COVID-19 Coalition

About the Coalition

Springing from the mission of MJH Life Sciences to improve quality of life through health care communications, education, and research, the MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition was formed to help keep health care professionals up-to-date and informed on the science and latest learnings on COVID-19.

Leveraging our relationships with top thought leaders across a variety of key specialties, the Coalition generates the most accurate, up-to-the-minute information on the pandemic's ever-evolving impact on health care professionals and the patients they treat.

Join us for biweekly webinars with discussions, viewpoints, audience Q&A, and an array of insight pieces on key COVID-related topics. And be sure to watch this space for the latest Coalition updates.

Meet the Coalition

Saskia v. Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC

Senior Infection Prevention Epidemiologist
Phoenix, Arizona

Angela Rasmussen, PhD

Associate Research Scientist
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Tina Tan, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS

Professor of Pediatrics
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Jason M. Pogue, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP

Clinical Professor
University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

Margaret Liu, MD

CEO, PAX Therapeutics
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco

Paul E. Sax, MD

Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Amesh Adalja, MD

Senior Scholar
Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security

Carlos del Rio, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

Rachna Kalia, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
KU School of Medicine-Wichita

Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Past Programs

Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccination webinar

Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccination: A Toolbox of Talks From Leaders in the Field

The development and rollout of vaccines to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an incredible feat of innovation by the scientific community, but vaccines can only work when they are administered, particularly to high-risk groups.

Vaccine hesitancy has swirled into a pandemic of its own, fueled by misinformation and mistrust. The scientific and research communities, coupled with health care professionals, are in a prime position to restore trust and confidence. However, we must first explore the root causes of vaccine hesitancy, from the psychology of decision-making and messaging to strategies for boosting vaccine confidence on the front lines and among at-risk populations.

Watch this webinar, co-hosted by the International Society for Vaccines and the MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition, to hear from the experts on key issues driving vaccine hesitancy and how scientists and health care professionals can combat that mindset.

Legal and Ethical Considerations webinar

Legal and Ethical Considerations of COVID-19 Vaccination

In an incredible feat of innovation, the pharmaceutical industry and scientific community developed, tested, and secured emergency use authorization (EUA) for 2 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidates in a period of 9 months, with others close behind.

This medical breakthrough was beyond impressive but not a panacea for the pandemic. The rollout, distribution, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines is the next challenge we must conquer. With the rollout comes unanswered questions involving complex legal and ethical considerations. For example, is there a liability concern in potentially mandating a vaccine only available via EUA? How do we navigate the issue of exemptions or privacy concerns?

Watch the MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition webinar, “Legal and Ethical Considerations of COVID-19 Vaccination,” for answers to these questions and more from our panel of experts in a discussion moderated by Amesh Adalja, MD.

care for the caregiver

Care for the Caregiver: Avoiding Burnout. Anxiety, and Stress on the COVID-19 Front Lines

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic posed near-crippling challenges to our health care infrastructure and changed the way of life for people around the world. But it had an even bigger impact on the men and women on the frontlines—the health care providers who work around the clock, with little to no food or sleep, with limited personal protective equipment (PPE), fighting physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, who witnessed firsthand the true tragedy a pandemic can inflict.

From PPE shortages and rationing of resources to battling anxiety, stress, and burnout, those on the frontlines have spent the better part of a year fighting the pandemic 1 patient at a time. But who cares for the caregiver?

Watch the MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition webinar event, “Care for the Caregiver: Avoiding Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress on the COVID-19 Frontlines,” for an important conversation about the challenges of working in health care during a pandemic, as well as some strategies to cope.

Takeaways from "Care for the Caregiver: Avoiding Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress on the COVID-19 Front Lines"

Health care workers around the world have faced unprecedented challenges during the past year, battling the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with limited resources and unlimited stress. The MJH Life Sciences™ COVID-19 Coalition discussed the pressure placed on medical professionals during the pandemic during a recent webinar titled “Care for the Caregiver: Avoiding Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress on the COVID-19 Front Lines.”

The coalition, a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines, shared personal experiences with physical, cognitive, emotional, and system challenges; discussed success stories; and examined strategies for caring for the caregivers.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What You Need to Know

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What You Need to Know

B.1.351 in South Africa. B.1.1.7 in the United Kingdom. These emerging coronavirus variants, some billed as more contagious forms of SARS-CoV-2, have dominated reports as they popped up across the globe within the last couple months. Genetic mutation is anticipated, especially for RNA viruses as they multiply, but at what point should clinicians and the scientific community become concerned? With a novel pathogen like SARS-CoV-2, there are still many unknowns.

