Offering up-to-date information from physicians and scientists on the front lines, the symposium to date has drawn more than 2000 viewers from 10 countries: United States, UK, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Peru, and Slovakia.
Four panelists presented information and answered questions:
- Dr. Allison Brashear, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine
- Dr. Atul Malhotra, professor of medicine, pulmonology, critical care, UC San Diego Health
- Dr. Emanuel Maverakis, professor of dermatology and immunology, UC Davis School of Medicine
- Dr. David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and chief executive officer, UC Davis Health.
Brashear related that UC Davis has 24 active COVID-19 studies and is pursuing possible treatments on many fronts, including plasma transfusions from blood donors who recovered from COVID-19 used in an effort to boost another patient's ability to neutralize the virus.
Others participating included Dr. Jane Sykes, professor of small animal internal medicine (infectious diseases emphasis) and chief veterinary medical officer, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. James M. Hotaling, associate professor, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of Utah.
Viewers, including Steve Robinson, former NASA astronaut-turned UC Davis professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, asked a number of questions. Lubarsky cautioned against opening schools during the coronavirus pandemic. “It is cavalier to simply open elementary schools without understanding this," he said. "We can't assume that because they may be asymptomatic and relatively less affected that they aren't less contagious."
Sykes said that although dogs and cats can get the virus, there "is still absolutely no evidence" that they can "transmit infections back to people."
A special guest was Dr. Anoop Maheshwari, pulmonary and critical care specialist in Riverside, who chronicled how he turned from doctor to patient; from helping patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and then himself being diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease and nearly losing his life.
He suspects he may have contracted the virus in early April from a former healthy 35-year-old who entered the emergency room with a cough and congestion, and who wound up in ICU 12 hours later on a respirator.
The doctor remembers the onset well. He recalled feeling so tired after one of his regular 12-14 hour work days that he took an uncustomary nap at the hospital. Over the next two days, fatigue gripped him; he was sleeping 18 to 20 hours a day and had no appetite.
He wound up in the ICU, diagnosed with COVID-19.
"It was quite worrisome," Dr. Maheshwari told the symposium viewers. "I knew what was coming up next, which was intubation and you know the survival of intubation is very low with COVID-19 pneumonia. So that night was very, very emotional and very difficult. I talked with my family by video-conference and, you know, said my goodbyes. It was very difficult talking to the children, talking to my wife, mother, sister, father, everyone. It was an experience that I hope no one has to go through."
He told critical care specialist and longtime friend Dr. Adarsh Sharma that he wasn't going to make it. "He knew what I was talking about, and you know, he had the same intuition that I was not going to make it. And we're very close friends. He had tears in his eyes and you know, he just told me that I have to fight; I have no choice, I have to fight. You cannot give up on me."
Dr. Maheshwari credits the drug Remdesivir (then in clinical trials at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach), and the team of physicians and other healthcare workers, with saving his life.
"On Monday, April 28, all the doctors said that you're good to go home."
Said Leal: "It's a powerful story. COVID-19 is a very serious disease."
Leal, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology faculty and a former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, hosted the two COVID-19 symposiums as a public service. The first symposium spotlighted the cutting-edge expertise of physicians, researchers, and a recovering COVID-19 patient. It is online at https://bit.ly/2VurK3Z. "You are our heroes," one viewer wrote.
The second symposium prompted a viewer to say: "It was a great symposium--the personal story of the frontline physician was incredible.”
Added another viewer: "Well, what an amazing finale and yes, we are taking it seriously, especially those of us older office workers. What a story of your life and death experience. Amazing presentation!"
"Congratulations on today's new webinar," another viewer commented. "It was excellent again. I look forward to the next one."
