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COVID-19 Research Workshop Series Brings Researchers Together

Last Fall, the Office of the Vice President for Research, (OVPR) in partnership with the Institute for Engineering-Driven Medicine (IEDM) and the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at Stony Brook University (SBU) launched the COVID-19 Research Collaboration Series. Each session focused on developing collaborations between researchers and included two talks about active COVID-19 research projects at Stony Brook University with an opportunity for discussion following the presentations.

The series was announced and managed by the Office of Proposal Development (OPD) after confirming faculty interest in a series focused on collaborations for COVID-19 research projects. For each session, OPD paired two researchers around a common thematic discussion topic. The first session was held on November 5, 2020, and was followed by eight additional sessions, scheduled once every 2-4 weeks. The series concluded on April 29, 2021 with a special talk by guest speaker Dr. Jason McLellan from The University of Texas at Austin.

“We launched this series as a follow up to a special initiative COVID-19 seed grant program to draw attention to the critical research that is addressing urgent healthcare challenges and the far-reaching social impacts of the pandemic in real time. Stony Brook University researchers are making incredible scientific advances in this space, and increasing collaborations are key to the continued progress of their research,” said Dr. Richard Reeder, Vice President for Research.

The program received a terrific response from the Stony Brook University research community, with faculty participants from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Health Technology and Management, the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, and the School of Social Welfare. Seventy-two SBU faculty members registered for at least one session in the fall semester, and 80 SBU faculty members registered for the spring semester sessions. A few of the sessions were open to faculty from other State University of New York (SUNY) institutions and about 50 external faculty participated throughout the series.

“Modern science is often done at the interfaces between traditional fields, especially for challenging problems like COVID-19. This series made it much easier to navigate the impressive breadth of research at Stony Brook and find collaborators with similar goals but complementary skills,” said Dr. Carlos Simmerling, Marsha Laufer Professor of Physical & Quantitative Biology.

Recordings of select presentations are available for viewing on OPD’s Stony Brook Research YouTube Channel.

Below is the full list of COVID-19 Research Collaboration Series sessions:

Breaking Down COVID-19
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Talk 1: Computational models of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein suggest possible routes to viral inactivation, Dr. Carlos Simmerling
Talk 2: Accelerating nanobody discovery to target SARS-CoV2, Dr. Ed Luk

The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Talk 1: The COVID-19 Pregnancy Experiences (COPE) Study: a prospective program of research on pandemic stress, perinatal stress, and their impacts on women and children, Dr. Heidi Preis
Talk 2: Disability in the Time of COVID-19, Dr. Brooke Ellison

Predicting Disease Spread and Severity
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Talk 1: Classification and Severity Progression Measure of COVID-19 Patients Using Proteomic and Metabolomic Sera, Dr. Pawel Polak
Talk 2: Monitoring novel coronavirus in sewage as an early warning system to detect hidden outbreaks and track disease prevalence in communities, Dr. Arjun Venkatesan

Developing COVID-19 Technologies
Monday, December 14, 2020
Talk 1: AI-enabled lung analyzer for Detection and Characterization of COVID-19, Dr. Jerome Liang VIDEO
Talk 2: Personal smart phone-integrated virus sensors and mobile app for rapid and accurate saliva screening and option to share results with businesses before entering common space, Dr. Matthew Jacobs VIDEO

Computational Approaches to Study COVID-19
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Talk 1: Meta Analysis of COVID-19 Combining Multiple Omics Data Sets, Dr. Wei Zhu VIDEO
Talk 2: The Analysis of Binding SARS-CoV-2 to Various Substrates, Dr. Peng Zhang VIDEO

Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 and Implications for Well-Being
Monday, February 8, 2021
Talk 1: Behavioral Underpinnings of Vaccine Hesitancy and Implications for Vaccine Acceptance, Dr. Stacey Finkelstein VIDEO
Talk 2: Effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on the Academic, Career, Mental, Psychosocial, and Physical Functioning of the SBU Community, Dr. Brady D. Nelson VIDEO

Models to Predict and Control COVID-19
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Talk 1: Using Demographic Pattern Analysis to Predict COVID-19 Fatalities on the US County Level, Dr. Klaus Mueller  VIDEO
Talk 2: Pandemic Control in ECON-EPI Networks, Dr. Marina Azzimonti VIDEO

Impacts of Social Distancing
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Talk 1: The Impact of Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Outbreak on Mental Health and Substance Use Outcomes: Examining Risk and Protective Factors in Young Adult Populations in New York, Dr. Sana Malik & Dr. Ijeoma Opara VIDEO
Talk 2: Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19-Induced Social Isolation (PICSI) on Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Longitudinal Study, Dr. Matthew Lerner & Alan H. Gerber VIDEO

COVID-19 Life Cycle: From Viral Infection to Novel Therapeutics
Monday, March 22, 2021
Talk 1: Viral Infection and Initiation of Thrombosis, Dr. Miriam Rafailovich
Talk 2: Targeted Degradation of SARS-CoV-2 Proteins, Dr. Peter Tonge

Structure-based Design of Coronavirus Vaccine Antigens
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Structure-based Design of Coronavirus Vaccine Antigens, Special guest speaker Dr. Jason S. McLellan, The University of Texas at Austin



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