Melanie Ott, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology

Professor, Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Recorded: Wednesday, April 29nd

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Join Melanie Ott, live Wednesday, April 29th, as she shares her perspective on how to think about, deal with, and potentially treat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melanie is a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and a Professor of Medicine at UCSF. She got her MD at the University of Frankfurt/Main and her PhD in molecular medicine from the Picowar Graduate School. Before establishing her lab at the Gladstone, she ran a research group at the German Cancer Research Group.

The Ott lab has focused mostly on HIV and Hepatitis C. Following the breakout of COVID-19, Melanie quickly established a Biosafety Level 3 lab at Gladstone and is working with Dr. Jennifer Doudna to develop a CRISPR-based COVID-19 diagnostic assay. As part of an international effort, Melanie is researching how SARS-CoV-2 attacks lung tissue and which potential drugs might counter the effects.

“I’m originally a neurologist but switched to virology in the ’90s during the AIDS crisis.

I was in Frankfurt. It was very similar to now — there were not treatments available, many people infected and terminally sick. So I decided I wanted to dig deeper into the virus and learn more and maybe make a difference.”

Melanie Ott in conversation with STAT News

Help shape the upcoming conversation.

In his session, Dr. Melanie Ott will respond to the questions registered attendees sent in through this page, in the live discussion and social media.

  • 6

    votes

    When can we realistically expect a safe vaccine?

  • 6

    votes

    Please clarify whether or not Ibuprofen should be avoided during the Covid-19 era, and explain why this is so. Is Tylenol safe to use? Thank you.

  • 5

    votes

    What drugs are looking the most promising for attacking COVID-19 and how is CRISPR technology being used?

  • 4

    votes

    What foods would your recommend to help build up our immune system?

  • 3

    votes

    I hear about a vaccine being tested in Britain that could be available in Sept. Can you speak to that?

  • 3

    votes

    What are the most effective ways to improve immunity against COVID?

  • 2

    votes

    Are there particular foods that we should be eating to help build up our immune system?

  • 2

    votes

    I’ve seen articles that reference some association between Covid-19 and ACE-2. Would that affect any of the patients taking ACE-2 inhibitors for their hypertension?

  • 1

    votes

    Can you speak to scientists and health organizations being aware that a pandemic would materialize and the reason there was a disconnect with government not being prepared to appropriately respond timely to save lives.

  • 1

    votes

    What is your bet in terms of resolving the current crisis: vaccine or drugs? In terms of the latter – given the Korgan study which identified many potential cellular cofactors for the virus – do you have any favorite targets there which could be particularly beneficial in curtailing viral replication in humans?

  • 1

    votes

    Is there a possibility of a bigger pandemic than Covid-19 in the near future?

  • 0

    votes

    Why can’t I connect?

  • 0

    votes

    What’s your prediction when there will be sufficient antibody testing for the general population?

  • 0

    votes

    Some speculate that COVID-19 might act like a hybrid (SARS and HIV ) that it’s not just lung but immune system. Your thoughts?

  • 0

    votes

    Are any natural remedies such as supplements, botanicals and homeopathics, being tested for treatment or prevention of Covid 19?

  • 0

    votes

    If a vaccine is used do we have any idea if and what adjuvants will be used? I am concerned about toxicity from these.

  • 0

    votes

    Which inflammatory cytokine/chemokines do you think are the most relevant in the SARS-CoV-2 induced cytokine storm?

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