The inhabitants of Earth are mostly microbes, and their activities are central to human welfare. Microbes can cause disease, but a properly functioning microbiome is essential for health. Microbes spoil food, but drive many forms of food production. Microbes mediate organismic decay, but catalyze numerous geochemical processes essential for life on Earth.

Research in the Penn Microbiology Department focuses on infectious agents that threaten global health, with an emphasis on understanding molecular mechanisms and developing key new methods. Areas of focus include pathogenic bacteria of the airway and gut, HIV/AIDS, insect- and rodent-borne viruses, herpes viruses, papillomaviruses, emerging infectious diseases and the human microbiome. On the host side, faculty study many areas of immunology related to infection, including innate and adaptive immunity, tumor immunology and vaccine development.


Here, we report SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of >1,000 pregnant women in Philadelphia
9.7% Black and 10.4% Latina women seropositive
2.0% White and 0.9% Asian women seropositive
Racial/ethnicity differences in exposure likely driving differences in disease!

Study led by Scott Hensley @SCOTTeHENSLEY of @PennMicro shows that Black and Hispanic women are infected with coronavirus 5 times as often as white women #SARSCoV2 #COVID19 #coronavirus https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid19-black-hispanic-test-positive-vaccine-update-offit-20200709.html

Study led by Scott Hensley shows that Black, Hispanic women infected with coronavirus 5 times as often as whites https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid19-black-hispanic-test-positive-vaccine-update-offit-20200709.html?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar via @PhillyInquirer @SCOTTeHENSLEY

And imporantntly, shout out to @SCOTTeHENSLEY for showing data on the disproportion of seropositive pregnant women in black and latino communities, and speaking briefly to the underlying social inequities that may likely attribute to this increased exposure.

Today’s symposium was recorded! We will tweet links to talks when they are available.

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Coronavirus Center Symposium “The Developing COVID-19 Epidemic”
Wed, Jul 8th 2020 11:00 AM To 05:00 PM EDT
Join us on BlueJeans
Speakers: Paul Offit, Scott Hensley, Mike Betts, Ed Behrens, Michela Locci, David Fajgenbaum, John Everett, Sydney Schaffer, Ping Wang, PJ Brennan, Christoph Thaiss, Scott Sherrill-Mix, Jon Epstein.


Symposium: The Coronavirus Outbreak, April 3, 2020 (All Talks)
(sponsored by the Penn Center for Research on Coronavirus and Other Emerging Pathogens)