Bryon Crawford II, MD, Professor and Chair of Pathology at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Shreveport.
  • Krishnendu Roy PhD, 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.

Crawford will present on clinical testing and challenges here in Louisiana. He led efforts at both Tulane Medical and now at LSU Health Shreveport to ramp up COVID-19 testing across the region. Crawford is a Louisiana Tech Alumni, Class of 1974. Crawford is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomical and clinical pathology. For 22 years, he was a Professor of Pathology at Tulane University School of Medicine. While at Tulane, Crawford was Medical Director of three HCA-TMC Laboratories, Director of Anatomic Pathology, Co-Director of Pathology Residency Program, Interim Chair of Pathology, and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Just this past May, Crawford joined LSU Health Shreveport as the new Chair of the Department of Pathology.

Rohde will present on the importance of testing and public health needs associated with diagnosing COVID-19. He is a Global Fellow, Fellow of the Association of Clinical Scientists, and Honorary Professor of International studies. Rohde is an ASCP board certified Specialist in Virology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology and spent a decade as a public health microbiologist and molecular epidemiologist with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Bureau of Laboratories and Zoonosis Control Division prior to his academic career, including two terms as a CDC Visiting Scientist. Given his background in public health and virology/microbiology, Texas State University has appointed Rohde as a Subject Matter Expert to help create the Texas State Roadmap to Return. In recent years, he has become a globally viral author subject matter expert utilizing invited articles, TEDx talks, podcasts, video casts and interviews to enhance science communication and translational health research literacy in public health, healthcare and the medical laboratory environment.

Roy will present a summary of the future of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic developments. His group has received funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Inflectious Diseases (NIAID) to evaluate adjuvant combinations to enhance the efficacy and durability of SARS-CoV2 vaccines. Specifically, over the summer, Roy’s group pivoted from their current NIH-funded work on understanding vaccine mechanisms to developing the next generation of SARS-Cov2 vaccines. The specific focus is on generating robust memory T-cell responses and improving the duration of potent vaccine response.

Following the three brief presentations, Rohde, Crawford, and Roy will answer questions from the audience and engage in a conversation on what has been learned about diagnosing and treating COVID-19, on-going research that strives to learn more, and the path forward in research, medicine, and being better prepared for pandemics in the future.

This is the second virtual seminar of the 2020-21 New Frontiers Series. The first event took place Sept. 21 where Dr. Barbara Osborne and Dr. Gordon Love discussed the biology and pathology of SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19. The seminar was viewed live and received a great response from students and alumni who recognized the impact that such an event has on a campus community. Access the video recording of the first seminar online.

The complexity and overwhelming amount of information on COVID-19 has left many of us unsure where to begin searching for accurate and reliable information that we can understand. As one alumnus noted, he has been “trying to learn as much as [he] can from reputable sources about COVID to safe guard” his family’s health, noting that “this seminar was rich with information and instruction.” A member of the Louisiana Tech faculty also commented that she “learned so much from the seminar.  It was sobering and frightening to learn what researchers have found.  The general public does not get this important perspective in national media.”