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The Provost’s Virtual Lecture Series: Spotlight on COVID

The coronavirus disease outbreak of 2019 has been causing devastating loss of life and unprecedented economical loss throughout the world. Please join us as the Provost’s Lecture Series hosts two virtual live lectures on COVID, featuring four distinguished Stony Brook University faculty members.

How Far Is Far Enough and Can Masks Curb the Spread of COVID-19?
Insights on Effective Social Distance and Face Covering Gained by Numerical Simulation
Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 12 pm Eastern Time (U.S. and Canada)

Fotis Sotiropoulos, PhD, interim provost and dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he is also a SUNY Distinguished Professor of civil engineering, will focus on Stony Brook’s research into social distancing and face masks: How effective are they in curbing the spread of COVID-19? Both are widely recommended around the globe to protect others and prevent the spread of the virus through breathing, coughing and sneezing, but existing guidelines vary considerably (e.g., CDC vs. WHO guidelines), and many are based on scientific studies that are a decade old. To expand the scientific underpinnings of such guidelines, Stony Brook researchers have developed high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics models to elucidate the underlying physics of saliva particulate transport during human breathing and coughing with and without facial masks. Sotiropoulos will share insights on effective social distance and face covering gained by numerical simulation on massively parallel supercomputers.

COVID Vaccines in Development: Which Ones May Give Us Our Best Shot at Returning to Normalcy?
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 12 pm Eastern time (U.S. and Canada)

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine; Bettina Fries, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases; and Sharon Nachman, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook, will discuss the basic biology of the immune response to foreign invaders, which forms the basis of the development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV2, and the basic types of the vaccine under current development. They will also focus on current clinical trials of six of the vaccine candidates, including the two RNA vaccines for which 45,000-person and 30,000-person clinical trials have recently been completed, with reported 90% to 95% effectiveness in preventing natural acquisition of infection, and near elimination of severe, life-threatening disease, albeit with minor side effects in a minority of individuals. In addition, they will discuss some of the current efforts to develop passive immunity, for example, with convalescent plasma or a cocktail of anti-spike protein monoclonal antibodies, but primarily will focus on the logistics that must be considered in the widespread use of any anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccines to develop herd immunity.

To register for one or both of these lectures and for more information, click here.  

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