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July 08, 2020
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020
11:00-12:30 EDT

First speaker: Malcolm Wilkinson, Kirkstall
Title: Building more physiological models of human disease
Quasi Vivo® Systems are a way to introduce air and media flow over in vitro cell cultures and can be used to create multi-cell or multi-organoid models for the study of disease. Current projects specifically focused on COVID-19 include: 1) development of a model that mimics infection of by SARS-CoV-2 with natural flow of lymph and blood in the body and assess responses to the entry of SARS-CoV-2 in cells from the respiratory tract and responses on circulating blood cells from the immune system, 2) building a multi-tissue model which replicates human obesity and how different tissues communicate with each other in diseases like SARS-COVID19, and 3) improving our understanding of how cigarette smoke increases susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs and help in developing a therapy for prevention and treatment.

Second speaker: Samuel Constant, Epithelix
Title: 3D Human epithelial models to study SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis
The respiratory system is the main entry portal of SARS-CoV-2 which infects initially and principally the airway epithelia. Epithelix has developed standardized air-liquid interface 3D human airway epithelial cultures from nasal or bronchial (MucilAir™) and small-airway (SmallAir™) origins. These epithelial models closely mimic the morphology and function of the native tissues and have been used for the development of antivirals against influenza, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, amongst others. This talk will highlight how these reconstituted human airway epithelial models can be used to characterize viral infection kinetics, tissue-level tropism and transcriptional immune signatures induced by SARS-CoV-2. Relevance of these models for the preclinical evaluation of antiviral candidates will also be addressed in the context of repositioning of marketed drugs or evaluation of novel therapies and combinations delivered systematically or through aerosol therapy.