CNAS Science Lecture Series Returns Spring 2021
The College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences at the University of California, Riverside is proud to present the 2021 Science Lecture Series entitled COVID Conversations: How the College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside is combating the pandemic of our lifetime.
On March 16, 2020, the University of California, Riverside joined the world when the campus closed to protect its community from the spread of COVID-19. More than a year later, many have not been able to return to in-person activities. However, researchers at UC Riverside have joined the fight against COVID-19.
This year's Science Lecture Series, "COVID Conversations: How the College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside is combating the pandemic of our lifetime," is a three-part series with CNAS scientists who responded to the pandemic by creating a testing lab on campus for students; conducting research in virology to understand viruses and the development of vaccines; and investigating the assembly and reproduction of the coronavirus in the human body.
Current undergraduate and graduate students will also take part in the conversation, and audience members are encouraged to ask questions during the live event.
The Science Lecture Series will be a virtual event. Each presentation is free and open to the public. RSVP below for each presentation to receive the links to watch live events on Zoom.
Please check back as additional information will be posted.
Responding to the pandemic: How UC Riverside scientists created a COVID-19 testing lab for students
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Shortly after UC Riverside closed to protect its community from the spread of COVID-19, the campus began discussions to create its own testing lab to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Led by UCR scientists Katherine Borkovich and Isgouhi Kaloshian, in collaboration with partners across the university, the campus coronavirus testing lab opened in August 2020 and began providing UCR with on-site testing and rapid turnaround of results. However, the experience of creating a clinical COVID-19 testing lab from scratch during a global pandemic came with great challenges and also unexpected rewards. Join us on April 6 at 5 p.m. to learn how Drs. Borkovich and Kaloshian tackled challenges and experienced rewards when they created the COVID-19 testing lab at UC Riverside.
Guest Speaker: Katherine Borkovich, Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
Guest Speaker: Isgouhi Kaloshian, Professor and Chair, Department of Nematology
Moderator: Timothy Paine, Divisional Dean Agricultural & Natural Resources, Distinguished Professor, Department of Entomology
COVID vaccines and beyond
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Our health and safety, as well as our ability to return to our pre-pandemic lives are conversations that are taking place all across the world — and vaccines are at the center of those conversations. The Science Lecture Series presentation on Vaccines and Beyond will highlight the work of two leading UCR scientists with expertise in virology and the development of vaccines.
Dr. Juliet Morrison’s research on viruses will help us understand the immune system’s response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection and how immunity is generated; how COVID vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2; and why COVID vaccines still offer protection against the new variants of concern.
The three major COVID vaccines that obtained emergency use authorization from the FDA are based on two vaccine platforms, mRNA and adenovirus. Dr. Rong Hai will share how the mRNA and adenovirus vaccines platforms were selected to fight SARS2 viruses and the composition of these vaccines. He will also introduce a vaccine project that his lab is currently working on to engineer a vaccine candidate with dual specificity: influenza and COVID.
Be sure to tune into the Science Lecture Series on Vaccines and Beyond on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Rong Hai, Assistant Professor of Virology, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
Guest Speaker: Juliet Morrison, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
Moderator: Frances Sladek, Divisional Dean Life Sciences, Professor of Cell Biology, and Toxicologist
Understanding coronavirus assembly: A crucial step towards destroying the enemy
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 5 p.m.
The ancient saying “know thy enemy” is just as true today as the world faces the deadly novel coronavirus. To understand how COVID-19 assembles itself into a viable virus, experts at the University of California, Riverside will share how their research, experiments and computer simulations, which has never before been performed on the coronavirus, will help propel the development of drug therapies that slow or destroy the virus.
Guest Speaker: Thomas Edward Kuhlman, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Guest Speaker: Roya Zandi, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Moderator: Umar Mohideen, Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy