Thursday, September 29, 2022

W&M Chemistry Dept. to Host Lecture, ‘A New Way to Stop the Spread of Viral Respiratory Infections’

Dr. Richard Zare of Stanford University is set to arrive at W&M where he will present research conducted by Zarelab on the spread of viral respiratory infections. (Courtesy of Pexels)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Chemistry Department at the College of William & Mary (W&M) is set to host a public lecture by Dr. Richard Zare of Stanford University on March 31.

Dr. Zare’s presentation, which will take place at 6 p.m. in room 1221 of the Integrated Science Center, located at 540 Landrum Dr., is entitled, “A New Way to Stop the Spread of Viral Respiratory Infections.” During the lecture, Dr. Zare will discuss research conducted by Zarelab at Stanford University that investigated seasonal variations in viral respiratory illnesses, such as influenza and COVID-19. He also explore the mystery as to why, in certain parts of the world, respiratory disease increases in winter, but experiences a decrease in the summer.

“Prof. Richard Zare is well-respected in many fields and he is a distinguished international scholar,” said W&M Assistant Professor Nathan Kidwell in an email to WYDaily. “His research that he will be presenting at William & Mary has made broad impacts in chemistry ranging from the development of laser-induced fluorescence to study chemical reactions to the study of aerosols that are important to public health and sustainability. We are thrilled to welcome Prof. Zare to William & Mary for our students and community to engage with a leader at the forefront of chemistry research.”

Dr. Zare conducts research on a broad range of topics that involve both high-level chemistry and physics. At Standford University he holds professorships in both the chemistry and physics departments. He’s known as a pioneer in the use of lasers to study chemical reactions at the molecular level. His lab, Zarelab, conducts research in analytical chemistry and the group is known to invent tools and measurement techniques that help scientists study phenomena at very small nanoscales.

According to the W&M Events webpage for the lecture, “Research from the Zare Lab at Standford University has found that relative humidity levels, the evaporation of aqueous microdroplets, and the presence of organic aerosol particles impact viral pathogen survival and therefore airborne transmission of viral disease. During a pandemic, research findings like these cannot be ignored as we all long for a safe return to ‘normalcy’ in our daily lives.”

Dr. Zare’s lecture is free and open to the public. Free on-campus parking is reserved for the event.

More information on Dr. Zare and Zarelab can be found on Zarelab’s website.

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