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2.
Mol Biol Cell ; 33(3): vo1, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709244

ABSTRACT

Despite substantial investment and effort by federal agencies and institutions to improve the diversity of the professoriate, progress is excruciatingly slow. One program that aims to enhance faculty diversity is the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences. IRACDA supports the training of a diverse cohort of postdoctoral scholars who will seek academic research and teaching careers. The San Diego IRACDA program has trained 109 postdoctoral scholars since its inception in 2003; 59% are women and 63% are underrepresented (UR) Black/African-American, Latinx/Mexican-American, and Indigenous scientists. Sixty-four percent obtained tenure-track faculty positions, including a substantial 32% at research-intensive institutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis threatens to upend IRACDA efforts to improve faculty diversity, and academia is at risk of losing a generation of diverse, talented scholars. Here, a group of San Diego IRACDA postdoctoral scholars reflects on these issues and discusses recommendations to enhance the retention of UR scientists to avoid a "lost generation" of promising UR faculty scholars.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cultural Diversity , Education, Graduate , Faculty, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Fellowships and Scholarships/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Universities/statistics & numerical data , California , Education, Graduate/economics , Faculty, Medical/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U.S.) , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Research Personnel/economics , Research Personnel/education , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Salaries and Fringe Benefits/statistics & numerical data , United States , Universities/economics , Women/education
6.
J Agromedicine ; 25(4): 417-422, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174771

ABSTRACT

During the spring 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, faculty and staff within Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences came together from multiple disciplines to support essential agricultural workers. Concerted leadership from administration provided a framework for this interaction to occur while faculty worked off-campus to address the many issues identified by the agricultural community, the industry sector, and other state agencies. During the onset period, much of our work was reactive; our efforts to address worker safety and health involved three primary areas within: 1) production agricultural workers, 2) produce growers and direct marketing enterprises, and 3) meat supply chain workers. Communication to target audiences relied upon our ability to convert face-to-face programming into virtual webinars, social media, and digital publications. A Food System Task Force mobilized specialists to address emerging issues, with one specific topic related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As we continue to face new seasons in agriculture production, and pockets of COVID-19 outbreaks within our state, we will continue to address the dynamic needs of our food supply systems. There are implications for how we will teach the agricultural workforce within a virtual platform, including the evaluation of the effectiveness of those training programs. There are renewed opportunities to integrate health and safety content into other Extension teams who conventionally focused on production practices and farm management topics. Several research themes emerged during subgroup dialog to pursue new knowledge in workers' cultural attitude and barriers, PPE design, PPE access, and overall attitude toward COVID-19 health practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Farmers/education , Agriculture/economics , Agriculture/education , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Farmers/psychology , Food Supply/economics , Health Education , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Occupational Health/economics , Occupational Health/education , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Universities/economics
7.
Biochem Mol Biol Educ ; 49(4): 518-520, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171603

ABSTRACT

Many universities resort to online teaching due to COVID-19 pandemic. It is a challenging endeavor, especially in Molecular Biology courses that require lab access. Mock grant application roleplay is one alternative to lab-based activities. Students are engaged in three aspects: (i) targeted literature review, (ii) research proposal writing and (iii) 5-min project pitching. The design of this module is flexible and, other lab-based courses can adopt it. This module encourages undergraduate students to explore the lab techniques they learnt and concisely present their research proposal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Molecular Biology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Training Support , Universities/economics , Humans , Molecular Biology/economics , Molecular Biology/education
12.
Chem Res Toxicol ; 34(3): 672-674, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997760

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 swept across the world, it created a global pandemic and an unpredictable and challenging job market. This article discusses the future of the 2020-2021 job market in both academia and industry in the midst and aftermath of this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Biopharmaceutics/economics , COVID-19/economics , Chemical Industry/economics , Universities/economics , Biopharmaceutics/organization & administration , Biopharmaceutics/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chemical Industry/organization & administration , Humans , Pandemics , Research/economics , Research/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Networking , Unemployment , Universities/organization & administration , Workforce
13.
J Biol Chem ; 295(46): 15438-15453, 2020 11 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975108