How did these variants emerge? Are they indeed more transmissible? Do they cause more serious disease? What does the scientific evidence support? What should the public response be? Will the developed vaccines provide coverage against these variants?

Watch the MJH Life Sciences(TM) COVID-19 Coalition webinar event, “Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What You Need to Know,” for an enlightened conversation with a panel of frontline thought leaders, including experts in virology, epidemiology, and immunology, hosted by Dr. Carlos del Rio.

8 Key Takeaways from "Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What You Need to Know"

Like all viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been mutating as it spreads from person to person throughout the world during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Some variants that have emerged recently are raising concerns about the possibility of increased transmissibility, along with questions about whether they will lead to more severe disease, whether current vaccines will provide protection against them, and how they might affect public health efforts.

During a recent webinar titled “Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What You Need to Know,” the MJH Life Sciences™ COVID-19 Coalition discussed emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have appeared across the globe during the pandemic and what they mean for immunity and public health. The coalition is a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

Innovative Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Containment

Color and COVID-19: The Virus’ Disproportionate Impact

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) not only exposed major gaps in our national pandemic response. It also revealed structural inequities that led to disproportionate impacts of the virus among racial and ethnic minority groups. According to data from APM Research Lab released in December 2020, 1 in 1,625 White Americans has died from COVID-19 compared with 1 in 1,275 Latino Americans, 1 in 925 Indigenous Americans, and 1 in 875 Black Americans. This is the result of a combination of discrimination and social factors that create racially inequitable impacts.

Watch our webinar, “Color and COVID-19: The Virus’ Disproportionate Impact” for an enlightened conversation with a panel of frontline experts.

10 Key Takeaways from "Color and COVID-19: The Virus' Disproportionate Impact

In the 10 months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic, the disease has killed more than 400,000 Americans, taking a disproportionate toll on communities of color. COVID-19 has killed 1 in 595 Indigenous Americans, 1 in 735 Black Americans, 1 in 895 Pacific Islander Americans, 1 in 1000 Latino Americans, and 1 in 1030 White Americans.1 During a recent webinar titled “Color and COVID-19: The Virus’ Disproportionate Impact” hosted by the MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition, experts discussed how the virus has affected communities of color, vaccine distribution and uptake, and their visions for the future.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

Innovative Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Containment

Innovative Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Containment

Diagnostic vs antibody. At-home vs point-of-care collection. Sensitivity vs specificity. There is a lot to consider when testing for past or present coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, such as when to test, how to test, and which test to use. We rely on testing to paint an accurate picture of disease prevalence, but what if there’s a better strategy than the current approach?

Watch our webinar, “Innovative Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Containment,” to hear straight from the experts on their proposals for effective testing tactics.

7 Key Takeaways from "Innovative Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Containment"

Testing is crucial to combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Along with identifying the infection in individuals seeking treatment, testing sheds light on the virus in the population and how to mitigate transmission. The MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition discussed the current state of COVID-19 testing and emerging testing strategies during “Innovative Testing Strategies for COVID-19 Containment,” the sixth in a series of webinars. The coalition is a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

Thinking Long-Term: COVID-19’s Clinical Consequences and Mental Health Effects

Thinking Long-Term: COVID-19’s Clinical Consequences and Mental Health Effects

A novel disease. A global pandemic. A wide-ranging clinical spectrum. A new way of life. It’s unclear what impact coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will have in the long run in terms of health consequences for those who have been infected and “recovered.” Additionally, there are sure to be costs associated with adapting to our new virtual world, especially when it comes to the mental health of children and young adults.

Watch our webinar, “Thinking Long-Term: COVID-19’s Clinical Consequences and Mental Health Effects,” to hear straight from the experts regarding existing data on COVID-19’s clinical course and potential long-term health consequences, as well as the pandemic’s effect on the mental health of children and young adults navigating a virtual lifestyle.

