UW Medicine Faculty Present the Leading Edge of Research
Since its launch in 1976, the Science in Medicine Lecture Series has recognized the School of Medicine faculty research achievements and provided an opportunity for researchers to explore topics outside of their immediate fields.
Lectures are organized into the four categories described below. Speakers are nominated by members of the School of Medicine scientific community and final selection is determined by a committee of peers from the Council on Research and Graduate Education (CORGE).
New Investigator Lectures
The New Investigator Lectures provide an important forum for the recognition of exceptional junior faculty members’ current scientific research.
Science in Medicine Lectures
Science in Medicine Lecturers recognizes the body of research for established faculty members as well as recent exciting discoveries.
Distinguished Scientist Lecture
The Distinguished Scientist Lecture recognizes an accomplished School of Medicine senior faculty member, honoring outstanding achievements in their field of research.
The Annual Lecture recognizes a prominent, nationally recognized scientist from another research institution, whose research has had a profound impact on their field.
"Structure-guided design of SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccines" David Veesler, Ph.D., March 3, 2021 at 11 AM
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus at the end of 2019 resulted in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the world to a standstill. A few weeks after the first SARS-CoV-2 isolate was sequenced, my lab demonstrated that ACE2 is a functional receptor and provided atomic-level information of the viral spike infection machinery which provided a blueprint used by thousands of groups worldwide for the design of vaccines and inhibitors. To understand the immune response towards SARS-CoV-2, we carried out a large-scale serological analysis of COVID-19 patient cohorts and revealed that the viral spike receptor-binding domain is immunodominant and accounts for 90% of the serum neutralizing activity. We structurally defined a spike antigenic map and serologically quantified serum antibodies specific for distinct epitopes leading to the identification of two major sites which correlate with neutralizing antibody titers. Based on this work, we designed a subunit vaccine multivalently displaying the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain in a highly immunogenic array using a self-assembling protein nanoparticle which induces potent and protective neutralizing antibody responses in mice and non-human primates. This vaccine is currently evaluated in clinical trials.