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Women & Science: Developing Immunotherapies for Emerging Pathogens That Threaten Global Health

September 21, 2020

Wistar’s first Women & Science event of the COVID-19 era took place virtually and, appropriately, featured Dr. Ami Patel, a Wistar scientist that is playing a major role in the work being done at the Institute to develop solutions for the pandemic.

Dr. Ami Patel’s career path unfolded studying different emerging pathogens, each one scarier than the previous: from bird flu to the H1N1 swine flu to Ebola, and now SARS-CoV-2. This led her to work on developing next generation vaccine technologies as an alternative to traditional vaccine strategies that are not always effective against emerging infectious diseases.

Dr. Patel was recently appointed as a Caspar Wistar Fellow and is establishing her independent laboratory to develop next-generation immunotherapies and strategies for infectious diseases and cancer.

She believes the combination of different approaches being explored in this pandemic will be our winning strategy against COVID-19.

“The scientific community has really come together sharing information and resources, informing the public and letting science provide solutions. We are making a lot of advances in a short time,” she said.

Dr. Patel was instrumental in carrying out fundamental studies in animal models to understand what kind of immune responses are stimulated by the vaccine co-developed by Wistar and collaborators and inform what response would be observed in people during the clinical stage.