Highly Successful UC Davis COVID-19 Symposium Is Now Online

Jan 14, 2021

Highly Successful UC Davis COVID-19 Symposium Is Now Online

Jan 14, 2021

If you missed the recent UC Davis COVID-19 Symposium on saliva and sewage tests, plus vaccines, not to worry.

It's online on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Paq0ka3NIP0 

"We had a total of 1,234 registrants," reported UC Davis Distinguished Professor Walter Leal, the organizer and moderator. "According to the ZOOM's report, we had 749 users, 613 unique views, and 500 max concurrent views (max capacity)." As of 7:30 p.m., Jan. 14, YouTube showed more than 650 viewers.

More than 94 percent of the participants who responded to the survey were very satisfied or satisfied.  Some indicated it was too long, that the presentations should have been shorter, with more focus on the questions and answers. One said he/she: “liked the use of undergrads asking and introducing speakers and sharing questions. Wow, UCD has some really smart people!” 

UC Davis Chancellor Gary May delivered the opening remarks. UC Davis scientists Richard Michelmore, Nam Tran and Heather Bischel explained the COVID tests underway at UC Davis and the Davis community and answered questions.  UC Davis Health physician Stuart Cohen, chief of the Division of infectious diseases and director, Hospital Epidemiology and  Infection Control, answered questions about vaccines.

"Dr. Cohen is leading a Phase 3 clinical trial of the Novavax vaccine called NVX-CoV2373,” said Leal, a chemical ecologist with the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a former chair of the Department of Entomology, now the Department of Entomology and Nematology. “This vaccine has a subunit from the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and it's combined with an adjuvant, a boosting agent to improve the body's immune response to the vaccine." 

Viewers also learned about “Healthy Davis Together,” a program partnering UC Davis with the City of Davis to prevent the spread of the virus and “to facilitate a coordinated and gradual return to regular city activities and reintegration of UC Davis students back into the Davis community."

Some comments:

  • "Amazing presentation.  Will the recording be archived to view?  there was  information that I missed (I was taking notes) and wished I could rewind to listen to a second time."
  • "Excellent focused and varied content. Impressive development of infrastructure and community collaborations. Nice introductions to some of the content that might need background information for some participants without taking away from the more in-depth information."
  • "Great symposium, well organized, good flow of parts, excellent info provided by presenters."
  • "Honestly I didn't think it was going to be so information dense, Dr. Leal really surprised me with organization, structure and information presented through this symposium."
  • "I found the symposium panelists to be very informative and accessible, and Dr. Leal did a great job moderating the discussion! I appreciated the diversity of the panelists that are involved in different areas of testing, distribution, and surveillance." 
  • "Went longer than expected but very interesting!"
  • "Thank you for hosting these sessions and for spreading more high quality information on the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm very grateful to be able to hear from specialists actively working on or around this tremendous issue. Huge thanks to all of the people involved and UCD!"
  • "Very informative and engaging. Thank you Dr. Leal for hosting this. Your hard work and time is appreciated."
  • "Thanks so much for offering this symposium. It's very informative, and the simple act of viewing the conversation makes me more confident in our community's preparedness and our shared determination to stop the virus and keep our community safe."
  • "Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity! It was an incredible educational experience and I really appreciate the time and collective effort that was put into this symposium to make it happen."
  • "These symposia provide me with the best, up-to-date information about COVID-19 that isn't dumbed down so much as to be meaningless. Priceless access to these great minds. Thank you so much!! - From A Veterinary Epidemiologist" 
  • "Very well organized and facilitated. An overall fantastic presentation!" 
  • "I enjoyed the interaction between the panel speakers in terms of answering a question or simply discussing safety and the people involved in the vaccine and COVID prevention/testing process. I liked the interview-style videos."
  • "I have to give a shout out to UC Davis attacking this pandemic in its 3-pronged approach (testing, contact tracing, quarantining) and giving personal guidance for each case. Having had to go thru it, it's definitely very helpful."
  • "Witnessing how my husband's work doesn't have the same hands-on guidance is giving a lot of misinterpretations and lack of direction and more work exposures. Thank you."
  • "I really enjoyed this symposium! It was very informational and I learned so much! I really liked how students were able to ask questions because as student I had some of the same questions!"

This was the fourth UC Davis COVID-19 Symposium that Leal has organized and moderated since April 2020.

(Note:  UC Davis Distinguished Professor Walter Leal focuses his research on the biochemical and molecular basis of insect olfaction, or how insects perceive the world through the sense of smell. However, he is also heavily involved in public service.)