6 Key Takeaways from "Thinking Long-term: COVID-19's Clinical Consequences and mental health Effects"

Eleven months after the discovery of SARS-CoV-2, investigators continue to learn about the wide ranging effects of the virus that is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition discussed the long-term health complications of the disease along with the consequences of adapting to a world under pandemic restrictions during the fifth in a series of webinars, Thinking Long-Term: COVID-19’s Clinical Consequences and Mental Health Effects. The coalition is a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

race for a vaccine latest updates

Race for a Vaccine: The Latest Updates on COVID-19 Prevention

As investigators worldwide race to develop a safe and effective vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), other teams are working to explore additional means of prevention against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Phase 3 data from vaccine clinical trials are expected shortly, and public health officials are hard at work drafting plans for mass delivery and distribution once a vaccine candidate has cleared US Food and Drug Administration approval.

Meanwhile, antibody-based options for prophylaxis are also in development, including monoclonal antibodies.

Watch our Webinar, "Race for a Vaccine: The Latest Updates in COVID-19 Prevention," to hear straight from the experts regarding the newest developments and clinical data on all things COVID-19 prevention, from vaccines to potential prophylaxis treatments.

Our panel features Larry Corey, MD, who heads the operations center for the COVID-19 Prevention Network, the national collaboration started by Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to manage the multiple large-scale clinical trials of vaccine candidates; in addition to Myron S. Cohen, MD, who is leading the monoclonal antibody arm of the COVID-19 Prevention Network.

Race for a Vaccine: The Latest Updates on COVID-19 Prevention

The MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition explored the latest developments in COVID-19 prevention efforts in the fourth of its biweekly series of webinars, "Race for a Vaccine: The Latest Updates in COVID-19 Prevention." Along with vaccine candidates, the webinar addressed monoclonal antibodies.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

navigating the covid-19 treatment landscape

Navigating the COVID-19 Treatment Landscape: Clinical Controversies Explained

From antivirals and anti-inflammatory therapy to corticosteroids and convalescent plasma, the treatment landscape for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) evolves each and every day as more and more studies are added to the literature bank.

But what helps and what hurts? When should one treatment be used over another, and what considerations factor into those decisions? What do the data say? What’s in the pipeline?

Watch our webinar, "Navigating the COVID-19 Treatment Landscape," and stay up to speed on all the current treatment agents in our arsenal, including when or in which patients to use each, as well as a review of the therapeutic pipeline. Our group of experts includes pharmacists who serve on treatment guidelines panels for both the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Five Takeaways from Navigating COVID-19 Treatment Landscape: Clinical Controversies Explained

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the landscape for infectious disease treatments, with drug developers and investigators racing to identify, develop and test therapies for the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In the third of its biweekly series of webinars, the MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition, a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines, addressed some of the considerations and controversies surrounding COVID-19 treatments.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

fact or fiction

Fact or Fiction? COVID-19 Myths and Controversies

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is totally airborne. Children are immune to COVID-19 infection. Six percent of coronavirus deaths were caused by COVID-19 alone. Hydroxychloroquine is a miracle drug.

The "info-demic" that has accompanied the coronavirus disease pandemic has spread just as fast and insidiously as the virus itself, with misinformation, myths, and controversies running rampant in both the public sphere and among healthcare providers as well.

Watch our webinar, "Fact or Fiction? COVID-19 Myths and Controversies," to get the facts directly from the experts.

Debunking 9 Common COVID-19 Myths

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a so-called infodemic of misinformation and confusion among public and health care professionals about everything from how the virus is transmitted and who is susceptible to vaccine safety and miracle drugs. The MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition tackled some of the most common myths and controversies in the second in a biweekly series of webinars as part of a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

battling dual threats

Battling Dual Threats: Flu and COVID-19 Converge

The convergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and influenza this fall represents a pressing public health threat as hospital systems, clinicians, and the world’s population brace for the impact of dual epidemics.

What are the interactions between the seasonal influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2? How do we manage co-infections? How do we prioritize testing and diagnosis? What are some effective strategies for expanding vaccine coverage? What steps can be taken to cut transmission and preserve the capacity and function of health systems?

Watch our webinar event, "Battling Dual Threats: Flu and COVID-19 Converge," featuring perspectives across virology and epidemiology.

Battling Dual Threats: Flu and COVID-19 Converge – 5 Takeaways

Health care professionals are bracing for new demands as the influenza season approaches, raising concerns about how a convergence of the annual illness with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic might affect public health. The MJH Life Sciences™ COVID-19 Coalition, a partnership with top health care thought leaders across a variety of medical disciplines, offers resources to help navigate these challenges.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

debating the road back to school

COVID-19: Debating the Road Back to School

August traditionally kicks off "back-to-school" time in the United States, but this year presents new challenges as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to disrupt daily life. Still, school administrators, parents, and teachers are in the midst of trying to navigate school re-openings in a way that promotes learning, protects student safety, and prevents new infections.

