RTI International to host discussion on Zika virus research, prevention, and response with Congressman Price

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC— As the Zika virus threat continues to loom, RTI International will host a roundtable discussion about North Carolina’s role in Zika research, prevention, and response June 7 in the Research Triangle Park.

Representative David Price (NC-4) will provide opening remarks. The discussion will bring together leading researchers and policy makers to examine the science of Zika, the evolving response, research necessary to confront the virus, and childhood development implications.

North Carolina’s public and private sectors have made significant contributions to fight the Zika outbreak. In the Research Triangle Park alone, hundreds of researchers and scientists are racing to produce vaccines and improve detection, public understanding, and treatment of the virus.

The program will consist of two panels. The first panel will be a roundtable discussion with researchers and experts on Zika from RTI International, area universities and the private sector.

The panel includes:

  • Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Pediatrics, Immunology, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Michael H. Reiskind, Ph.D., assistant professor of Entomology, North Carolina State University
  • Ray Taylor, vice president, program management and project leader, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals
  • Helen M. Lazear, Ph.D., or Aravinda de Silva, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Pia MacDonald, Ph.D., senior director of applied public health research, RTI International

Brian Southwell, Ph.D., program director, science in the public sphere at RTI will moderate.

The second panel will be a roundtable discussion with federal agency officials moderated by Price. The panel includes:

  • Richard Hatchett, M.D., acting director, The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Kelly Saldana, deputy director, Office of Health Infectious Diseases and Nutrition, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (invited)

The event is free and open to the public. To attend the event in person, register here by June 6. The event will be held in Haynes Building (Dreyfus Auditorium) at RTI International.

The discussion will be available via live stream by registering here.

To help combat this critical public health issue, RTI is self-funding a number of initiatives in Latin America. These projects include studying how drones can be used for vector control activities of Zika-carrying mosquitos, examining potential aerosol transmission of the virus, and understanding the long-term effects of the virus on babies and their families.

RTI is also serving as the data coordinating center for a study that follows pregnant women through pregnancy and other children through their first two months of life. The program is an add-on of the Global Network project funded by NIH NICHD, and will take place in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Colombia, and Brazil. In addition, RTI is supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the development of a communication campaign in response to the Zika outbreak. 

 

Highlights

  • RTI International will host a roundtable discussion about North Carolina’s role in Zika research, prevention, and response June 7 in the Research Triangle Park
  • The discussion will bring together leading researchers and policy makers to examine the science of Zika, the evolving response, research necessary to confront the virus, and childhood development implications