Asia Society Texas Center

[WEBCAST] The Global Race to Develop Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

Thursday, May. 28, 2020 – Thursday, May. 28, 2020

08:00 PM – 09:00 PM

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In partnership with Asia Society Hong Kong

Epidemiologists have reported that a vaccine for COVID-19 will take 12-18 months to develop — and that is aspirational. On average, it takes 5-10 years and billions of dollars for a vaccine to reach the final approval to enter the market. The record so far is for the mumps vaccine, which took approximately four years from development to licensing. The vaccine development process includes three sequential phases of testing — a timeline that can be shortened but with some risk, as certain questions about COVID-19 remain unanswered before human testing, such as whether a person who has been infected with COVID-19 can be reinfected. In the meantime, there may be other technologies and innovations developed to treat the virus, including convalescent plasma therapy (transfusion of antibodies from a recovered patient) and anti-virals such as remdesivir, which has shown promise in reducing time to recovery for people hospitalized with advanced COVID-19.

How do we manage our expectations regarding the development of the vaccine and other treatments? Where are we in the process? Join Asia Society Hong Kong and the Texas Center as experts discuss the global race to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.


Thursday, May 28, 2020
8 p.m. CT — Moderated Discussion
8:30 p.m. CT — Questions welcome via YouTube Live and Facebook Live

About the Speakers

Honglin Chen

Professor Honglin Chen graduated from Xiamen University in 1983 with BSc in Biology and completed his PhD study at the University of Hong Kong in 1992, working on pathogenesis of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). He went on to continue his post-doctoral research on tumor virus at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1997. Professor Chen re-joined the University of Hong Kong in 2003 and has since expanded his research scopes to RNA viruses including emerging influenza and coronaviruses. He has since established several research programs which focus on studying molecular determinants for cross species of avian influenza viruses and coronavirus. His research on the NS1 protein of influenza virus has led to the establishment of a unique DelNS1 live attenuated influenza vaccine platform which can be used to develop vaccines for other viruses.


John P. Cooke

Dr. John P. Cooke is the Joseph C. "Rusty" Walter and Carole Walter Looke Presidential Distinguished Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, the Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration, and Director of the RNA Therapeutics Program at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.The focus of his research is on regenerative medicine. His research has generated 35 patents, and he has founded 4 biotechnology companies. Currently, his group is rejuvenating human cells with RNA encoding human telomerase, and has developed cGMP process for mRNA synthesis, purification, validation and delivery. With respect to mRNA delivery, nanoparticle strategies are being employed; the combination of effective nanoparticle delivery will be transformative for the field of mRNA Therapeutics. During the COVID crisis, he has turned his group toward generating an RNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Cooke trained in cardiovascular medicine and obtained a Ph.D. in physiology at the Mayo Clinic. He was then recruited to Harvard Medical School as an assistant professor of medicine. In 1990, he was recruited to Stanford University to spearhead the program in vascular biology and medicine as Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and served as associate director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute until his recruitment to Houston Methodist in 2013. He has published over 600 research papers, position papers, reviews, book chapters, and patents in the arena of cardiovascular medicine and biology with >30,000 citations. He has served on committees of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and has served as president of the Society for Vascular Medicine.

Moderator information will be announced.

Asia Society hosts today's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Asia Society views.

Asia Society Texas Center Business & Policy Programs, Endowed by

Huffington Foundation

Business and Policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Bank of America, Muffet Blake, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, United Airlines, and Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Houston Endowment. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Asia Society Texas Center, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming.

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About Asia Society at Home

Though Asia Society is temporarily closed, we are dedicated to continuing our mission of building cross-cultural understanding and uplifting human connectivity. Using digital tools, we bring you content for all ages and conversations that matter, in order to spark curiosity about Asia and to foster empathy.

About Asia Society Texas Center

With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.


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