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Facing the Pandemic

What is the current reality of the Coronavirus? What do scholarship and research tell us about possible outcomes for outbreaks and a vaccine? How do they impact communities facing a legacy of underfunded resources?


Associate Professor Phoebe Lostroh

Associate Professor Phoebe LostrohAssociate Professor Phoebe Lostroh is a molecular microbiologist whose research has focused on bacterial "sex." She has recruited a diverse team of undergraduate researchers at Colorado College where she has won multiple awards, such as the Theodore Roosevelt Collins Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching, mentoring, and advising students of color and first-generation students. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (2009-2018), National Institutes of Health (1994-2003), and the Keck Foundation (2001-2003). She's a volunteer comedienne with Science Riot, which brings science to the public through stand-up routines, and is the lead singer on Rejoice! an album of songs for activists.


Dr. Margaret A. Liu '77

Margaret A. Liu '77Dr. Margaret A. Liu '77 is renowned in the fields of gene-based vaccines, immunotherapy, and global health. She obtained an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, a B.A. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, and an honorary doctorate of science degree, both from Colorado College. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology, all at Massachusetts General Hospital, and was board certified in internal medicine and in endocrinology and metabolism. She received an NIH Physician Scientist Award.

Her pioneering research includes bispecific antibodies that activate T cells for cancer therapy, and DNA vaccines for infectious diseases, immunotherapy, and gene therapy, which earned her the moniker of "Mother of DNA vaccines." DNA vaccines are in numerous human clinical trials for vaccines, gene therapy, and immunotherapy for cancer, autoimmune diseases, and allergy; it is one of the leading technologies for making a Coronavirus vaccine. Most recently, Liu served as the president of the International Society for Vaccines from 2015-2017.

Sonlatsa "Sunshine" Jim-Martin '94

Sonlatsa 'Sunshine' Jim-Martin '94Sonlatsa "Sunshine" Jim-Martin '94 is Navajo-Modoc enrolled in the Navajo Nation. She was raised on and lives on the Navajo Reservation in Tohlakai, New Mexico. She received her bachelor's degree from Colorado College and is working on a master's degree in social justice and community organizing. Her experience includes working with public education, Indian education, human resources management, Navajo Nation social services, nonprofit management, Navajo Nation Headstart, Navajo Department of Health, Public Health, and Community Outreach. She provides Native American community engagement as a consultant. She advocates for the reform of systems to promote public health equity in rural Indigenous grassroots communities. Currently, she has returned to work for the Navajo Nation coordinating with 110 local chapter governments in three states. As a manager with the Navajo Nation Division of Community Development, Jim-Martin has been assisting with the COVID-19 emergency operations and response since the beginning of the outbreak in March 2020. Jim-Martin is a wife and mother of four daughters, an Indigenous food grower, Indigenous woman leader, and social justice activist.

Tia Tummino '16

Tia Tummino '16Tia Tummino '16 has a degree in neuroscience from Colorado College and served as the paraprofessional in the CC Department of Psychology for the 2016-17 academic year. Currently, Tummino is a Ph.D. candidate in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics in the laboratory of Professor Brian Shoichet at the University of California, San Francisco, where she primarily works on merging in silico, in vitro, and in vivo methods for the discovery of non-opioid pain therapeutics. Like many others, she was motivated to find a way to adapt her scientific skills in the age of COVID-19. She teamed up with the UCSF Quantitative Biosciences Institute Coronavirus Research Consortium (QCRG) to understand how SARS-CoV-2 hijacks human cells and applied chemoinformatic methods to identify novel antiviral drug candidates.

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/19/2021