Jennie Sealy
National Student Research Forum

62nd Annual National Student Research ForumPanels

The 2021 Panels were a great success! If you would like to watch our panel of virology and vaccine experts discuss SARS-CoV-2, please use the following link:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Science
and Education Panel

1Hayes_adjTyrone Hayes, PhD
is a Harvard graduate and current professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. Hayes’ research focuses on the impact of chemical contaminants on environmental health and public health. He has a specific interest in the role of pesticides in global amphibian declines and environmental justice concerns associated with targeted exposure of racial and ethnic minorities to endocrine disruptors and the role that exposure plays in health care disparities.

2Martinez_adjKay Martinez, MA
has a MA in Higher Education from Boston College and is currently Director of DEI Training, Education, and Development at Lesley University and a teaching fellow on Critical Race Theory in Education at Harvard. Kay has over a decade of professional experience directing JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) initiatives in higher education at some of the nation’s most selective institutions.

3Thoreson_adjRyan Thoreson JD, D. Phil
is a Clinical Lecturer in Law, Associate Research Scholar in Law, and Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School. He is also a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program in New York City, where he was a Bernstein Human Rights Fellow from 2015-2017. Thoreson's work focuses on LGBT children’s rights and LGBT rights in the United States, with a particular focus on transgender equality, access to housing and intimate partner violence services, and discriminatory exemptions in counseling, adoption and foster care, and public accommodations.

4Guillott-Wright_adjShannon Guillott-Wright, PhD
is Director of Health Policy Research at the Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Her program of research focuses on structural violence, with an emphasis on occupational health equity and evidence use in policymaking. She has published on structural violence, including social determinants of health, health policy, migrant health, and racial/ethnic health inequities in international and national journals and received research support from the CDC, Texas Medical Center's Health Policy Institute, the Office of the Governor of the State of Texas, the Southwest Agriculture Center, and numerous national Foundations.

5Pulliam_adjJune Collins Pulliam MA, MT-BC
has 25 years experience as a Board Certified Music Therapist. She has a B.S. in Music Therapy from Texas Woman's University and a M.A. in Behavioral Sciences (Psychology) from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. She works with individuals of varying abilities and ages to promote non-musical and musical goals pertinent to each individual's needs and interests.

6Serag_adjHani Serag MD, MPH
Dr. Serag is a physician and public health researcher. His previous work includes serving as global coordinator of the People's Health Movement, a global network of civil society organizations, academic institutes and health activists, and as the director of Health Policy and Systems Program of the Association Health and Environmental Development in Egypt. He has been involved in a wide range of educational and training activities in both the public and global health fields.

Virology and Vaccine Research Panel

7Shi_adjPei-Yong Shi, PhD
is the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Innovations in Molecular Biology here at UTMB. His lab’s research focuses on viruses that cause significant human diseases, such as dengue, Zika, West Nile, and SARS-CoV-2. They study molecular mechanisms of viral replication to translate the knowledge into antiviral, vaccine, and diagnostic products. Many of his technologies have been licensed to leading pharmaceutical companies for countermeasure development. A recent example is his reporter neutralization assay that has enabled the rapid development of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

8Weaver_adjScott Weaver, PhD
is Director of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity (IHII), Scientific Director of the Galveston National Laboratory, and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Dr. Weaver currently holds the John Sealy Distinguished University Chair in Human Infections and Immunity. He has over 350 publications related to virology and vector biology, and holds nine patents for vaccine and diagnostics development for viral diseases.

9Barrett_adjAlan Barrett, PhD
is the Director of UTMB’s Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences. He is also the John Sealy Distinguished University Chair in Vaccinology. His lab works on developing vaccines against flaviviruses by studying virulence factors and working with live attenuated strains.

10Garcia-Blanco_adjMariano Garcia-Blanco, PhD
is an internationally recognized expert in RNA biology and virology and has been continuously funded by the NIH since the early 1990s. He has dedicated his career to study how RNA-protein interactions regulate gene expression in cells and viruses. These studies have focused on several areas of high biomedical importance such as the intersection between RNA biology and host immunity.

11Rupp_adjRichard Rupp, MD
is the Director of Clinical Trials and Clinical Research and a member of the Executive Committee for the Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences. He leads the SIVS Clinical Trials Group, and is a Principal Investigator for clinical trials, Phase I to IV, in both pediatric and adult populations. Vaccines studied have included those protecting against human cytomegalovirus, seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza, pneumococcal disease, human papillomavirus, Dengue, varicella, Herpes simplex 2, and meningococcal disease.