Biology Seniors Zoom in on Coronavirus

  • A recent session of Biology Senior Seminar (BIOL 490).
    Ashley Pirovano ’13
This semester, students in MMC’s Biology Senior Seminar are presenting the latest scientific research on COVID-19 through remote sessions that are open to all.

BIOL 490: Senior Seminar in Biology is a capstone experience for students majoring in Biology and Biomedical Sciences at MMC. The course immerses students in the process of reading and understanding primary scientific literature. Since the transition to remote instruction, the seminar, led by Alessandra Leri, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, has focused exclusively on the latest research regarding the novel coronavirus. Each week, a Biology senior presents a peer-reviewed article devoted to a specific topic, from sequencing the genome of the virus to the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 to the latest vaccine and treatment research. Because the virus is so new, these papers are hot off the presses.

Dr. Leri has opened the seminar to all members of the MMC community who would like to learn more about COVID-19. In recent weeks, the class has hosted undergraduate and post-bac students, alumni, and faculty members from various departments. Notably, Biology alumna Laura Anthony ’11, who works as a Pediatric Surgical Technologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, joined a recent seminar and shared her perspective from the front lines of patient care.

Biology major Julia Furnari ’20 says, “Continuing our presentations in Senior Seminar has allowed us to keep developing our scientific communication skills. It has been empowering to learn about COVID-19 while it evolves around us. I’m proud to be focusing my education on something that matters so much right now.”

The Biology Senior Seminar takes place every Thursday at 11:30 am. Please email Dr. Leri for the Zoom link to participate. More details about recent and upcoming seminars are available on our Instagram @mmcbiology.