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Conversations on COVID-19: Understanding Viral Transmission

Monday, March 15, 2021
11:00am to 11:45am
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Caltech researchers at every level, from undergraduates to faculty members to JPL engineers, jumped into action when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Their work continues to advance our understanding of the virus and to accelerate progress toward solutions as they develop treatments to decrease fatality rates, create diagnostics crucial to controlling the virus's spread, and engineer models that policymakers rely on in public health decision-making.

Hear directly from Caltech researchers about their progress and ask your own questions in this series of conversations for the Caltech community.

Matt Cooper, Graduate Student, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Emily Savela, Graduate Student, Bioengineering
Alex Winnett, MD/PhD student, UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program

in conversation with

Emily Velasco, Science Writer, Office of Strategic Communications

About the Participants

Matt Cooper, Emily Savela, and Alex Winnett are graduate students in the lab of Rustem Ismagilov, the Ethel Wilson Bowles and Robert Bowles Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. They are currently conducting the Caltech COVID-19 Study, in partnership with the Pasadena Public Health Department. The study seeks to better understand how the virus replicates, even in people with few or no symptoms, with the ultimate goal of helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in communities.Emily Velasco is a science writer in Caltech's Office of Strategic Communications covering the latest research in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and medical engineering. She originally planned to attend medical school, but late in the bio-med program at UC Irvine, she took a dramatic left turn and pursued a degree in journalism at Cal Poly Pomona instead. She has worked as a reporter, a public relations professional, and a social media manager.


This series is presented by the Caltech Science Exchange, which brings expert insight to the scientific questions that define our time. The Science Exchange offers trustworthy answers, clear explanations, and fact-driven conversation on critical topics in science and technology, including COVID-19 and other viruses.