On January 10, 2019, approximately 70 attendees gathered at the new VIR headquarters and networked for about an hour, while enjoying a colorful and delicious buffet and drinks generously provided by VIR. After, everyone was seated at small group tables to welcome an impressive panel of experts.
Wonderful moderator, Ann Arvin of VIR and Stanford, introduced the three participating experts from the infectious disease field – Amy Espeseth, who is an Executive Director, ID/Vaccines development at Merck, Myriam Theeuwes, recently at DURECT, with extensive experience in infectious disease compound development, and Sangeeta Bhatia of MIT, where she is leveraging micro and nanotechnologies, to improve medical diagnostics, drug delivery, tissue regeneration, and disease
Attendees were engaged in the discussion. They asked questions about the use of AI and machine learnings in the development of new technologies targeted to tackle the infectious disease outbreaks and mutational potential. Other topics that the audience brought up for discussion were the use of advertising to increase awareness, community engagement in vaccination, and the speed of development and interventions during outbreaks that receive a lot of news attention such as the last Ebola outbreak.
The event focused on the challenges that are converging around the health impact of infectious diseases as it relates to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The discussion commenced by each panelist describing the main challenges they see having the largest impact on the current state of infectious diseases in the world. Topics ranged from novel vaccination technologies involving an innovative delivery of antibodies to the role of public-private partnerships in making infectious disease
interventions available to communities in low resource countries.
The evening continued into a lively, informal networking session where the attendees could personally interact with the panelists and moderator, while mingling with each other. Overall, the evening was very engaging and memorable, thanks to the efforts of our event host and sponsor VIR, and a wonderful moderator and expert panelists. A special shout out to Eric Schlezinger, Bolyn Hubby, and Ann Arvin for helping organize the event! Many thanks to all volunteers of Women In Bio who worked in the background and to all our attendees for a successful event!
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