Watch our webinar event featuring the biggest names in pediatrics and pharmacy as they discuss and debate current US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, outline what a safe return-to-school plan looks like, talk pros and cons of adding COVID-19 to the list of state-mandated immunizations for children once a vaccine is available, and share advice on how to counsel parents through this confusing time.

COVID-19: Debating the Road Back to School – Top 5 Takeaways

On a topic that is being debated in every town and city across the nation, our latest COVID-19 webinar hosted three healthcare experts as they debated what considerations factor into reopening decisions, which infection prevention measures need to be in place, how to maintain healthy school environments and more. To capture the most relevant insights from the event, we’ve developed a whitepaper highlighting the 5 key takeaways.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

race for a vaccine

COVID-19: Race for a Vaccine

Investigators and scientists around the globe are racing the clock to develop a vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). With a handful of candidates entering phase 3 trials, huge investments from governments for the first 100 million doses, case counts continuously ticking upward, and policymakers working to untangle the logistical knots of distribution, the race for a COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most urgent public health challenges we’ve ever encountered.

Watch our webinar featuring the top minds in infectious disease, virology, and vaccinology to hear a breakdown of the top vaccine candidates, the latest from the ongoing clinical trials, and how to combat logistical hurdles associated with the rollout of a vaccine in the middle of a global pandemic.

COVID-19: Race for a Vaccine – Top 5 Takeaways

In a recent MJH Life Sciences webinar titled "COVID-19: Race for a Vaccine," 3 experts weighed in on the process and challenges for developing the vaccine, as well as the hurdles that could stand in the way of fast, widespread deployment of a successful vaccine candidate. To capture the most relevant insights from the event, we’ve developed a whitepaper highlighting the 5 key takeaways.

Click here to download our whitepaper.

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Saskia v. Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC

Senior Infection Prevention Epidemiologist
Phoenix, Arizona

Dr. Saskia Popescu is an infectious disease epidemiologist and infection prevention with a focus on hospital bio preparedness. He holds a PhD in Biodefense and an MPH in infectious disease epidemiology and is certified in infection control. She is a term assistant professor at George Mason University and an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health.

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Angela Rasmussen, PhD

Associate Research Scientist
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Dr. Rasmussen is a virologist studying host responses to infection by combining classical virology with modern systems biology approaches. Her research objectives are to identify host response signatures predictive of infection severity or disease outcome and host pathways to target drug development or repurposing. She is particularly interested in viruses that are highly pathogenic, newly emergent or likely to emerge because of climate change, land development, or ecological disruption.

Dr. Rasmussen has employed Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse models, which provide an expanded range of disease presentations, to study viral disease characteristics. At the University of Washington, she developed a CC mouse model of Ebola virus disease, utilizing the diversity of CC mouse disease phenotypes to study genetic and transcriptomic factors underlying disease severity in humans. She is currently evaluating CC mouse models towards investigation of sex-specific host responses to viral infection, as well as to investigate disease presentation in other viruses that pose a major threat to global public health, such as dengue and influenza viruses. Ultimately, these host response profiles can be used for translational or biodefense applications, such as diagnosing infection, predicting disease severity, informing vaccine design, and developing or repurposing host-targeted drugs to impair virus replication or reverse pathology.

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Tina Tan, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS

Professor of Pediatrics
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Tan is Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and a Pediatric Infectious Diseases attending; Medical Director of the International Patient Services Program (IPS); co-Director of the Pediatric Travel Medicine Clinic; and Director of the International Adoptee Clinic at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Tan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). She also is a member of the IDSA Education Committee and the chairperson of the IDSA Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion, Access & Equity. She has served as Chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Infectious Diseases (SOID – 2014-2018) and as a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID – Redbook Committee – 2010 - 2018). She currently serves as a member of the: AAP Global Immunization Advocacy Project Advisory Committee and is a Technical Advisor for the AAP/CDC Global Immunization Advocacy Project, the AAP Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Workgroup – Education Subcommittee, AAP Expert Pertussis Cocooning Advisory Committee, and is a liaison to the CDC ACIP Pertussis Working Group and to the Illinois Chapter of the AAP OB/GYN Immunizations and Pregnancy Outreach Committee. She is a member of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Global Health Task Force Dissemination and Advocacy Work Group. Dr. Tan is a member of: the NIH/NIAID Clinical Trial Planning and Implementation Grant Review Panel; the Vaccine and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she serves as co-Chair of the AFM Task Force and the Vaccine Confidence Task Force. She served as a member of the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines of the US Department of Health and Human Services (2016-2019).

