Vaccine Expert Kate Broderick Named a Primary Speaker at COVID-19 Symposium

May 29, 2020

Noted vaccine expert Kate Broderick, who is leading an INOVIO research team in San Diego to develop a DNA vaccine for COVID-19, will deliver a presentation and answer questions at the UC Davis-based COVID-19 Virtual Symposium on Wednesday, June 3.

“We are fortune to obtain Dr. Broderick, who is INOVIO's senior vice president of research and development, as one of our primary speakers,” said UC Davis distinguished professor Walter Leal, symposium organizer and moderator. 

The free online symposium will take place from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 3 on Zoom and YouTube.  A pre-program begins at 4:30 with interviews and questions to accommodate all the material. (To register and view the program, access

“Dr. Broderick targets deadly infectious diseases and cancers and now she has her sights set on a DNA vaccine for COVID-19,” Leal said, adding that she “brought the first-in-human Lassa fever vaccine into the clinic and advanced the development of a DNA vaccine for the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) virus.”

Over the course of her career, the San Diego-based vaccine expert has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles. Her team regularly publishes and presents research findings in leading scientific publications and at worldwide conferences. She has participated by invitation at advisory meetings convened by the World Health Organization to discuss DNA vaccines and their delivery.

Broderick is the co-inventor of multiple patents related to DNA vaccine delivery, and has served as a principal investigator on grants, awards, and contracts from leading government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Small Business Innovation Research program, and including a $56M award from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

She helped drive the development of novel prototypes and designs of INOVIO's proprietary smart device CELLECTRA®, which delivers the company's DNA medicines directly into cells in the body.

Broderick received her doctorate from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. She joined INOVIO in 2006. In 2018, Dr. Broderick was named Business Women of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal.

The symposium, with a welcoming address by UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, is expected to draw a widespread audience.

The primary speakers or panelists:

  • Dr. Robert 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

  • Dr. Dean Blumberg, professor and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, UC Davis Health

  • Dr. Allison Brashear, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine.

 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.

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 (Travis Air Force Base quarantine). Overall, two passengers and one crew member on the Grand Princess died, and 103 tested positive.  Wyler and her husband tested negative.

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 who has organized and moderated two other COVID-19 symposiums as a public service.

The first symposium is online at and the second at