COVID Information Commons: Lightning Talks (February 2022)


Post Guest: Haleigh Stewart

Four NSF-funded researchers convened on Friday, February 4th, 2022 at the COVID-19 Research Webinar Lightning Talk, marking the 17th event of the webinar series. Organized through the COVID Information Commons (CIC), the COVID-19 Research Webinar series fosters collaboration across different disciplines and provides a virtual platform to share and cultivate diverse ideas on the advancement of solutions to the global pandemic. 


Moderated by the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub’s Operations & Communications Manager Lauren Close, the event kicked off with updates on award expansion in the PI database, announcements on the CIC Extension Award and CIC Accessibility initiatives, and an exciting introduction to the Hub’s new COVID Information Commons Project Manager, Kenia Pujols. 

This month’s event featured France Belanger of Virginia Tech, Ho-Joon Lee of Yale University, and Stony Brook University’s Steven Skiena and Xingzhi Guo. They presented research that touched on various topics, including: concerns regarding family privacy amid COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 predictions through machine learning and deep learning of macromolecular interactions; and efficient mode embedding methods to measure changes in large dynamic graphs on the Internet. 

The presentations were followed by a robust Q&A session with researchers and attendees delving into discussions surrounding researchers’ use of specific machine learning techniques, potential pharmaceutical applications of the presented findings, the emergence of macromolecular interactions as it relates to COVID-19 and cancer-related advancements, and the importance of technology awareness as it pertains to data privacy. 

A full recording of this month’s webinar is available on the CIC website. 


The next CIC COVID-19 Research Webinar will be held on Friday, March 4 from 2:30- 4 p.m. (EST). Register to attend the March webinar and hear about other NSF- and NIH-funded research projects concerning COVID-19. 

Speaker Lineup for the March 2022 CIC Webinar:

Yifeng Cai and Kate Mason, Understanding the Process of Social Change through the Transitional Period of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Funded by NSF Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.

Joe Cecil, A Virtual Reality simulator to train first responders involved in health care efforts related to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Funded by NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.

Maria Jose Miguez, Lateral flow home-use diagnostic for detection of COVID-19. Funded by NSF Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP).

Rachel Wu, Older adults’ learning and adaptation as resilience processes to counter social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.