Timeline of the video/symposium: https://bit.ly/3b8TAau
0-9 min: Opening address, May, Napolitano
9 min: Introductory remarks, Lubarsky
19 min: Introductory remarks, Malhotra
29 min: Introductory remarks, Maverakis
40 min: Introductory remarks, Isenberg
52 min: Introductory remarks, Brashear
1 h 2 min: Maheshwari (the doctor)
1 h 23 min: Cats and coronavirus, Sykes
1 h 30 min: Masks, Hsieh
1 h 45 min: Patient #1 in Yolo County, Stebbins
2 h 24 min: Sexual transmission, Hotaling
2 h 30 min: Pets, Sykes
2 h 44 min: Maheshwari (near-death experience as a Patient)
(Note: The first symposium included a presentation by UC Davis distinguished professor James R. Carey of the Department of Entomology and Nematology.)
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will answer questions from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. on the Bohart FacebookLive page. It will be recorded for those unable to watch it at that time.
Kimsey, an authority on wasps and bees, is a two-time past president of the International Society of Hymenopterists. The director of the Bohart Museum and executive director of the Bohart Museum Society since 1990, she has also served as interim chair and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, now the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
She recently won the C. W. Woodworth Award, the highest honor given by the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America. (See news story.)
“We thought people would be interested in talking to a wasp/bee expert given all the news about wasps and with spring coming and more people tuning into nature and their back yards due to sheltering in place,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. “We anticipate ‘murder hornet' questions.
“We host open houses to connect people directly to scientists,” Yang said. “Since the museum is closed at this time and social distancing is required, we are setting this up so people can connect with Lynn. We hope to do this regularly with other scientists, but this will be our first.”
North America's first known colony of the Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, was detected (and destroyed) in September 2019 on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A single V. mandarinia was found dead in Blaine, Wash., in December 2019.
Three entomologists, including Kimsey just published research on this and the 21 other known species of hornets in the genus Vespa, in the journal Insect Systematics and Diversity.
The article, “The Diversity of Hornets in the Genus Vespa (Hymenoptera: Vespidae; Vespinae); Their Importance and Interceptions in the United States,” is the work of lead author Allan Smith-Pardo, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); and co-authors James Carpenter of the American Museum of Natural History's Division of Invertebrate Zoology, and Lynn Kimsey.
The Bohart Museum is also celebrating the birthday anniversary (May 23) of Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy. Linnaeus (1707-1778), was a Swedish botanist zoologist and physician who formalized the modern system of naming organisms. “It's a good time to celebrate biodiversity, scientific discovery, and museum collections,” Yang said.
In addition, talented Bohart student associates have crafted downloadable coloring pages for the family craft activity.
The Bohart also has pre-recorded tours linked to its website http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/
Now, in a scenario turned full circle, Guggenbickler is drawing appreciation from students and faculty for her own “incredible support.”
Guggenbickler, staff academic advisor of the GDB program since June 2019, is the newly selected staff recipient of the 2020 Eleanor and Harry Walker Academic Advising Awards, announced Susan Ebeler, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES).
Guggenbickler coordinates a 400-student program that includes course scheduling, faculty and instructional reports, statistical analysis of the major, and individual advising sessions.
“Andrea has made such a positive impact on student success in the GDB major,” said Ebeler. “She has created innovative materials for incoming GDB students to support their remote advising experience and she is dedicated to student welfare and ensuring that the basic needs of every student are met.”
Nominator David Rizzo, professor and chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, described Andrea “as a huge part of the development of the relatively new Global Disease Biology major at UC Davis. Since becoming a GDB major, she has played many different roles in the major.”
“Although she has been a staff advisor for a only a short period of time, Andrea has had a tremendous impact on the major,” wrote Rizzo in his nomination letter. Praising her leadership, dedication, communication skills and problem-solving expertise, he characterized her as a “truly a caring advisor” and someone with “an excellent sense of the needs of our students in order for them to be successful in the major.”
The Walker Academic Advising Awards recognize faculty, staff, and peer advisors who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in academic advising for CA&ES academic programs.
The 2020 recipients also include Jim Fadel, faculty master advisor, Department of Animal Science and Management; and Kiara Cuevas, peer advisor for Agricultural and Environmental Education, Animal Science, and Animal Science and Management.
CA&ES is postponing a reception honoring the award winners “until later in the summer or fall when we can hopefully all meet together again in person,” Ebeler said.
