COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected everyone’s daily lives from the perspective of the immediate public health threat, the underlying interruptions in work/productivity, and the economic fallout. Many members of the MRS community have rapidly redirected their research or their laboratories in response to immediate public health needs over the last year. Some still wonder how the materials community can be best poised to respond to this moment. This symposium aims to bring together researchers across the materials community as well as experts in immunology and environmental engineering to showcase how recent research efforts serve to meet the demands of this pandemic. As the spread of the disease and trajectory of the response is ever changing, the state of pandemic will surely be in flux during the 2020 MRS Spring and Fall Meeting. This special symposium will feature both contributed and invited talks, and will focus on interactive panel discussions to highlight success stories, barriers, and how to apply what has been learned to future public health crises.
This special symposium will include a primer tutorial from an expert immunologist on SARS-CoV-2, the resulting disease, and current understanding therein. The symposium will also include three sessions featuring research talks and panel discussions on (i) PPE/antiviral surface engineering, (ii) diagnostics/sensing, and (iii) therapeutics. Finally, the event will conclude with a panel discussion with regulatory experts and industry representatives to discuss the challenges of translation and scale up to meet the needs of rapid deployment of newly developed technologies.