Old Dominion University's Center for Faculty Development will host a virtual salon discussion on the origins, vectors, science and ethics of vaccines, with a focus on the rush for effective vaccines to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

"The CFD Salon: The Pursuit of Vaccines" will be held at noon March 19 via Zoom. It will conclude with a Q&A. You can register at https://forms.gle/dSru3sPeNwP3LaKE8.

The ODU panel will feature experts with knowledge encompassing virology, immunology, vaccinology and bioethics:

  • Emilia Oleszak, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will discuss coronavirus and its variants.
  • Lisa Shollenberger, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will address vaccine vectors.
  • Yvette Pearson, professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, will explore vaccines and ethics.

Annette Finley-Croswhite of the CFD and the Department of History and Barbara Hargrave of the Department of Biological Sciences will host the salon.

"Vaccines are scientific miracles," Finley-Croswhite said. "Historians like me are well aware of the low rates of life expectancy at birth in the days before vaccines helped ensure that most children in first-world countries would live to become adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider vaccines powerful medicines because instead of just treating diseases, they help prevent them."

This salon also emphasizes the importance of women in STEM (Shollenberger, Oleszak and Hargrave) and highlights the critical intersection of the sciences with the humanities (Pearson).

"At Old Dominion University we are fortunate to have many experts to help us navigate understanding of the current coronavirus pandemic and the pursuit of safe and reliable vaccines," Finley-Croswhite said.