The Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury, Connecticut is excited to welcome four renowned scientists for a series of four lectures to explain the underlying science in producing antibodies, therapies, and vaccines to thwart the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 lectures will be given on Wednesdays: April 28, May 5, 12, and 19 at 7 pm EDT on Zoom. There is no charge for these programs, but registration is required. RSVP online at (https://www.minormemoriallibrary.org/?tribe_events=covid-101-your-immune-system) to receive the Zoom link. Descriptions of the scheduled lectures follow. WEDNESDAY APRIL 28 AT 7 PM EDT ON ZOOM: LECTURE 1: “How Your Immune System Responds to Viral Infection” Vaccines have great potential to end the COVID-19 pandemic and yet are controversial. Hear from Marc Jenkins, PhD, about how vaccines stimulate the immune system and why vaccines are such powerful tools in infection control. Dr. Jenkins is a Regents and Distinguished McKnight University Professor and heads the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota. In 2020, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. WEDNESDAY MAY 5 AT 7 PM EDT ON ZOOM: LECTURE 2: “Antibody Therapy: What Is It and Is It Safe? Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Regeneron utilized its suite of technologies to rapidly develop and release the first antibody cocktail with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. Learn how the antibody therapy works through mimicking a natural immune response and why it continues to be potently active against all known variants. Lecturer Benjamin Fulton, PhD, is a Scientist in the Infectious Disease Department at Regeneron and a member of the team that developed Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail. As a specialist in virology, he developed the screening tools to identify the most potent antibodies and is currently monitoring the evolution of the virus to inform future therapies. WEDNESDAY MAY 12 AT 7 PM EDT ON ZOOM: LECTURE 3: “Why Can’t We Go to the Drugstore and Get a Pill for This Virus?--Drug Discovery and Infectious Disease” Cyrille Kuhn, PhD, from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals will discuss the tools available to chemists that lead to the creation of new drug therapies; including the discovery of novel compounds, computer drug design, and 3D simulated viewing to optimize drug potency. Dr. Kuhn heads the Boehringer Ingelheim Research Beyond Borders (RBB) organization in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
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