Past Event

November 2020 COVID-19 Research Lightning Round: Webinar and Q&A

November 13, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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Meet the scientists seeking new insights on COVID-19. Every month, the COVID Information Commons ( brings together a group of researchers studying wide-ranging aspects of the current pandemic, to share their research and answer questions from our community. Learn more about their ongoing efforts in the fight against COVID-19, including opportunities for collaboration.

Join us at our next event on Friday, November 13, at 1-2 pm Eastern Time, featuring lightning talks and Q&A with the following speakers. Register here for Zoom information.

Debra Laefer, New York University: RAPID: DETER: Developing Epidemiology mechanisms in Three-dimensions to Enhance Response

Community-transmission is responsible for over three-quarters of the COVID-19 cases in the US. Yet, current models do not consider localized behavior to predict virus transmission or the extent of propagation within individualized settings and their surrounding communities. The DETER project will provide such data and demonstrate new three-dimensional means to understand community-level risk. 

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego: RAPID: Real-time phylogenetic inference and transmission cluster analysis of COVID-19

The objective of this project is the development of a user-friendly, scalable, and modular workflow for conducting a real-time computational phylogenetic analysis of assembled viral genomes, with a primary focus of SARS-CoV-2. The analysis infrastructure that will be built in this project will be broadly applicable to any viral pathogen for which phylogenetic inference is biologically and epidemiologically meaningful.

Branden Johnson, Decision Science Research Institute: RAPID: Media Exposure, Objective Knowledge, Risk Perceptions, and Risk Management Preferences of Americans Regarding the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

This project explores how Americans’ views of and behavior towards the coronavirus change - or do not change - over 9 months. This will serve the national interest in progress in science by improving our understanding of how people’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors interact both within the same person over time, and between people with individual differences in attitudes at a given time. 

Ying Zhong, University of Southern Florida: RAPID: COVID-19: Sterilization Mechanism of Corona Discharge for Masks and Environment

The overall purpose of this RAPID project is to urgently advance a safe, sustainable and high-efficiency sterilization technology by conducting collaborative and systematic research on the sterilization mechanism of corona discharge (CD). This project will provide fundamental understanding and technical validation for a portable sterilization technique, the corona discharge, to be safely and effectively used for sterilization and recharge of used face masks, N95 respirators, and PPEs. 

Leila Hedayatifar, New England Complex Systems Institute: RAPID: Modeling COVID-19 in the context of optimizing quarantine policy

This research provides a more adaptive isolation and quarantine process based on actual individuals' mobility patterns. Specifically, it advances the state of knowledge regarding 1) how to define the borders of high-risk patches considering the location and movements of confirmed patients, 2) what is the risk of each patch based on the strength of connectivity between these patches, 3) how this information enables policymakers to make better and faster decisions across the scales, and 4) how models can better simulate the epidemic spread within and among societies.

Xifeng Yan, University of California Santa Barbara: RAPID: Interventional COVID-19 Response Forecasting in Local Communities Using Neural Domain Adaptation Models

Different from existing, classic epidemic models, in this project we aim to build novel forecasting models based on cutting-edge AI techniques. The goal is to provide timely, localized information needed by administrators for strategic allocation of resources and planning towards reopening business.