ABSTRACT

Widespread testing for the presence of the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals remains vital for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the advent of an effective treatment. Challenges in testing can be traced to an initial shortage of supplies, expertise, and/or instrumentation necessary to detect the virus by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR), the most robust, sensitive, and specific assay currently available. Here we show that academic biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories equipped with appropriate expertise and infrastructure can replicate commercially available SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR test kits and backfill pipeline shortages. The Georgia Tech COVID-19 Test Kit Support Group, composed of faculty, staff, and trainees across the biotechnology quad at Georgia Institute of Technology, synthesized multiplexed primers and probes and formulated a master mix composed of enzymes and proteins produced in-house. Our in-house kit compares favorably with a commercial product used for diagnostic testing. We also developed an environmental testing protocol to readily monitor surfaces for the presence of SARS-CoV-2. Our blueprint should be readily reproducible by research teams at other institutions, and our protocols may be modified and adapted to enable SARS-CoV-2 detection in more resource-limited settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/economics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Technology Transfer , Universities/economics , Biotechnology/methods , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/supply & distribution , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
18.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(7): e2016818, 2020 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690937

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses an existential threat to many US residential colleges; either they open their doors to students in September or they risk serious financial consequences. Objective: To define severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) screening performance standards that would permit the safe return of students to US residential college campuses for the fall 2020 semester. Design, Setting, and Participants: This analytic modeling study included a hypothetical cohort of 4990 students without SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 with undetected, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection at the start of the semester. The decision and cost-effectiveness analyses were linked to a compartmental epidemic model to evaluate symptom-based screening and tests of varying frequency (ie, every 1, 2, 3, and 7 days), sensitivity (ie, 70%-99%), specificity (ie, 98%-99.7%), and cost (ie, $10/test-$50/test). Reproductive numbers (Rt) were 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5, defining 3 epidemic scenarios, with additional infections imported via exogenous shocks. The model assumed a symptomatic case fatality risk of 0.05% and a 30% probability that infection would eventually lead to observable COVID-19-defining symptoms in the cohort. Model projections were for an 80-day, abbreviated fall 2020 semester. This study adhered to US government guidance for parameterization data. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cumulative tests, infections, and costs; daily isolation dormitory census; incremental cost-effectiveness; and budget impact. Results: At the start of the semester, the hypothetical cohort of 5000 students included 4990 (99.8%) with no SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 (0.2%) with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Assuming an Rt of 2.5 and daily screening with 70% sensitivity, a test with 98% specificity yielded 162 cumulative student infections and a mean isolation dormitory daily census of 116, with 21 students (18%) with true-positive results. Screening every 2 days resulted in 243 cumulative infections and a mean daily isolation census of 76, with 28 students (37%) with true-positive results. Screening every 7 days resulted in 1840 cumulative infections and a mean daily isolation census of 121 students, with 108 students (90%) with true-positive results. Across all scenarios, test frequency was more strongly associated with cumulative infection than test sensitivity. This model did not identify symptom-based screening alone as sufficient to contain an outbreak under any of the scenarios we considered. Cost-effectiveness analysis selected screening with a test with 70% sensitivity every 2, 1, or 7 days as the preferred strategy for an Rt of 2.5, 3.5, or 1.5, respectively, implying screening costs of $470, $910, or $120, respectively, per student per semester. Conclusions and Relevance: In this analytic modeling study, screening every 2 days using a rapid, inexpensive, and even poorly sensitive (>70%) test, coupled with strict behavioral interventions to keep Rt less than 2.5, is estimated to maintain a controllable number of COVID-19 infections and permit the safe return of students to campus.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Mass Screening , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Risk Assessment , Universities/organization & administration , Basic Reproduction Number , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Mass Screening/economics , Pandemics , Patient Isolation , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Risk Assessment/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , United States/epidemiology , Universities/economics
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