“… NOW IS THE TIME, IF EVER THERE WAS ONE, FOR US TO CARE
SELFLESSLY ABOUT ONE ANOTHER.” – ANTHONY FAUCI
The current COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably made an impact on the health and lives of many people around the world. More than any recent global event, it has also shed light on the complicated intersection of science, politics and economics. There are so many unanswered questions at the moment, and nobody knows when the end of the Zoom era will be or when we can stop saying ‘hello’ to our lab mates with our elbows and start showing our smiles. Nonetheless, there are of course many perspectives to consider and discuss as it pertains to the current pandemic. In this issue of IMMpress Magazine, we urge our readers to think about these different factors and reflect on how we can stand on the right side of history as scientists and researchers.
We open the issue with a detailed timeline of pandemics to give us a glimpse of our complicated history with infectious diseases (p. 8-9). We pay particular attention to the role SARS-CoV-2 has had on our lives as we delve into topics such as vaccine platforms (p.13), globalization (p. 26-27), social distancing and mental health (p. 24), socioeconomic impact (p. 22-23) and humanitarian issues in developing countries (p. 14-15). Notably, the Division Head of Infectious Diseases and our faculty member, Dr. Rupert Kaul, shares his experiences as physician and researcher during the pandemic (p. 18-19). We then take a moment to consider the role technology can have in combating infectious diseases, such as the use of high-resolution microscopy to visualize etiologic agents (p. 30-31) and artificial intelligence to track the spread of diseases (p. 20). Although COVID-19 is understandably on our minds constantly, we also must not forget other important infectious diseases, which may not have gained as much media attention recently. We discuss the influenza virus and the challenges to its vaccine development (p.10-11), the increase in several sexually transmitted infections (p. 28-29) and mosquito-borne tropical diseases as they pertain to climate change (p. 17).
As always, we would like to thank our tremendously talented and creative team of writers, designers and editors for yet another amazing issue. As we look back on the past year, we also celebrate some of the milestones that we have reached as a team in our benchmarking article, and we extend our biggest congratulations to those who contributed to the top articles from each of the three issues (p. 34-35). Finally, we would like to acknowledge Yoojin Choi for her leadership and commitment to IMMpress Magazine as she now steps down from her role as the Co-Editor-inChief. While we are sad to say goodbye to a long-time IMMpress member, we are excited to welcome Louis Ngai, who will be taking over her position. In addition, we are thrilled to be expanding our leadership team, with Sarah Colpitts joining us in her new role as the Multimedia Director and Salma Sheikh-Mohamed as the Social Media Coordinator. We hope our readership will enjoy this issue, and we encourage you to check out our online-exclusive articles on our newly launched blog: https://www.immpressmagazine.com/blog/. Stay safe and healthy!