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**All experts also available for interviews prior to event and EUA Advisory Committee Meetings**

PHILADELPHIA—Through research conducted in Penn laboratories beginning decades ago, Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, a professor of Infectious Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Katalin Kariko, PhD, an adjunct associate professor at Penn and a senior vice president at BioNTech, discovered in the early 2000s that introducing certain chemical modifications into messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) molecules can greatly increase its therapeutic potential—a discovery that plays a critical role in two of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates that rely on the use modified mRNA being separately  developed by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech.

On Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, Penn Medicine will host a virtual event where Dr. Weissman will discuss the science and impact of the groundbreaking research that resulted in this fundamental discovery about mRNA biology that has helped pave a path to these new modified mRNA vaccines soon to be deployed in the global fight against COVID-19. He will also discuss the potential future opportunities for use of modified mRNA in immunotherapies, personalized cancer vaccines, and more. Dr. Weissman will be joined by immunologist E. John Wherry, PhD, chair of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics and director of the Institute for Immunology, discussing the ways in which the pandemic has increased collaboration between scientists at the bench and clinicians at the bedside, and his COVID-19 immunology research into how and why the disease affects people so differently and how the immune response to vaccines may vary.

Following Drs. Weissman and Wherry, Jonathan A. Epstein, MD, executive vice dean, chief scientific officer and professor of Cardiovascular Research, will join the conversation with questions.

Additional Penn health policy and epidemiology experts — including two members of the Operation Warp Speed Advisory Committee — will discuss the EUA committee meetings, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the vaccine regulatory landscape, the EUA process for vaccine authorizations and its history, and policy and research implications moving forward.

WHERE:

Virtual Event, hosted on BlueJeans

REGISTER HERE

WHEN:

Monday, December 14, 2020
10:00 AM EST – 11:45 PM EST

10:00AM

Welcome & Introduction

10:05 AM

Pioneering COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Technology and the Future of Vaccine Research

10:25 AM

Q&A with Speakers

10:45 AM

COVID-19’s Impact on Vaccine Regulations & Policy and the EUA Approval Process

11:15 AM

Q&A with Speakers

WHO:

  • J. Larry Jameson, PhD, Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Jonathan A. Epstein, MD, Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, professor of Infectious Diseases, Perelman School of Medicine
  • E. John Wherry, PhD, chair of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics and director of the Institute for Immunology, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, a Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Steve Joffe, MD, PhD, interim chair of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, and a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board overseeing Operation Warp Speed’s COVID vaccine trials
  • Susan Ellenberg, PhD, professor and the interim chair of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine, and a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board overseeing Operation Warp Speed’s COVID vaccine trials

Topic:

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.9 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $496 million awarded in the 2020 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 44,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2020, Penn Medicine provided more than $563 million to benefit our community.

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