“It's so nice to see our hardworking advisors being recognized college-wide,” said Nora Orozco, chief administrative officer serving both departments. Last year Elvira Galvan Hack, staff advisor for animal biology (ABI), received the Walker staff award and forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey received the faculty master advisor award. They went on to win regional and international advising awards from NACADA, the global community for academic advising.
Guggenbickler formerly served as an academic advising assistant to the animal biology and entomology majors, both housed in the Department of Entomology and Nematology.
“One of the main ways I've tried to make a difference in our advising center is to create our student pantry,” Andrea said. “We provide healthy, easily accessible, snacks and on-the-go food and drinks for students. Food insecurity can be a huge issue for students, and we have done our best to mitigate that barrier for them. The pantry is open to everyone, and we have gotten some really great feedback from students who have said that it has really helped them. Getting that feedback and tangibly making a difference has been by far one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”
Her favorite part of being an advisor? “Watching students succeed. I've been with the program in some capacity since 2017, so I've seen a lot of students come through the office. I make an effort to meet with every student at least once per year, and it is amazing seeing them grow, conquer obstacles, excel in coursework, graduate, and move on to their next adventure.”
“Advisors have a really unique opportunity to touch a lot of lives in a meaningful way,” Andrea said. “I can only hope that in my time as an advisor at UC Davis that I've been able to create a positive change in the lives of others the same way that my students have made a positive change in my life. As I move on to my next adventure as a master of public health student I will take with me the lessons my students have taught me: the importance of equity, advocacy, belief in oneself, and perseverance. I am thankful to the advising community in the College of Ag for creating a space in which advisors are able to make a difference for students while also growing themselves.”
Guggenbickler grew up in Ferndale, Humboldt County, and now lives in Woodland with her fiancé, Tyler Baum, an associate veterinarian at Broadway Veterinary Hospital, Sacramento. Baum, a “double” UC Davis alumnus, holds a bachelor's degree in animal science and a DVM from the School of Veterinary Medicine. They share their home with three UC Davis-connected cats: “Butters,” “Toast” and “Dr. Professor Stripey Pants.”
"We got Butters and Stripey (they are brothers) from the Orphan Kitten Project run through the Vet School," she said, "and we got Toast from a shelter when Tyler did a shelter medicine rotation--and he fell in love with her and brought her home."
The couple purposely selected "breakfast names" for Butters, a light orange tabby and Toast, a black and white feline, but they couldn't bear to change the name of Dr. Professor Stripey Pants, a gray tabby ("it was too perfect").
Her career plans? “My career plans are to complete my master's degree in public health, and hopefully pursue my Ph.D in public health. After that I would love to dive into public health research and advocacy for women and minority health. Ideally, in the future, I would like to do some teaching at the collegiate level.”
Rizzo says that GDB is now the fifth largest major in the CA&ES, but it still maintains the “small-college” feel. Among Andrea's many accomplishments: modifying and expanding the department's professional development modules. “Over the holiday break, she developed a series of orientation modules (seven in total) within Canvas,” he wrote. “All in all, the whole project is amazing. And it was done without dropping the ball with any of her traditional advising.”
As a facilitator with First-Year Aggie Connections, Guggenbickler mentors students as they navigate their first-year experience. She created a 10-week course on professional development that encompasses such topics as “how to read a scientific paper” and “how to create a resume.”
In a group letter, GDB students Austin Dalmasso, Bianca Arao and Brandon Nguyen, all who worked as either peer mentors or peer advisors, praised her dedication and accomplishments.
“As the academic advisor, she communicates efficiently with students when they need to speak to her regarding urgent or sensitive circumstances, and when she is with students, she is attentive and sensible to any situations that may need care beyond her scope,” they wrote. “Andrea cares about her students and wants to equip them for success in their future endeavors.”
“Throughout all of the responsibilities that govern an academic advisor's role, Andrea is always looking for novel ways to improve student advising,” they wrote. “As students, we look back on our own informative orientations, and praise Andrea for making this year's orientation user-friendly.”
