COVID-19 Symposium

COVID-19 Symposium

Registration is now open for students! Learn more about our speakers and register here.

Students, join us for this upcoming Science Department event! The coronavirus pandemic is a call for scientists to rise to the challenge and use their problem-solving skills in the midst of hardship and tragedy. The NCSSM Science Department has organized a virtual COVID-19 Symposium to bring together national researchers who will share their experience and perspectives on the status of the coronavirus pandemic and the mitigating solutions created by scientists.

NCSSM students are invited to join the symposium to learn about:

  • the national effort to create a vaccine in record time,

  • how to assess the effectiveness of masks,

  • how computational techniques can help us design drugs,

  • the challenge of running a clinical trial that is equitable, and

  • the obstacles to distribution of the vaccine.

In this historic moment in science, we are fortunate to have access to some of the most prominent scientists at the forefront of this public health effort (see below) and proud of the strong connections with North Carolina.

How to participate

The COVID-19 Symposium will take place on Saturday, March 13, 2021, with speakers in the morning and workshops in the afternoon (the Symposium will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 2:45 p.m.). There are several ways that students can participate in this virtual event (via Zoom), in addition to being in the audience:

  • Submit your questions in advance for our two speakers: Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Cindy Gay. We will let you know if your question is chosen for this honor and you will be allowed to ask your question live. Watch your NCSSM email for an announcement about submitting Speaker Questions. (The window for submitting questions will be Feb. 1-Feb. 14.)

  • During the symposium: submit questions in real time via chat for our panelists.

  • Sign up for afternoon workshops with NCSSM faculty on topics including Genomics, Mutation, Science Communication, and Vaccine Hesitancy. Watch your NCSSM email for an announcement about signing up for workshops. (The window for signup will be March 1-10).

Symposium Presenters:

Holden Thorp, Editor-in-Chief, Science (MC)

Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health (Speaker)

Cindy Gay, Lead, Phase 3 clinical trials for Moderna, UNC (Speaker)

Machelle Sanders, Secretary, NC Department of Administration (Panel Moderator)

Panel Members:

Kizzmekia Corbett, Research Fellow, Scientific Lead Coronavirus Vaccines, NIAID

Martin Fischer, Associate Research Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Duke University

Jackie Olich, Vice President, University Collaborations, RTI
Alex Tropsha, Associate Dean, Pharmacoinformatics, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC