Dr. Lisa Morici, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine, will present “Vaccines of the Past, Present, and Future” as Louisiana Tech New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series holds its first event from 2021-2022 at 3:30 p.m. on September 27, in university room 134.
All community members are welcome to attend New Frontiers seminars and events and can register here. This season, the seminars will be a mix of in-person (in the university room) and virtual conferences. All lectures will be broadcast live and also visible on the Nouvelles Frontières website after each event.
Morici’s presentation will describe the history of vaccines, highlight recent achievements and identify remaining challenges, including prevention of future viral pandemics.
It will also discuss the discovery and development of vaccines, arguably one of the greatest public health inventions of modern civilization. From the ancient use of variolation to the more recent introduction of messenger RNA vaccines, vaccine science has dramatically improved our ability to fight microbial pathogens.
A biology enthusiast since childhood, Morici earned a Masters of Marine Science from the University of San Diego before developing a fascination with infectious diseases and earning her PhD in this program at UC Berkeley.
His research is not limited to Earth; she was part of a team of investigators from Tulane who piloted a scientific payload aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
“We wanted to determine if the bacteria were more ‘pathogenic’ in space,” Morici said. “We spent months at NASA rehearsing the experience and we were in the VIP section for the actual launch. It was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences of my career, and I am very passionate about NASA now. “
Her advice to students is to learn patience and “explore every door that opens for you because you never know what opportunity may lie ahead,” she said. “Science is fun and rewarding because it is always changing and presents incredible new challenges. “
New Frontiers is a year-long university-wide seminar series that brings together world-renowned academics specializing in biomedical research at Louisiana Tech for seminars.
Each year the series examines biomedical research with the aim of demonstrating the broad and interdisciplinary nature of this field. Speakers come from the fields of engineering, biology, and chemistry, and all strive to address the fundamental problem of understanding and treating conditions that impact human health.