IUIS-Frontiers Webinar Series on COVID-19

The situation that we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The IUIS is collaborating with Frontiers and launching a series of weekly expert commentaries and scientific webinars to accelerate the development of novel diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Tune in to the IUIS-Frontiers scientific webinars!

On-demand Webinars

Adrian Hayday: Seeking correlates of protection and correlates of pathology in COVID-19 patients

In this webinar, Professor Adrian Hayday shares an overview of a completed deep immunophenotyping of 100 patients and controls, with approximately 200,000 data points.
Adrian Hayday is currently a Professor of Immunobiology at King’s College London, a Clinical Academic Group leader at King’s Health Partners, and Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute where he is an Assistant Research Director.
The webinar is moderated by Dr. Nigel Stevenson, Assistant Professor at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin.

The webinar will be available on demand soon!

Hans-Martin Jäck: Prevention and Therapy of COVID-19 with Monoclonal Antibodies

Hans-Martin Jäck summarizes the COVID-19 pandemic and CoV-2-host cell interactions. He introduces the concept of passive immunisation and active vaccination to prevent and protect from COVID-19, and he provides an overview of the current clinical serum and vaccine trials, finishing the webinar with a review on the production of human CoV-2 neutralising antibodies in transgenic mice with an entirely human antibody repertoire. The webinar is moderated by Tim Sparwasser, Professor and Director of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene (IMMH) of the University Medical Center (UMC) of the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz.

Salim S. Abdool Karim: COVID-19 in South Africa

Since the first case of COVID-19 on 5 March 2020 in South Africa, the epidemic grew exponentially with a doubling time of 2 days for the first 3 weeks until the effects of state-initiated interventions impacted reducing the doubling time to 15 days. The National response, which comprises 8 stages aims to flatten the curve. Stage 6 of the response on clinical care has provided new insights on the immune response, the role of the cytokine storm and the impact of dexamethasone on reducing mortality. The spectrum of Covid-19 disease from head to toe has transformed our initial understanding of Covid-19 as a respiratory distress syndrome. The webinar is moderated by Clive Gray, Professor of Immunology and Chair of Immunology at the University of Cape Town.

Eric Vivier: Association of COVID-19 inflammation with activation of the C5a-C5aR1 axis

Eric Vivier provides a longitudinal analysis of immune responses, including immune cell phenotyping and assessments of the soluble factors present in the blood and broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of patients at various stages of COVID-19 severity: paucisymptomatic, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). He reports an increase in soluble C5a levels proportional to COVID-19 severity and high levels of C5aR1 expression in blood and pulmonary myeloid cells, supporting a role for the C5a-C5aR1 axis in the pathophysiology of ARDS. Anti-C5aR1 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) prevented C5a-mediated human myeloid cell recruitment and activation, and inhibited acute lung injury (ALI) in human C5aR1 knockin mice. These results support C5a-C5aR1 axis blockade as a means of limiting myeloid cell infiltration in damaged organs and preventing the excessive lung inflammation and endothelialitis associated with ARDS in COVID-19 patients. The webinar is moderated by Abdallah Badou.

Lisa Ng: Understanding Infection and Immunity of SARS-CoV-2: from diagnostics to therapies for COVID-19

In this webinar, Lisa Ng provides an overview of the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection. She describes its interaction with the immune system and the subsequent contribution of dysfunctional immune responses to disease progression. These provides important insights in designing useful diagnostics and therapies.
Since starting her own research lab at the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), Lisa Ng is currently a Senior Principal Investigator. The research interest of her group focuses on the immune responses of arthrogenic arboviruses that are epidemic or highly endemic in the tropical region. The webinar is moderated by Faith Osier, the President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).

The webinar will be soon available on-demand.

Donna Farber: Respiratory immunity and COVID-19 

Donna Farber discusses the development of lung-localized immune responses and the role of tissue resident memory T cells in protective immunity to respiratory viruses, in mouse models of influenza infection and in human lungs,  including recent findings on the impact of age on human lung immunity.  These concepts will be discussed in the context of respiratory immunity in SARS-CoV2 infection and our studies identifying potential immune correlates of disease severity in COVID-19.
Donna Farber is the George H Humphreys, II Professor of Surgical Sciences (in Surgery) and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University. The webinar is moderated by Henry Mwandumba, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Malawi College of Medicine and Deputy Director of the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) in Blantyre, Malawi.

