Featuring Assistant Professor Dvir Aran, Associate Professor Yair Goldberg, and M.D./Ph.D. Candidate Matan Levine

Researchers are uncovering new insights about COVID-19 seemingly every day — but what does that mean for us, our loved ones, and our communities as we enter the third year of this pandemic?

Join Assistant Professor Dvir Aran, Associate Professor Yair Goldberg, and M.D./Ph.D. Candidate Matan Levine for this fascinating briefing on where things stand with the novel coronavirus, virus variants like Delta and Omicron, and the efficacy of booster shots. Panelists will also share updates from COVID-19 research they are currently conducting, and what it might mean for future detection, treatment, and prevention efforts.

This event will be moderated by Professor Roy Kishony, the Henry and Marilyn Taub Professor of Life Sciences in the Technion Faculty of Biology. Opening remarks will be given by Shelley Taub, a member of the Taub family of New Jersey, longtime champions of the Technion. With a background in science and nutrition, Shelley is dedicated to improving the health of her community and beyond.

Featured Speakers

Roy Kishony
Technion Professor, Roy Kishony
Roy Kishony

Dvir Aran is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Biology and the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science at the Technion. His research field is computational biology, using data science and AI to advance biological and medical research. He develops computational tools and applies them to integrate and analyze big data from multiple sources, including genomic and epigenetic data and electronic medical records. His research aims to advance the understanding of the tumor microenvironment, as well as the immune system, and their relationship with potential treatments. Prof. Aran has gained international recognition for his contributions to the understanding of the tumor microenvironment and other diseases. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Prof. Aran has been conducting modeling and analyses of real-world publicly-available COVID-19 data to understand early indications of vaccine effectiveness and waning. He was one of the first to publish research on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in Israel.

Yair Goldberg is an associate professor of statistics in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion and the Vice Dean for Graduate Studies. His lab uses statistical and machine learning tools to address theoretical questions and real-world problems. Recent papers have focused on both the protection against COVID-19 provided by the Pfizer vaccine and its waning immunity in Israel. In the past two years, he has been part of a research team advising Israel’s Ministry of Health on COVID-19 policymaking. Prof. Goldberg earned his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Department of Biostatistics and was a statistical consultant for The Translational and Clinical Science Institute — both at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and then a faculty member at the University of Haifa, before joining the Technion faculty in 2018.

Matan Levine, a Ph.D. candidate in computational biology, conducts research in both the Kishony Lab at the Technion and the Shomron Lab at Tel Aviv University (TAU). He is also an M.D. candidate at TAU. His knowledge in diverse fields that include data science, the biomedical sciences, physics, and software gives him unique multidisciplinary insights that have proven particularly important to scientists the world working on the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Levine’s topics of expertise include the analysis of COVID-19 spread dynamics, SARS-Cov-2 viral load dynamics, and the effect of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the individual level.

Roy Kishony is the Marilyn and Henry Taub Professor of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Biology and holds a secondary position in the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science. He also is the immediate past director of the Lorry I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering. A physicist and mathematician by training, Prof. Kishony is one of the most prominent names in the struggle against bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Most recently, he has made headlines with his research into the COVID-19 virus. His lab has contributed to the urgent understanding of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness at both the patient level and the community level. His studies were highlighted internationally as part of key policy making decisions and garnered worldwide attention, including coverage in The New York Times.

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