Michael Mina (Harvard University) Webinar

Michael Mina (Harvard University) Webinar

Butler Seminar Series

Event Date/Location

September 9, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Thomas Laboratory


  • Dr. Michael Mina

    Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Department of Epidemiology
    Harvard University T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    Michael Mina, MD, PhD, has recently made seminal contributions to understanding the epidemiology of COVID-19 and in the diagnostic testing regime for Sars-Cov2. His longstanding research program centers on mathematical models and technical innovations to develop ways to better understand the population and immunological consequences and patterns underlying infectious diseases. His lab has contributed to areas as diverse as extremely high throughput serological surveillance of pathogens to examining the unintended/heterologous effects of vaccines to alter transmission patterns of unrelated pathogens using statistical and dynamical models—work he advanced as a post-doc in our colleague Bryan Grenfell’s lab. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Michael has been an important voice in developing a rationally based national testing program. His work in very rapid, inexpensive antigen based testing for Cov2 has been widely discussed in the press (see https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/opinion/coronavirus-tests.html) but Michael is also playing an essential role in developing a national strategy for COVID serological surveillance and in providing guidance in optimizing the standard qPCR assay.  He has already contributed to more than 15 publications on various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we at Princeton are grateful for his advice as we developed our Sars-Cov2 testing lab. 


SARS-CoV-2: Can we test our way out of this?

The world wasn’t prepared for SARS-CoV-2. The public health infrastructure required to detect and stop global spread of a rapidly transmitting respiratory virus wasn’t up to the task. In the US, the failure of the US state and federal public health laboratories was a dramatic display of the devastation that decades of neglecting and devaluing public health can have. But let’s not let the failings of yesterday temper our expectations for tomorrow. Hitting rock bottom offers new freedoms to rethink how we can tackle a virus like SARS-CoV-2. This talk will discuss the blunders of the US testing program, the advances that can be made, and how a new era of widescale, frequent, rapid at-home tests can elicit strong herd effects to suppress population spread and aid society in a return to normalcy.


Free and open to the university community and the public.


Daniel Notterman, Department of Molecular Biology