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Suds & Science

A “Spirited” Discussion

Suds & Science at  Callahan’s Pub & Brewery
Suds & Science at Callahan’s Pub & Brewery
Suds & Science: Zombie
Suds & Science: Zombie
Suds & Science: Mars Colony
Suds & Science: Mars Colony

Sometimes, the most interesting discussions occur over a beer or a glass of your favorite vino. (Bonus points if you can remember what was said the next morning!) That’s the concept behind Suds & Science, a monthly event that brings scientists face-to-face with the general public in a neighborhood bar. Each session kicks off with a short and enlightening presentation, after which the floor is open for discussion between the audience and the speaker. We cover a wide variety of topics that can range from the science of beer to superhero physics to the genius of genomes. We invite you to come sit back, sip your favorite beverage and participate in the discussion. Suds & Science puts the fun and spirit(s) back into learning. 

Suds & Science is generously sponsored by 


Schedule 2020


San Diego’s Amazing Race to Combat COVID-19 

Combatting the COVID-19 crisis is a global effort and San Diego is playing a major role in the race to a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19.
Join us for this special Suds & Science online series as we talk to researchers from five local companies and research institutions about their amazing work to stop the COVID-19 crisis.

Cost: FREE! Space is limited.  Please, register to attend this virtual talk. Participants have to register for each event individually.

Event link will be sent to registered participants the day off the event.

PLEASE NOTE: All four events will be recorded

April 27
7-8 p.m.

Developing a Vaccine in Record Time

Join Dr. Francesca Torriani, Program director of Infection Prevention & Clinical Epidemiology at UC San Diego Health and Infectious Disease Specialist,  and Dr. Kate Broderick, VP of Preclinical Research & Development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dr. Torriani will speak to the ongoing public health efforts and the work of local health care providers and testing modalities. Dr. Broderick will share Inovio’s work on developing a vaccine in record time.


May 26
7-8 p.m.

The Need for Speed in Finding Treatments

Join Dr. Evan Snyder, Dr. Sandra Leibel, Dr. Laura Riva and Dr. Xin Yin from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute as they share how they are using novel stem cell technology to better understand COVID-19’s effect on the lung and how they use this new knowledge to canvas drugs to find a possible treatment. Some of the drugs are already FDA approved, which could dramatically reduce the time it takes to get treatment to patients impacted by this deadly coronavirus.


June 22
7-8 p.m.

Antibodies to the Rescue

Join Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology as she shares how they are comparing thousands of antibodies against COVID-19 from around the world so the best ones can be used to provide much needed protection for health care workers and offer treatment for patients with severe disease.


June 29
7 to 8 p.m.

The Importance of Testing Everyone

Join Dr. Rob Knight, founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics, Bioengineering and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego and co-founder of the American Gut Project and the Earth Microbiome Project, and Dr. Lauge Farnaes, physician in infectious diseases at Rady Children’s Hospital and Assistant Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at UC San Diego as they discuss their latest research project. Dr. Farnaes and Dr. Knight collaborate on an epidemiology study of health care and frontline workers. The study strives to better understand the body’s immune response to COVID 19, and why some people show no symptoms, while for others the immune system kicks into overdrive. A better understanding of the disease in asymptomatic patients could help improve testing methods as well as help communities identify mini outbreaks, so they can be contained swiftly, saving lives. In addition Dr. Knight and Dr. Farnaes will help us better understand the different COVID testing methods and their accuracy.

Registration will be open soon.


Bios for all speakers:

Dr. Francesca Torriani. Francesca J. Torriani, MD, is a professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Diego. She sees patients in the Owen Clinic and the infectious diseases clinic. She also cares for people during hospital stays. Dr. Torriani is medical director of the UC San Diego Infection Prevention and Clinical Epidemiology and the tuberculosis control units at UC San Diego Health. In collaboration with Atlas Public Health, she has been instrumental in creating an extensive electronic microbiology surveillance and pharmacy utilization program called Guardian that allows for internal data mining, surveillance, unit-specific antibiogram production, and external reporting of contagious infections to San Diego Public Health and to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI). Since 2010, Dr. Torriani has served on the Metrics Group for CA HAI Reporting, an independent group of experts discussing best standards and methods for HAI reporting in California. Dr. Torriani has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Infectious DiseasesAIDSJournal of Clinical Microbiology, and Clinical Infectious Diseases and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).