“From the countless interactions we have shared with Andrea, we are grateful that she always puts it upon herself to be an open crisis line. Andrea is genuinely supportive of our successes as students, and continues to be a comforting figure we greatly appreciate. It is Andrea's nurturing character that we want to honor and showcase to the UC Davis community.”
Winfree's webinar, “Do We Need Biodiversity for Ecosystem Services?” begins at 4:10 p.m. on Zoom at https://ucdavis.zoom.us/j/
All those interested can tune in--just click on the link, said Williams. "To access the talk, you do not need an account, but you will need to install zoom ahead of time. Use the link to join the meeting."
"Out of respect for the speaker, during the talk please keep your microphone muted, video off, and avoid using the chat feature," he added. "We will invite questions at the end."
Winfree says the goal of her research program is to understand the role of biodiversity in ecosystem services in the real world--that is, in large-scale and unmanipulated systems. We are developing a framework for thinking about this question that bridges the gap between smaller-scale experiments and the associated theory, which ecologists understand well, to the more complicated reality of nature. What is the most meaningful way to measure biodiversity in nature, and is the answer scale-dependent? Do we need to preserve biodiversity in order to maintain ecosystem services, or are only a few dominant species sufficient? What is the role of rare species in ecosystem services? Can we extend biodiversity-ecosystem function research to mutualist networks? These are some of our current questions."
As collaborators, Winfree and Williams recently published “Species Turnover Promotes the Importance of Bee Diversity for Crop Pollination at Regional Scales,” in the journal Science. They set out to answer the question: "How many wild bee species do we need to pollinate our crops?"
The answer, briefly: "Not nearly enough bees are available for crop pollination."
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminars, coordinated by community ecologist and assistant professor Rachael Vannette, are all virtual. Some have been cancelled and others postponed. See schedule.
The free public awareness event will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Viewers can register and post advance questions on Zoom at https://bit.ly/2SUJ7t5. For YouTube Live, the link is https://bit.ly/3b8TAau.
UC Systemwide President Janet Napolitano, a former secretary of Homeland Security, will deliver the welcoming address. She will be introduced by UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, who delivered the welcoming address at the first COVID-19 Symposium.
Panelists are Dr. Allison Brashear, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine; Dr. Atul Malhotra, professor of medicine, pulmonology, critical care, UC San Diego Health; Dr. Emanuel Maverakis, professor of dermatology and immunology, UC Davis School of Medicine; and Dr. David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and chief executive officer, UC Davis Health.
Among others participating will be Dr. Jane Sykes, professor of small animal internal medicine (infectious diseases emphasis) and chief veterinary medical officer, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. James M. Hotaling, associate professor, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of Utah; and several other guests.
Viewers are invited to ask advance questions as well as questions live. Former NASA astronaut Steve Robinson, now a UC Davis professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will be among those asking questions. Professor Robinson, who graduated from UC Davis in 1978 with dual degrees in mechanical and aeronautical engineering, saw Earth from outer space four times during NASA shuttle missions, including the 2005 Space Shuttle Discovery.
Questions will include:
- Can our pets place us at risk for contracting the coronavirus?
- Can we get the virus through sexual transmission?
- Can COVID-19 survivors get secondary infections?
- What research is underway on COVID-19 therapies, management and testing?
Professor Leal, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology faculty and a former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, Leal co-chaired the 2016 International Congress of Entomology. He is donating his organizational skills and his cutting-edge technology and video-conferencing expertise to host the symposium. The first symposium drew some 4000 views from 10 countries.
“It is a pleasure to create these platforms to raise awareness and address COVID-19-related questions from the public,” Leal said.
The first symposium, with a welcoming address by UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, spotlighted the cutting-edge expertise of physicians, researchers, and a recovering COVID-19 patient. It is online at https://bit.ly/2VurK3Z. It drew comment “I just wanted to thank you! You are my heroes.”
“This give me a sense of hope and calmed my anxiety like nothing else,” letter writer Kim Allen continued. “To hear people, real doctors and scientists who are so knowledgeable talk about what is going on and why, is so appreciated. We need to know what we are contending with to fight it and be safe. You are all so much appreciated!”