COVID-19 Health Panel: Learn How To Fight Back!

Join our esteemed panel of health professionals and learn ways to Fight Back against COVID-19 by boosting your immune system.

Our immune system plays a crucial role in keeping us healthy.

It works around the clock to protect us from infectious bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that cause disease, suffering, and death.

The immune system is an extremely complex network of cells and molecules that researchers are still working to better understand.

Listen to our rock star panel of health professionals, read their bios below, discuss their research and recommended approaches to help us protect ourselves and boost our immune system response.

We will have a live Q&A available during our event to address any of your inquiries. 

This is a Free event, but we require you to register in order to get the Zoom Webinar link needed to join.

Health Panel Bios:

Lisa Gray Byron: Epidemiologist, Environment Engineer (Co-Moderator)


Lisa is a multidisciplinary environmental engineer / epidemiologist with experience and interest in environmental affairs and their relationship to animal and human health. Her professional goals revolve around reducing risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, program development, and evidence-based policy reform. Lisa promotes the One Health approach to solving problems whether on a global or local level, and she served as an officer in the Columbia One Health Initiative.  Lisa’s academic research interest involves looking at circadian rhythm patterns and disturbance as a bi-directional modifiable risk factor in ME/CFS. Her preliminary work won Early Investigator awards to attend NIH’s Accelerating Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Meeting and later the same year, the 14th Invest in ME Research International ME Conference, 2019.  As a member of the New York City Watershed Team for EPA – Region II, Lisa served as program officer ensuring compliance with a Safe Drinking Water Act Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) waiver. The FAD served the dual goal of protecting the water supply for over 9 million while saving taxpayers an estimated $2 billion by avoiding filtration. Lisa was a AAAS Science & Technology Fellow, where she worked on environmental policy issues. As a consultant, Lisa designed water treatment plants, pump stations, and served as a Team Leader for municipal, and federal design projects.

Dr. Vincent Racaniello: Microbiology, Immunology, Virology

Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D. is a Higgins Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University Medical Center. He has been studying viruses for over 40 years, starting in 1975, when he entered the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York. His thesis research, in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Palese, was focused on influenza viruses. In 1979 he joined the laboratory of Dr. David Baltimore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for postdoctoral work on poliovirus. In 1982 Vincent joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. There he established a laboratory to study viruses, and to train other scientists to become virologists. Over the years his laboratory has studied a variety of viruses including poliovirus, echovirus, enteroviruses 70 and D68, rhinovirus, Zika virus and hepatitis C virus. As principal investigator of his laboratory, he oversees the research that is carried out by Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows. He also teaches virology to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as medical, dental, and nursing students. His virology lectures are available online at iTunes UniversityYouTube, and Coursera. Vincent entered the world of social media in 2004 with virology blog, followed by This Week in Virology. Videocasts of lectures from his undergraduate virology course are on iTunes University and virology blog. You can find him on WikipediaTwitterGFacebook, and Instagram. His goal is to be Earth’s virology professor. In recognition of his contribution to microbiology education, he was awarded the Peter Wildy Prize for Microbiology Education by the Society for General Microbiology, and the American Society for Microbiology Award for Education. His Wildy Lecture provides an overview of how he uses social media for science communication.

Dr. Nancy Klimas: Immunology, Neuro-Immune Medicine


Dr. Nancy Klimas, chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology, and professor in the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, established the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine (INIM), at Nova Southeastern University in 2012. In partnership with the Miami Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (VAMC) Gulf War Illness (GWI) research program, the INIM is a multi- disciplinary research and clinical institute that takes a systems biology approach to understanding complex medical illnesses, such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI).  Dr. Klimas’ research efforts have focused on understanding the pathogenesis and etiology of these complex immune conditions to better understand the underlying mechanisms of disease and to target treatments more effectively. Due to the complexity of understanding the underlying mechanisms of these illnesses, the INIM relies on a computational systems biology approach that can direct clinical laboratory research efforts to become more targeted and efficient. Her research efforts have been groundbreaking and disease mechanisms identified with this approach are currently being targeted with FDA approved pharmaceuticals and undergoing later stage clinical trial investigation. Dr. Klimas is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a diplomat in Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, staff physician and Director of Clinical Immunology Research at the Miami VAMC. She has achieved national and international recognition for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders, including ME/CFS and GWI. She is the past president of the International Association for CFS and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (IACFS/ME), a professional organization of clinicians and investigators, and a past member of the Health and Human Services (HHS) CFS Advisory Committee. 


