Approaching new normal and the Latest COVID Science

Professors Michael Mina and Aaron Bernstein report the latest in environmental science and epidemiology related to the COVID epidemic in this event moderated by local HSPH alum Janette Heung.


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Approaching a New Normal and the Latest Science on COVID-19


As the nation gradually reopens from COVID-19 shutdowns, how do we ensure that we’re returning to work and play safely? What’s the latest science around testing, immunity, re-infection risks, and environmental factors such as warming temperatures? 


Time spent in nature and the great outdoors is central to life in the Rocky Mountain West. Are there linkages between pandemics and the quality of our environment, such as air pollution, deforestation, and a changing climate? 


Join Harvard professors Aaron Bernstein, MD/MPH, and Michael Mina, MD/PhD for a discussion on COVID-19, moderated by local HSPH alumni, Janette Heung. The panel will elucidate the latest understanding about the novel coronavirus, identify its linkages with the health of our earth systems, and explore a path forward.



Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH. 

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; 

Interim Director, Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment
(Harvard Chan C-CHANGE); 

Pediatric Hospitalist, Boston Children’s Hospital.

Michael Mina, MD, PhD. 

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health; 

Clinical Pathologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.


Moderated by:

Janette Heung, SM. 

Assistant Director, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Community Programs (UCAR|UCP)

Principal, JWG Global


Questions for Panelists?

If you have questions to ask the panelists, please submit them ahead of time to

Event is brought to you jointly by Rocky Mountain Harvard University Club and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.


Opening Remarks by JK Costello, RMHUC President, and John Ristvey, Director, UCAR Center for Science Education.


Michael Mina, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health and a clinical pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School. After earning his AB at Dartmouth College in engineering and public health, he completed his MD and PhD degrees in the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program at Emory University and subsequently completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical residency in clinical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.


Dr. Mina’s research focuses on the development of novel high-throughput technologies to advance infectious disease diagnostics and epidemiological surveillance, and understand interactions between pathogen exposures and immunity. His work has uncovered prolonged effects of measles infections to delete previously acquired immunity, and has linked measles vaccines to benefits towards reducing mortality by as much as 50% globally. More broadly, a major interest of his lab is the development of molecular and mathematical tools to understand the landscape of infectious diseases and development of immunity, across ages and across the world, through the development and coupling of novel high throughput serological tools with new statistical methods. Recently, for obvious reasons, his research has taken a turn towards understanding the epidemiology and immunology relating to the novel coronavirus.


Michael’s research has been reported nationally and internationally in most major media outlets and Michael has been the recipient of numerous awards for his research and public health work, including being named by The Economist as one of eight “Global Progress Makers”, his research was awarded the top scientific research award for junior investigators from the US Academy of Clinical and Laboratory Physicians and Scientists,  and most recently Michael is the recipient of a NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.


Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE), a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bernstein focuses on the health impacts of the climate crisis on children’s health and advancing solutions to address its causes to improve the health and wellbeing of children around the world.

In 2019, Dr. Bernstein testified before Congress on the child health impacts of climate change, drawing from his personal experience as a pediatrician having to treat children with breathing difficulties, vector-borne diseases, and trauma from natural disasters. He is a trusted voice for major news outlets, providing interviews and expertise to reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CNN, and The Guardian, and writing articles for the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, and the Boston Globe, among others.

With Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Chivian, Dr. Bernstein co-authored and co-edited the Oxford University Press book, Sustaining Life, which received the distinction of best biology book of 2008 from the Library Journal, and which has been published in several foreign language editions.

Dr. Bernstein leads Climate MD, a Harvard Chan C-CHANGE program to encourage physicians to transform climate change from an issue dominated by politics and concerns about the future or faraway places, to one that matters to every person’s health here and now. He is the course director for Human Health and Global Environmental Change and created the HarvardX course “The Health Effects of Climate Change” which explores how climate change influences health through its effects on air quality, nutrition, infectious diseases, and human migration as well as solutions to the climate crisis. Through this course, thousands of students from over 100 countries have learned how climate change directly impacts their lives, and what they can do to become part of the solution.

In 2015, he was awarded a Lokey-Businesswire visiting professorship at Stanford University and has also been a visiting professor at Columbia University. Dr. Bernstein has been a member of the Harvard President’s Climate Change Task Force and co-Chairs the University Food Standards Committee.

He serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee, is Chair of the Board of Directors at the U.S. Green Building Council, and is on the Board of Advisors at Parents Magazine as an environmental health specialist. Previously, Dr. Bernstein served on the Board of Scientific Counselors to the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, he received graduate degrees in medicine (MD) and public health (MPH), from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, respectively. He is a recipient of Stanford University’s Firestone Medal for Research and a Harvard University Zuckerman Fellowship.

An avid bicyclist, Dr. Bernstein pedals to and from work year-round.

Janette Heung, SM, currently serves as the Assistant Director of University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Community Programs (UCAR|UCP). She holds extensive experience in strategic planning and organizational development for environmental and healthcare organizations and fostering cross-sector collaboration.


The four centers at UCAR|UCP provide satellite earth observations, data analytics, education, and partnership services. As the UCP Assistant Director, Janette works to direct, manage, and enhance UCP’s business strategy and operations. 


Previously, she served as the Director for the Care Management department at Colorado Access, an organization providing state health insurance plans. Janette developed strategic initiatives and oversaw multi-disciplinary teams of over 200 staff members. 


Over time, Janette has held leadership roles in public, private, and non-profit sectors and fostered collaborations across diverse stakeholders and constituents. She was the Deputy Director for the Colorado Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, where she developed strategic initiatives that fostered public health and economic development through time spent outside. As the Principal Consultant for JWG Global, Janette has assisted non-profit organizations and local governments such as Denver Mayor Office and The Nature Conservancy Asia Pacific Region to develop and execute organizational development and public engagement initiatives. Previously, she served as a Health Care Associate with National Quality Forum and a Consultant and Senior Management Consultant for Deloitte Consulting. 


When Janette is not at the office, she enjoys reading, writing, time with loved ones, and exploring the great outdoors. She had opened new alpine climbing routes in Bolivia and New Zealand.



6:00PM - 7:00PM Tue 30 Jun 2020, Mountain timezone


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