She is the Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Pediatrics and she serves on the editorial boards of: the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (Official Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society - PIDS), Internal Medicine Reviews, and Vaccines.

She is the Co-Chairperson and US Representative to the International Steering Committee of the Global Pertussis Initiative (GPI); a member and consultant to the Steering Committee of the Latin America Without Pertussis Initiative (PAHEF, SLIPE); a member of the Expert Pertussis Core Team for Latin America & the Carribean: Pertussis Action Plan 2020; a member of the Board of Directors of the World Association of Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders (WAidid); and a member of the US National Pertussis Task Force (AAP and Every Child by Two). She also is a member of the vaccine advisory boards of Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GSK and Pfizer/Wyeth.

Her interests include: pertussis disease and vaccines, pneumococcal disease and vaccines, CA-MRSA infections, antibiotic resistance, vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases, general infectious diseases, vaccination of cancer patients with routinely recommended adult preventative vaccines, and vaccine education for healthcare providers and patients.

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Jason M. Pogue, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP

Clinical Professor
University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

Dr. Jason Pogue is a clinical professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy and an infectious diseases clinical pharmacist at Michigan Medicine. Prior to this position he spent just over a decade at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) as an infectious diseases clinical pharmacist at Sinai-Grace Hospital and as the co-chair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee at the DMC.

Dr. Pogue received a bachelor degree in Chemistry from Gannon University, before obtaining his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He then completed a PGY-1 pharmacy residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center followed by an infectious diseases PGY-2 residency at the University of Michigan Health Systems. His research interests focus on epidemiology and management of multi-drug resistant Gram-negative organisms and antimicrobial stewardship.

Dr. Pogue is a recognized leader in Gram-negative resistance and antimicrobial stewardship as evidenced by his significant contribution of over 100 peer-reviewed articles, over 100 abstracts, multiple book chapters, and presentations at numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Pogue currently serves at the president of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists and is an active member of The United States Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (USCAST) where he is intimately involved with antimicrobial susceptibility breakpoint setting. Dr. Pogue also serves as the clinical pharmacy lead for two National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded international studies targeting strategies to optimize polymyxin usage.

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Margaret Liu, MD

CEO, PAX Therapeutics
Principal, ProTherImmune
Chairman of the Board and President Emeritus, International Society for Vaccines
Foreign Adjunct Professor, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Liu is a world-renowned expert in the fields of vaccines, immunotherapy, gene therapy, and global health. Dr. Liu obtained an MD from Harvard Medical School and completed her clinical and research training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and MIT. She has pioneered two important new technologies for vaccines and for treating cancer for which she has received numerous awards internationally and two honorary doctorates including an MD honoris causa, was given by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, where she had been previously invited to lecture by the Nobel committee. She is known as "The Mother of DNA Vaccines;" DNA vaccines are one of the approaches being used for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. She has led and advised multiple efforts to develop vaccines for global health as well as gene-based approaches for delivery of therapeutic proteins and is a member of the WHO drafting group for guidelines for DNA and mRNA vaccines.

Dr. Liu is CEO of PAX Therapeutics, consults for companies, investment firms, universities, and scientific non-governmental and governmental organizations, is a Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and an Adjunct Full Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and is the Chairman of the Board and President Emeritus of the International Society for Vaccines. She was the Senior Advisor in Vaccinology at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Executive Vice-Chair of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an independent international organization established by the UN with signatory countries, in Seoul, Korea. She has held various executive and board positions at pharma and biotech companies (Merck, Chiron, Sangamo, Transgene) and is currently a Director at Ipsen and Adjuvance Technologies.

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Paul E. Sax, MD

Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Sax is clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the HIV Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sax received his MD from Harvard Medical School, did his residency in Internal Medicine at BWH, then fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Editor-in-Chief of Open Forum Infectious Diseases, is Section Editor of HIV/AIDS in UpToDate, on the Editorial Board of NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases (where he writes the HIV and ID Observations blog), and on the editorial advisory board of Medscape HIV/AIDS. Dr. Sax is also on the core faculty of the International AIDS Society – USA, and teaches regularly on HIV and infectious diseases locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to his clinical practice and teaching, Dr. Sax's ongoing areas of research include clinical trials of antiretroviral therapies, cost-effectiveness of management strategies for HIV, and toxicity of antiretroviral therapy. He is presently the principal investigator at the BWH AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, and is a member of the Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications (CEPAC) Research Group.