Dr. Kate Broderick. Dr. Kate Broderick is an accomplished scientist and recognized vaccine expert who leads a diverse team of researchers discovering and developing DNA medicines in her role as INOVIO’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Working out of the company’s research labs in San Diego, she is focused on the development and enhanced delivery of a broad range of DNA medicines designed to prevent a range of often deadly infectious diseases and cancers. Most recently, she is responsible for driving the development of a DNA vaccine for COVID-19. She also led the teams that brought the first in human Lassa fever vaccine into the clinic as well as advanced the development of a DNA vaccine for the MERS virus. Over the course of her career, Dr. Broderick has authored and co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, and her team regularly publishes and presents their findings in leading scientific publications and at conferences worldwide. Dr. Broderick has participated by invitation at advisory meetings convened by the World Health Organization to discuss DNA vaccines and their delivery. She is a co-inventor on multiple patents related to DNA vaccine delivery and has served as a principal investigator on grants, awards, and contracts from leading government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Small Business Innovation Research program, and including a $56M award from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). With a keen interest in electroporation device design in the context of transdermal delivery, Dr. Broderick has helped drive the development of novel prototypes and designs of INOVIO’s proprietary smart device CELLECTRA®, which delivers the company’s DNA medicines directly into cells in the body. Dr. Broderick received her Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. She joined INOVIO in 2006. In 2018, Dr. Broderick was named Business Women of the Year by San Diego Business Journal.


Dr. Evan Snyder. Evan Y. Snyder earned his M.D. and Ph.D. (in neuroscience) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 as a member of NIH's Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). (He had also studied psychology and linguistics at the University of Oxford). After moving to Boston in 1980, he completed residencies in pediatrics and neurology as well as a clinical fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Children's Hospital-Boston, Harvard Medical School. He also served as Chief Resident in Medicine (1984-85) and Chief Resident in Neurology (1987) at Children's Hospital-Boston. In 1989, he became an attending physician in the Department of Pediatrics (Division of Newborn Medicine) and Department of Neurology at Children's Hospital-Boston, Harvard Medical School. From 1985-91, concurrent with his clinical activities, he conducted postdoctoral research as a fellow in the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. In 1992, Dr. Snyder was appointed an instructor in neurology (neonatology) at Harvard Medical School and was promoted to assistant professor in 1996. He maintained lab spaces in both Children's Hospital-Boston and at Harvard Institutes of Medicine/Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In 2003, Dr. Snyder was recruited to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research as Professor and Director of the Program in Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology. He then inaugurated the Stem Cell Research Center (serving as its founding director) and initiated the Southern California Stem Cell Consortium. Dr. Snyder is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). He also received training in Philosophy and Linguistics at Oxford University.


Dr. Laura Riva. Laura Riva, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate - Laura graduated in Molecular Biology at the University of Padova (Italy). She received her PhD from the University of Liege (Belgium) in 2013, prior to moving to France for a postdoctoral opportunity at the Pasteur Institute of Lille. She joined the SBP Medical Discovery Institute in 2017 as a postdoctoral associate. In her free time, Laura likes reading books and enjoying the sunny life in San Diego.


Dr. Sandra Leibel. Dr. Sandra Leibel is a neonatologist at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and an assistant professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine. She was recruited from The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where she finished her graduate degree in lung biology as part of the Physician Scientist program. Dr. Leibel's clinical interests are invasive and non-invasive ventilation and its effect on babies during their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay. She is the director of the Medical Student NICU rotation and participates in the education of neonatal nurse practitioners and NICU fellows. Her research interests are in studying human lung development and surfactant biology using induced pluripotent stem cells; she is using gene therapy to cure the fatal disease of surfactant protein B deficiency.


Dr. Xin Yin. Postdoctoral Associate - Xin Yin received his Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Immunology from Northeast Agricultural University, P. R. China in 2014. Afterwards he joined the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a postdoctoral fellow, working on the molecular biology of hepatotropic viruses including HAV, HBV and HEV. In 2018, he joined the Chanda laboratory at SBP Medical Discovery Institute, systematically exploring the innate immune response to virus infection. In his free time, Xin enjoys reading and spending time with his family.


Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire. Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is a Professor of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses like Ebola and Lassa are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has solved the structures of the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Bundibugyo and Lassa virus glycoproteins, explained how they remodel these structures as they drive themselves into cells, how their proteins suppress immune function and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses. A recent discovery revealed why neutralizing antibodies had been so difficult to elicit against Lassa virus, and provided not only the templates for the needed vaccine, but the molecule itself: a Lassa surface glycoprotein engineered to remain in the right conformation to inspire the needed antibody response. This molecule is the basis for international vaccine efforts against Lassa. Dr. Saphire was also the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is the Director of this organization. This consortium, an NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Translational Research, unites 44 previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses. Dr. Saphire’s work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, with young investigator awards from the International Congress of Antiviral Research, the American Society for Microbiology, and the MRC Centre for Virus Research in the United Kingdom. She has been awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar fellowship from the United States Department of State and a Mercator Fellowship from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to develop international collaborations using cryoelectron microscopy to further global health.