Dr. Suraj Saggar:  Infectious Disease

Dr. Suraj Saggar is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of infectious diseases, from such common ailments as Influenza, chicken pox, shingles, pneumonia and bacterial skin infections, such as MRSA to complex viruses such as Zika, Ebola, Dengue, MERS and COVID19. He has an academic focus in the treatment of HIV, Tuberculosis, Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship.  If you tune in to Fox 5 NYC News at 5 p.m., you might catch Dr. Saggar delivering the medical headlines. He regularly discusses up-to-the minute health information, exciting research findings, and the latest advances in health screenings and medical technology. He has regularly been featured on CNN and Fox Business News discussing various aspects of the COVID19 pandemic.  Dr. Saggar has been on staff at Holy Name Medical Center since 2007, with an office in Englewood, NJ. He is an adjunct clinical associate professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. Dr. Saggar earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Richmond and medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, N.J. He is board certified in Internal Medicine & Infectious Disease. He participates in numerous clinical trials, and has conducted clinical research at the National Institutes of Health and as a Merck Research Fellow and is currently an investigator in several on-going trials of COIVD19 therapeutics for Gilead and Regeneron. He is on the speaker's bureau of Allergan Pharmaceuticals and regularly lectures for Grand Rounds and to medical students and residents.  Dr. Saggar’s weekly podcasts, "Recommended Daily Dose," featuring co-host Dr. Clenton Coleman can be heard at, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. 

Dr. Ana C. Krieger: Sleep Neurology, Sleep Medicine 

Dr. Ana C. Krieger is a physician scientist and the Medical Director of the Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine. She is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Neurology and Genetic Medicine and an Associate Attending at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and at Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Krieger holds board certification in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Sleep Medicine.  For over 20 years, Dr. Krieger has been actively involved in patient care, training of sleep specialists, and sleep disorders education while also developing her academic career as a clinician scientist in translational sleep medicine and technology research development. She serves as the Past President of the Northeast Sleep Society, and is a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar, as well as a recipient of Career Development Awards by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Krieger is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the New York Academy of Medicine.  Dr. Krieger also serves as a Chair of the Mentored Transition to Independence committee at the National Institutes of Health – National Health Lung and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI).  She is a funded investigator by the NIH and National Science Foundation for research studies evaluating new technologies for monitoring sleep and respiration. Her collaborations extend to several local institutions in New York State including Cornell University, CUNY and Rockefeller University, and across the country.  Dr. Krieger keeps a busy academic practice in sleep medicine, serving as the Chief of the Division of Sleep Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine. She has been a sought after speaker and advisor to professional athletes, sports teams, and healthcare, legal, financial and technology corporations.  Dr. Krieger has been featured as Top Doctor in the U.S. News and World Report, Consumer Research Council of America, Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and The New York Times. Since 2017, she has been listed as America’s Top 1% Most Honored Professionals by the American Registry, and listed as one of the Exceptional Women in Medicine by Castle Connolly.

September 18, 2020 at 5:00pm - 6:30pm

Zoom Webinar


Alumni Leadership Team

Gregory Mahoney Gilles Puchon Yannis Tziligakis Clara Chae Blanca Molina Roopa Bhatiani Mary Swatek Paula White Janet Mayer Russell Baccaglini Erica Chick Dong-Bum Seo Ann Marie Reardon Katrina Durbak Gloria Lu Carol Aguilu George J. Carfagno Michael Chen jan khouri Leonora Bradley Sarah Calverley Bob Petrelli Aili Chen Anonymous Denise TAjan-Dillon Alice Baldwin-Jones Lindsey Siferd Alex Zwilgmeyer Ellen Schwartz Sharon O'Reilly Beesham Seecharan Michael Wong Nazmi Tarhan Estelle Perera Pamela Caine Janet Mahoney John Pettesch James Carroll Kambiz Rahnavardy Christopher Tortoriello Eric Sarshad Mary Farrell Suneil Parimoo David Berkowitz Darcie Alexis Joy Mentzer nicole Tavares - Malamut Anita Srivastava

Will you come?