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Amesh Adalja, MD

Senior Scholar
Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security

Dr. Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. His work is focused on emerging infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity. Dr. Adalja has served on US government panels tasked with developing guidelines for the treatment of plague, botulism, and anthrax in mass casualty settings and the system of care for infectious disease emergencies, and as an external advisor to the New York City Health and Hospital Emergency Management Highly Infectious Disease training program, as well as on a FEMA working group on nuclear disaster recovery. He is currently a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's (IDSA) Precision Medicine working group and is one of their media spokespersons; he previously served on their public health and diagnostics committees. Dr. Adalja is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Pennsylvania Chapter's EMS & Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Committee as well as the Allegheny County Medical Reserve Corps. He was formerly a member of the National Quality Forum's Infectious Disease Standing Committee and the US Department of Health and Human Services' National Disaster Medical System, with which he was deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake; he was also selected for their mobile acute care strike team. Dr. Adalja's expertise is frequently sought by international and national media.

Dr. Adalja is an associate editor of the journal Health Security. He was a coeditor of the volume Global Catastrophic Biological Risks, a contributing author for the Handbook of Bioterrorism and Disaster Medicine, the Emergency Medicine CorePendium, Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, and a NATO volume on bioterrorism. He has also published in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Carlos del Rio, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. del Rio is Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, and professor of global health and epidemiology at the Rollins School of Emory University. He serves as the Executive Associate Dean of Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System, and is the co-director and principal investigator of the Emory Center for AIDS Research. His research interests include the early diagnosis of HIV, linkage to and retention in HIV care, and prevention of HIV infection. He has long worked in hospitals and clinics with hard-to-reach populations including substance abuse users to improve outcomes of those infected with HIV and toprevent infection among those at risk. Dr. del Rio also works on emerging infections, epidemic and pandemics including the response to the 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) as member of the WHO and CDC advisory teams. During the COVID-19 pandemic Dr. del Rio has been a leader locally and nationally, doing research, developing policies, writing scientific publications and making media appearances. Dr. del Rio is a native of Mexico, where he attended medical school at Universidad La Salle, graduating in 1983. He did his internal medicine and infectious diseases fellowship at Emory. Dr. del Rio has received multiple honors and awards including the Emory University Thomas Jefferson Award in 2014 and the "Ohtli Award" given by the Government of Mexico for "distinguished work that benefits the interests of the Mexican community or communities of Mexican origin living in the US." He was selected by the Atlanta Magazine as one of the 55 most influential foreign born Atlantans in 2007 and as one of "Atlanta 500 most powerful leaders" in 2020. Dr. del Rio was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (previously the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Sciences in 2013 and elected as the National Academy of Medicine foreign secretary in 2020.

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Rachna Kalia, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor
KU Wichita Psychiatry

Dr. Kalia is assistant professor of psychiatry with KU School of Medicine-Wichita, and clinical director of their consultation-liaison group working at Ascension Via Christi hospitals in the area. She sits on various committees in the department and school, as well as serves as clinician leader on several organizational matters within Ascension Via Christi system, pertinent to mental health, including COVID care. She leads the residency program's QI conference series, and has been invited by local nursing home organizations, hospital systems and universities to present on complex topics such as delirium, managing aggression/violence in hospitals and nursing homes, impact of social media on mental health. Being the associate program director of the residency program and a core faculty member, she also has special interest in educating the trainees on variety of complex medical and psychiatric conditions co-occurring in patients, both in inpatient and outpatient settings. She is a member of several organizations which are involved in advocacy and promotion of mental health in Kansas including Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

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Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Dr. Utibe Essien is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a general internist and health equity researcher in the Center for Research on Health Care. His research focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in the use of novel therapeutics in the management of chronic diseases including atrial fibrillation. He has recently applied this research framework to the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly becoming a national expert in the health disparities that are disproportionately affecting minority communities with COVID-19. His writing and research has been published in leading medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA and he has been interviewed by national and international news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian and NPR. Dr. Essien's leadership in advancing health equity during COVID-19 led him to be named a "Top 50 Experts to Trust During a Pandemic" by Elemental and he was recognized as a National Minority Quality Forum 40 under 40 Leaders in Minority Health awardee in 2019.