It seems like we are now living in a new reality, which has been shaped by the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are starting a new academic year that will be different from what we used to take for granted. The sense of what constitutes a new normal was likely felt by those that lived through previous pandemics, which equally impacted the world they knew. This issue of IMMpress Magazine gives us a clear-eyed perspective of what it means to be in the midst of a pandemic.
The IMMpress team are at their best, beginning with a gripping set of infographics on the history of pandemics, and then addressing topical issues such as: viral infections, theories of vaccine development, animal reservoirs, and bioweapons. Remarkably, this issue also focuses on important societal challenges, relating to false claims, global poverty, and international collaborations. Our very own Dr. Rupert Kaul is featured in the alumni interview section, and gives us his insights on the current pandemic in his role as the head of infectious diseases at the Toronto General Hospital. Starting this issue, IMMpress will also feature online-only extended content, including a fascinating article by Prof. Steve Hedrick (University of California, San Diego) on the origins of pandemics.
This issue of IMMpress Magazine marks the end of Yoojin Choi (Kaul lab) as co-Editor in-Chief, who along with Pailin Chiaranunt (Mortha lab) have put together another captivating and topical issue for us. I would like to thank Yoojin for her leadership and vision as co-Editor in chief over the past 2 volumes, which have set an even higher bar of excellence for IMMpress. I look forward to welcoming Louis Ngai (Mortha lab), who will join Pailin, as co-Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. I also want to thank the extraordinary editorial and design team that beautifully bring IMMpress to life.
I hope you enjoy this issue, make it part of your Fall reading, and importantly whether you are an alumnus of the department, or a prospective student, I really look forward to hearing from you.