** To do our part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our staff, supporters and community safe, MDI Biological Laboratory has moved all public events, courses and conferences to a virtual format. Our top priority is the safety of our employees, supporters and community. We will be hosting this Science Café online.**
* Please note the 4:30 pm start time*
The topic of the MDI Science Café for Monday, August 2, 2021 will be “Communicating Covid-19: The Importance of Making Science Accessible.” It will be presented by Hermann Haller, M.D., President and Professor of MDI Biological Laboratory and Professor, Director, Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Hannover Medical School in concert with Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The event will be hosted online at 4:30 pm, and the public is invited to join Dr. Haller and Dr. Shah as they examine the critical role of science communication and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. During times of uncertainty, people turn to something constant; and in the last eighteen months, we have often turned to one of the most certain things there is – science. Throughout history, science has overcome even the most daunting challenges, including pandemics. Now, more than ever before, the importance of scientific research, education, literacy and communication cannot be overstated.
As the head of the Maine Center for Disease Control, Shah fast gained attention for his calm demeanor, prompt fact-delivery and practical advice for Mainers while navigating this unprecedented public health crisis. During this special Science Café, participants will have the unique opportunity to put their questions directly to Shah during a Q&A session.
Physician-Scientist Haller’s research focuses on microvascular disease, a well-documented comorbidity of COVID-19. In his native Germany, he held an advisory role in developing strategies for addressing the pandemic, giving him a broad view of, and experience with, the virus and its effects. A long-time visiting scientist at MDI Biological Laboratory, Dr. Haller was named President of MDIBL in 2018. Haller also directs the department of nephrology and hypertension at Hannover Medical School in Hanover, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in art history and a medical degree from the Free University of Berlin and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Shah was appointed as the Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in June of 2019. He has broad experience in public health, including serving as Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, where he implemented key initiatives to address the State’s opioid crisis, reduce maternal and infant mortality, and reduce childhood lead poisoning. As an attorney and public health economist, Shah previously advised professionals and governments around the nation and globe on improving the delivery of health care. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Ministry of Health in Cambodia, where his work included investigating and managing disease outbreaks as an epidemiologist. Shah received both medical and law degrees from the University of Chicago. He also studied economics at Oxford University.
Our live online Zoom presentations will be recorded and uploaded for those who cannot make the live session. Please note, when Zoom records, it captures the audience as well as the presenter. If you do not wish to be recorded, please turn off your video camera. Audio will still be available.
MDI Science Cafés are offered in fulfillment of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science.
We ask attendees to please preregister online so that we can send you the link to the online presentation.