COVID-19 Challengers to be honored at Liberty Science Center’s Virtual Genius Gala

LSC News

This Monday at 8 pm, Liberty Science Center’s Genius Gala will go virtual for the very first time. Streamed live on LSC’s Facebook page, the event will be available – for free – to all friends and fans of the Science Center.

The Virtual Gala is a celebration of scientific achievement in support of LSC’s mission to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers.

We’re excited to honor four “COVID-19 Challengers,” a group of scientists and public health experts who are working to defeat the pandemic. Learn more about the “COVID-19 Challengers” below, and come meet them on Sept. 21 at 8 pm during our live stream, streamed on LSC’s Facebook page.

Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

The renowned serial genomics entrepreneur and previous Genius Award honoree will speak about the DIY COVID-19 vaccine that he administered to himself. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the methods for the first genome sequence, and has contributed to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies.

Dr. Perry Halkitis, Dean, Rutgers School of Public Health

Dr. Halkitis, a research psychologist who studies the LGBTQ population, will talk about Rutgers’ work with the NJ Department of Health recruiting contact tracers and his own research on the mental and physical health of LGBTQ individuals during COVID-19.

Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, Commissioner of Public Health for the city of Milwaukee

Under Dr. Kowalik’s leadership, Milwaukee became the first city to declare racism a public health crisis. Now, 80 cities and counties have followed Milwaukee’s lead. Dr. Kowalik will speak about her health department’s discovery early in the pandemic that middle-aged Black men were at greater risk of COVID-19 than Americans who had traveled internationally.

Dr. Tal Zaks, Chief Medical Officer, Moderna Therapeutics

Dr. Zaks will share his optimism about the first candidate COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. to enter Phase III clinical trials. In addition to his industry work, Zaks is associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has served as a volunteer physician at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Be sure to follow Liberty Science Center on Facebook so you can join us live for the event.

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