April 6, 2021  |  Nancy Tyrrell

CBC COVID-19 Seminar Series – February & March Recap

The Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) and the CBC COVID-19 Response Award recipients are hosting a series of monthly seminars during which our invited speakers will discuss ongoing SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 biomedical research.

Elizabeth McNally (NU) presents “Screening for Coronavirus Antibodies in Neighborhoods (SCAN).”

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, we welcomed Dr. Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, as our COVID-19 seminar series inaugural speaker. Dr. McNally is the Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine. She serves as the Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine and Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. McNally is part of a team studying exposure to COVID-19 through the use of an at-home collection method for detecting antibodies. McNally’s team recruited participants from throughout Chicago and Cook County in the “Screening Coronavirus Antibodies in Neighborhoods (SCAN)” study, and is currently in the process of examining durability of anti-COVID-19 antibodies, household spread, and response to vaccine. During the COVID-19 townhall meeting, Dr. McNally described the findings from the SCAN study and discussed the next steps associated with this antibody test, including community testing, how the results compare in different neighborhoods, and longitudinal data collection and analysis.

Scott Budinger, MD, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care in the Department of Medicine and Ernest S. Bazley Professor of Airway Diseases at Northwestern University served as the moderator at the event. Over 100 participants attended the inaugural CBC COVID-19 seminar and Dr. Budinger delivered the questions that were received from the audience to Dr. McNally following her presentation.

Scott and his team, including Jing Liu (UIC), and Gokhan M. Mutlu (UChicago), were recently awarded $500,000 to study “Targeting Aberrant Immune Responses in Patients with Severe COVID-19” as part of the CBC COVID-19 Response Award program.

To view a recording of Elizabeth McNally’s presentation, click HERE.

Emily Landon (UChicago), speaks about

Emily Landon (UChicago), speaks about “Vaccine Distribution and COVID-19 Spread”.

The following month, on Thursday, March 25, Emily Landon, MD, the executive medical director for infection prevention and control at UChicago Medicine and one of Chicago’s preeminent experts on the coronavirus presented her work regarding, “Vaccine Distribution and COVID-19 Spread” at the second seminar of the CBC COVID-19 Seminar Series. Emily specializes in infectious diseases and leads the academic health system’s infection control and prevention efforts. As the medical specialist for the High-Consequence Pathogen Preparedness Program, Dr. Landon has helped steer the University of Chicago Medicine, the University of Chicago, and its affiliates through the COVID-19 pandemic. She says her hospital system is distributing the vaccine like a “well-oiled machine,” thanks to their large workforce and existing vaccination structure – but that’s not the case everywhere.

Emily notes that, “half of residents 65 and up in the State of Illinois have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the seven-day rolling average in the state is 92,180 daily vaccines”. Over 100 community members joined the virtual seminar. Emily did a wonderful job of providing the audience with scientific information and practical advice about avoiding the spread of COVID-19. She also provided the latest data pertaining to the vaccine distribution in Chicago and beyond.

Melody Swartz, PhD, William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering and Deputy Dean for Faculty Affairs at The University of Chicago, served as the moderator during the meeting and presented to Emily the many questions that were submitted by the audience.

Melody and her team, including Evan Scott (NU), Ying Samuel Hu (UIC) and Jeff Hubbell (UChicago), were recently awarded $500,000 to study “Novel Strategies for Enhancing Vaccine Efficacy Against SARS-CoV-2” as part of the CBC COVID-19 Response Award program.

We look forward to hosting the next seminar in the COVID-19 seminar series on Thursday, April 22, with Savas Tay, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Engineering, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at The University of Chicago. Dr. Tay will be speaking about “Drug Repurposing For COVID-19 And Future Pandemics.” Register today!

To view a recording of Emily Landon’s presentation, click HERE.


▸ CBC COVID-19 Seminar Series