Sharon Lewin and Katherine Kedzierska: COVID-19 in Australia: Being prepared and understanding the role of cellular immune responses 

What role do cellular immune responses play in squashing the curve of COVID-19 infections? Sharon Lewin and Katherine Kedzierska show how immunity to SARS-CoV2 has demonstrated the breadth of concomitant immune responses associated with recovery in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation. Their study indicates that robust multi-factorial immune responses can be elicited towards the newly-emerged SARS-CoV-2 and early adaptive immune responses might correlate with better clinical outcomes.
Sharon Lewin is the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Katherine Kedzierska is Laboratory Head in Department of Microbiology and Immunology, at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
The webinar is moderated by Roslyn Kemp, Past President of the New Zealand Society for Oncology and Secretary-General of IUIS.

Mihai Netea: Trained immunity and BCG vaccination: a tool against COVID-19?

What do we know about the adaptive characteristics of innate immune responses? Does BCG induce long-term changes in innate immune cells? What are the non-specific effects of BCG vaccination on other infections? Can the BCG-induced trained immunity be harnessed against COVID-19?
Mihai Netea heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center. He is mainly interested in understanding the factors influencing the variability of human immune responses, the biology of sepsis and immunoparalysis in bacterial and fungal infections, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity.
The webinar is moderated by Faith Osier, President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).

Andreas Radbruch: Adaptive Immunity in COVID-19

Adaptive Immunity: Memory, Protection and Immunopathology in COVID-19: What do we know about the adaptive immune reaction to Sars-CoV-2? Why do humans react so heterogeneously to Sars-CoV-2? Does the adaptive immune system provide protection and for how long? How can we challenge the system with a vaccine to establish longlasting, efficient immunity?
Andreas Radbruch, Scientific Director of the DRFZ and Professor for Experimental Rheumatology at the Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin, shares his insights. The webinar is moderated by Rita Carsetti (Head of the Diagnostic Immunology Unit and of the B cell pathophysiology Research Unit of the Bambino Gesù Children Hospital IRCCS in Rome).

Rachel Humphrey: What cancer immunologists are doing about COVID-19

What are physicians and scientists seeing in their COVID-19-infected patients and in their own personal scientific explorations? What are the ongoing hypotheses that drive the emerging clinical studies, and what can we say about the rapid evolution of medicine, in light of their ongoing work? Rachel Humphrey, shares her insights. Rachel is a medical oncologist, who is currently serving as Head of Research and Development for TIO Bioventures. The webinar is moderated by Miriam Merad, Vice-President of the IUIS.

Eleanor Fish: Global outbreaks – Interferons as 1st responders

Can antivirals that target the host and not the virus improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients? Professor Eleanor Fish from the University of Toronto showed that treatment with interferon-alpha was beneficial in patients with SARS, and now shares early data on COVID-19.

The webinar is moderated by Juan-Carlos Zuniga-Pflücker, the Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto.

Giuseppe Ippolito: The Global Scientific Response to COVID-19

Giuseppe Ippolito, Scientific Director at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome, Italy, shares his opinion on why policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic must be based on scientific evidence – and why policymakers must invest in science to be prepared for future infectious diseases.

The webinar is moderated by Rita Carsetti, Head of the Diagnostic Immunology Unit and of the B cell pathophysiology Research Unit of the Bambino Gesù Children Hospital IRCCS in Rome.

Rino Rappuoli on COVID-19 Vaccines

How long will it really take to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, and how is science speeding up the process? Rino Rappuoli, Chief Scientist and Head of Research & Development at GlaxoSmithKline, shares his insights as a world expert in vaccine development.

The webinar is moderated by Faith Osier, President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).


Frontiers Coronavirus Knowledge Hub

A global challenge like the current COVID-19 pandemic can only be defeated when research results are rapidly and openly shared and all stakeholders work together – scientists, health workers, publishers, funders, policymakers, and government officials.

The Frontiers Coronavirus Knowledge Hub provides an up-to-date source of trusted information and analysis on COVID-19 and coronaviruses, including the latest research articles, information, and commentary from our world-class scientific community.


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