Spring Quarter Snapshot: Research Town Halls Fill Up, Virtually

Screenshot of Zoom video conference call.
Hundreds of campus researchers are coming together — virtually — every Friday morning to learn about COVID-19 research at UC Davis. The town halls are hosted by Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor of research, top left, and Allison Brashear, dean of the School of Medicine, third from the left on the top row. (Courtesy)

The hot-ticket event for campus a few Fridays ago turned out to be a virtual town hall hosted by the School of Medicine and the Office of Research. Within a minute of launching the Zoom meeting, attendance hit the capacity of 300, surprising the organizers.

“The energy among our researchers was incredible,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor of research, who co-hosted the event with Allison Brashear, dean of the School of Medicine. “UC Davis has a collection of world-class resources and experts across a span of disciplines and bringing these together in this collaborative forum is more important than ever.”


The COVID-19 Research Virtual Town Halls — now with increased capacity — are taking place for campus researchers every Friday during spring quarter. The forums are a way to learn what’s going on with COVID-19 research and create connections with other researchers. For participants unable to attend the meetings, recorded versions are available online.

At the first virtual meetup, participants got a behind the-scenes look at recent COVID-19 research, such as the teamwork involved in launching in-house testing during a national shortage of tests; the physiological considerations around the two clinical trials for hospitalized patients; and UC Davis’ history with vaccine research at the California National Primate Research Center and the current plans for COVID-19 testing in animal models.

“UC Davis has been at the forefront of mitigating and treating COVID-19 since early in the pandemic,” Brashear said. “We are proud of the collaborations that constantly take place between the School of Medicine and the other schools and colleges and want to support our researchers as they continue to address a broad range of issues emerging from this complex disease.”

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