Mark Your Calendar for June 3: Fantastic Panel for the Third UC Davis-Based COVID-19 Symposium

Mark your calendar!

You won't want to miss the UC Davis-based COVID-19 Symposium on Wednesday, June 3.

Dr. Robert Gallo, world-renowned virologist at the forefront of the AIDS epidemic and now targeting COVID-19, will headline the panel of speakers. 

The free online symposium, to focus primarily on vaccines, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.,  Pacific Daylight Time on Zoom and YouTube. (A pre-program, with interviews and questions, begins at 4:30 p.m.) It's the third in a series of COVID-19 symposiums organized and moderated by UC Davis distinguished professor Walter Leal as a public service.

Panelists will discuss:

  • Is the polio vaccine a solution?
  • Are the front-runner vaccines safe and effective? If so, when might they be available? 

Gallo, who co-discovered that HIV causes AIDS, is the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine; co-founder and director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute of Human Virology; and co-founder of the Global Virus Network. He will be joined by Dr. Dean Blumberg, professor and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, UC Davis Health; and Dr. Allison Brashear, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, among others.UC Davis Chancellor Gary May will deliver the welcoming address.

Also interviewed will be Dr. Atul Malhotra, professor of Medicine, Pulmonology, Critical Care, UC San Diego Health, and Dr. Stuart H. Cohen, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, UC Davis School of Medicine. (See program at

Renowned honey bee geneticist Robert E. Page, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, will comment on bee therapy, a possible treatment for COVID-19 treatments (suggested by researchers in China but not yet investigated.) (See

Retired UC Davis Medical Center nurse Carolyn Wyler of Sacramento, a passenger on the ill-fated Grand Princess cruise ship, will talk about her COVID-19 outbreak experiences from ship to shore. She and her husband were quarantined in their room for six days. They then spent 13 days in quarantine at Travis Air Force Base before being released.  (Both tested negative.) A 71-year-old passenger on the same ship, but on a different cruise, was the first in California to succumb from the disease. Overall, two passengers and one crew member on the Grand Princess died, and 103 tested positive.  (Read her amazing story on Ipinion Syndicate: "No one wanted us," she wrote.)

To register, post questions, and to link to the list of panelists, access

Among those asking questions will be Jennifer Cash, newest faculty member of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences; Fred Gould, National Academy of Sciences member; UC Cooperative Extension advisor Surendra Dara; and University of Brasilia graduate student Raquel Silva. 

Leal, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology faculty and a former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is hosting the symposiums as a public service. 

The first symposium is online at "You are our heroes," one viewer wrote.

The second symposium can be accessed at "It was a great symposium--the personal story of the frontline physician was incredible,” one viewer wrote. Added another viewer: "Well, what an amazing finale and yes, we are taking it seriously, especially those of us older office workers.  What a story of your life and death experience.  Amazing presentation!" And another: "Congratulations on today's new webinar. It was excellent again. I look forward to the next one."  

One more thing about the third COVID-19 symposium on June 3: Leal's interview with Gallo, who is as humble a person as you'd ever want to meet, is a must-see. Learn what sparked his interest in virology, what fueled his dreams, and why he doesn't plan to retire. Ever. Very moving.