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Medical Center faculty, Anthony Fauci to discuss coronaviruses on TV program

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will join David Topham, the Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Lou Papa, a professor of clinical medicine, for a discussion of coronaviruses, a family of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold and COVID-19. Tune in to the health care program "Second Opinion" at 8 p.m. tonight, February 4, on WXXI-TV.

Read More: Medical Center faculty, Anthony Fauci to discuss coronaviruses on TV program

"Experience Rochester: Rochester's Quest to Beat COVID-19" from January 28, 2021

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

A number of faculty participated in an "Experience Rochester" webinar to discuss groundbreaking work on treating, tracking, and preventing COVID-19 from spreading. Topics discussed include latest information on vaccine distribution, vaccine trials for children, and research on new coronavirus variants. The session was moderated by Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology and Vice Dean for Research.

Participants Panel:
Mary Caserta, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases)
David Topham, PhD, Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professor, Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology
Ann Falsey, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Nana Bennett, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Angela Branche, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Will the Covid-19 vaccine work on new strains of the virus?

Monday, January 25, 2021

Dave Topham was recently quoted on MSN.com as to whether the current COVID-19 vaccines will be effective for the variants.

As researchers become more aware of strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, public health officials have one question: Will vaccines offer protection against them?

At the moment, there are two broad kinds of mutations scientists are keeping an eye on: Some that make the virus more infectious, and others that appear to make it capable of evading antibodies generated by vaccines.

These new strains are somewhat expected—viruses mutate constantly. Their only evolutionary goal is to be a glorified genetic copy-and-paste machine; destroyed cells and illness are just collateral damage. It’s understandable that sometimes, viruses make copying mistakes in their genetic code along the way—and sometimes, those bugs end up being perks for them instead.

“What’s going on now is the virus is adapting to a new host,” says David Topham, a microbiologist and immunologist at the University of Rochester in New York. SARS-CoV-2 didn’t start out as a virus infectious to humans—it began as an animal virus. Now that it’s had over a year of practice copying itself in people, it’s not surprising that it’s gotten better at replicating and surviving among us.

Read More: Will the Covid-19 vaccine work on new strains of the virus?