Rimoin, who also serves as director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, will present the conference’s final keynote – “COVID-19 and Beyond: Preventing the Next Pandemic Before it Starts” at the beginning of the event’s third day, Thursday, May 27, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
“The truth is it could have been a lot worse … we really need to learn from this experience,” Rimoin said. “What we need here in the United States is better prevention; we have to rethink what pandemic preparedness means.”
The event, known fully as the LA Bioscience Ecosystem Summit 2021, will take place virtually May 25-27. Rimoin was asked to present the keynote because of her multiple roles as a research scientist, educator, and public health communicator, said Dr. Judith Gasson, the event’s senior advisor from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Dr. Rimoin has achieved national stature due to her two decades of work with Ebola virus in the Congo,” Gasson said. “More recently she has demonstrated a superb ability to explain both the scientific and the public health messages regarding COVID-19 in a way that is understandable to the general public.”
Along with teaching, Rimoin also serves as director of the Fielding School’s UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health and director of the UCLA-DRC Health Research and Training Program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, where she has studied emerging infectious diseases, including Ebola, Monkey pox, and Marburg, for more than a decade in partnership with Congolese public health officials. Her work has been supported by the (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the US National Institutes of Health (NIAID-NIH), and is a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Since the 2019 COVID-19 outbreak, she has served as a principal investigator on two separate studies of SARS-CoV-2 and healthcare workers, the UCLA HSW/LAC FR COVID-19 Risk Assessment and the UCLA Veterinary and Zoonotic Surveillance projects, in partnership with UCLA Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Rimoin has also served as an expert for the media and the public, including a public service announcement about vaccine safety during the 93rd Academy Awards telecast.
This event is the premier showcase for bioscience innovation in Los Angeles County. A true collaboration with colleagues from across the county, LABEST presents promising academic research, entrepreneurial faculty investigators, as well as local start- up companies. The goal is to promote awareness of the growing life science entrepreneurial ecosystem in Los Angeles in order to foster partnerships with the biopharma industry.
Along with Rimoin’s keynote, the event will feature addresses by:
- UCLA Chancellor, Dr. Gene Block, who will offer the welcoming address at 11 am Tuesday, May 25;
- Dr. Eric Esrailian, chief, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA Health, and Gene Sykes, co-chairman of Global Mergers & Acquisitions and Co-chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group, Goldman Sachs, who will speak jointly on “Why LA” – Los Angeles’ attraction as a bioscience ecosystem, its exciting growth, competitive advantages, and its future including hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics, LA28, to follow the chancellor’s remarks at 11 am, May 25;
- Martin Jarmond, The Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics, UCLA, on “Every player has their part. Teamwork and responsibility are key,” at 11 am Wednesday, May 26.
The conference will include additional presentations from UCLA faculty, including Dr. Andre Nel, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, who will present:
- “Significance of Nano-enabled Therapeutics Efforts” from 2:20 pm – to 3:00 pm, Wednesday, May 26; Dr. Nel will also participate in a roundtable discussion after his presentation.
A full agenda for the conference is available here:
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public’s health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 631 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.