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Can Materials Science Counter the COVID-19 Pandemic? A discussion with materials researchers at the frontlines of battling the coronavirus

‐ Apr 16, 2020 12:30pm

Co-presented with SFB, the Society for Biomaterials

The spread of COVID-19 throughout the globe highlights the need for improved solutions in the fight against infectious diseases. As always, materials research plays an immense role in finding these solutions. Prevention and protection, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines – materials science plays a key role in each of these key components.

In this live 90-minute panel discussion, we spoke with five researchers on the frontlines of this critical battle, applying biomaterials, nanotechnology, and other tools of materials research to accelerate a solution.

This webinar brought an overwhelming amount of questions, and we are continuing the conversation on LinkedIn @COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Materials Science. We encourage you to join the group as we resume the discussion with materials researchers at the forefront of this battle.

Join the discussion on the COVID-19 and Materials Science LinkedIn group

Host: Kara Spiller, Drexel University and Chair of the Society for Biomaterials Immune Engineering Special Interest Group


  • Jared DeCoste, US Army CCDC Chemical Biological Center: Dr. DeCoste's research focuses on novel materials development for the remediation of toxic threats, specifically the development and engineering of materials into functional forms of personal protective equipment.

  • Keith Pardee, University of Toronto: Dr. Pardee and his group are pioneering in vitro devices to host cell-free synthetic gene networks for broad applications in sensing and human health. They have used this approach to create a sterile and abiotic platform for low-cost diagnostics for Ebola and Zika viruses, and have also created a platform for making vaccines in the field.

  • Ankur Singh, Cornell University:  Dr. Singh has strong expertise in the engineering of biomaterials-based platforms for cell and immune modulation, cell-biomaterial interactions, immune cell engineering, and vaccines. His lab focuses on engineering immune and therapeutic cells by integrating innovative materials and core concepts of cellular and molecular immunology.

  • Nguyễn T.K. Thanh, University College London:  Dr. Thanh leads a very dynamic group conducting cutting edge interdisciplinary and innovative research on the design and synthesis of magnetic and plasmonic nanomaterials for biomedical applications (e.g., treatment of cancer and diagnosis of infectious diseases).

  • Thomas Webster

Sponsored by GatanMilliporeSigma and Goodfellow

Gatan Ametek logo, links to Gatan website

MilliporeSigma logo, links to their website

Goodfellow logo, links to the Goodfellow website