SVC's Research Seminar Series - Dr. Seema Lakdawala November 10, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 6

November 10, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 6


Seema S. Lakdawala, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, School of Medicine, will deliver the next lecture in the 2017 Senior Vice Chancellor’s Research Seminar series on Friday, November 10, from noon–1 p.m. in Lecture Room 6, Scaife Hall* [Add to Calendar]. The title of Lakdawala’s presentation is “Predicting Pandemic Influenza Viruses.” This seminar series is open to all interested University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University faculty, students, and staff. Arthur S. Levine, MD, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine, will introduce Lakdawala and lead the discussion following her lecture. 


*Unable to make it to Scaife Hall? Dr. Lakdawala’s lecture will be available via live stream to people with Pitt login credentials by clicking this link (sign in using your Pitt username and password): If you have problems with the video, contact the CSSD help line at 412-624-4357 (4-HELP).


Topic Overview:

Influenza A viruses pose a major public health risk from seasonal epidemics and sporadic pandemics. The Lakdawala lab studies the molecular properties contributing to the epidemiological success of influenza A viruses to better predict future pandemics. The two main areas of research in her lab are exploring the dynamics of influenza viral RNA assembly and defining properties necessary for efficient airborne transmission of influenza viruses. 

Influenza A viruses contain eight single-stranded RNA segments, and one copy of all eight must be packaged for production of an infectious virus. The segmented nature of the virus promotes a high degree of viral evolution in nature through reassortment, a process where genetic material is exchanged between two viruses that co-infect the same cell. To understand reassortment potential between influenza viruses, we must first understand how all eight segments are packaged during influenza virus assembly. The Lakdawala lab combines biochemical and sophisticated microscopy techniques to understand where, when, and how assembly of influenza genomic RNA occurs. This research has broad implications for understanding the intracellular requirements behind reassortment of influenza viruses and may lead to the development of new antiviral targets.

Airborne transmission of influenza viruses is critical for rapid spread of the virus during epidemics and pandemics. Lakdawala and colleagues have established a method to study the viability of influenza viruses in expelled aerosols and droplets at different environmental conditions, as well as the airborne transmissibility of influenza viruses in the ferret model. These studies will define the viral and environmental properties that promote the spread of influenza. 

Combining these two areas of research, Lakdawala will be able to develop a comprehensive surveillance system to determine the pandemic potential of circulating zoonotic influenza viruses, which will be useful in all areas of pandemic preparedness. 

CME Information: 

The Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences will designate the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Research Seminar as a continuing medical education activity eligible for a maximum of one hour of Category 1 credit toward the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. Nurses and other health professionals are awarded 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

For information on future lectures in this series, which highlights the growing body of important research being accomplished by young investigators in the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of the Health Sciences, please visit our website at or call the Office of Academic Affairs at 412-383-7382.

Target Audience: 

Faculty and students from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, and other schools, departments, and units across campus, and Carnegie Mellon University faculty and students from the Department of Biological Sciences.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as part of the Consortium for Academic Continuing Medical Education, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences designates this continuing medical education activity for a maximum of one hour of Category 1 credit towards the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those hours of credit that he/she actually spent in the educational activity.

Nurses and other health care professionals are awarded 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Disclosure Statement:

In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials that will be distributed at the time of the conference. 

We encourage participation by all individuals. If you have a disability, advance notification of any special needs will help us serve you better. Please notify us of your needs at least two weeks in advance of the program.

Disclaimer Statement:

“The information presented at this CME program represents the views and opinions of the individual presenters and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) or Affiliates and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Reasonable efforts have been taken intending for education subject matter to be presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each program attendee must always use his/her own personal and professional judgment in considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label uses.”

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