UC San Diego: A Deep Look into the New World of COVID-19 Innovation

It’s been more than a year since our news feeds first alerted us to a mysterious illness and its rapid spread. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives and touched every part of the globe.

Along with health and economic devastation, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a new path to research and education innovation. The global research community shared data as never before and research labs have developed novel vaccines and tests in record time. On the UC San Diego campus, the Return to Learn program paved the way for transformative approaches that led to a pioneering vision for safely educating students and opening research amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

On Feb. 25 at noon, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla will discuss the university’s nationally recognized Return to Learn program, and will be joined by three researchers who will describe novel scientific advancements that were catalyzed in response to COVID-19. The public is welcome to join us for “A Deep Look into COVID and a New World of Innovation” (registration is required).

Speakers Omar Akbari, Rommie Amaro, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and Dan Kolk.
Speakers for the Feb. 25 public presentation include (left to right) Omar Akbari, Rommie Amaro, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and Dan Kolk.

“This event will explore the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and how they were met across the UC San Diego campus and nation, highlighting key innovations that were inspired by the crisis,” said Division of Biological Sciences Dean Kit Pogliano, who will serve as event moderator. “The Deep Look series has given us an opportunity to communicate the importance of our science and innovations with public audiences, which is a critical part of our role as a public university. We hope everyone can join us for what promises to be an engaging and informative event.”

The event features:

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, who will address the innovations behind the campus’ highly successful Return to Learn Program
Biological Sciences Associate Professor Omar Akbari, who will discuss a new tool for detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus based on CRISPR genetic editing technology
Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Rommie Amaro, who will present captivating insights from her highly publicized work using computational microscopes that provide unprecedented views of SARS-CoV-2
Biological Sciences alum Dan Kolk (’83), senior diagnostic adviser with Tunnell Consulting Group Inc. supporting BARDA Diagnostics, who will address the future of at-home diagnostic testing in response to COVID-19.
The event, produced in collaboration with UCTV, is part of A Deep Look into the Future of Biology, a series that commemorates the 60th anniversary of UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences. More information is available here.

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