WTTC partners with Carnival Corp., Hilton on pandemic summit

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) will partner with Carnival Corp. and Hilton Worldwide to launch its second Global Scientific Summit on Covid-19.

The WTTC partnered with Carnival to launch the first summit, in July 2020, which drew more than 17,000 people virtually to three panels of medical, epidemiological and public health experts. 

The 2021 Summit, which will also be free, live and open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 15. Registration is now open.

This year's summit will build upon last year's forum, the WTTC said, with global and industrywide understanding of Covid-19's impact on society, including how to safely live in a world with the virus. Topics will focus on the current knowledge of Covid-19 and the science amassed from the past year as well as address ongoing questions about how the virus will affect society, travel and day-to-day activities moving forward.  

The current roster of panelists, in alphabetical order, includes:

Dr. Michael Diamond, Ph.D., the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine at Washington University. Diamond is recognized internationally for his work involving Zika, West Nile, chikungunya and related emerging viruses.

Dr. Steven Gordon, chairman, Department of Infectious Disease, Cleveland Clinic, Respiratory Institute and professor of medicine at the Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western University. Gordon has been focused on hospital infection prevention, including device-associated and opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients.

Dr. Michael Lin, Ph.D., associate professor of neurobiology, bioengineering and chemical and systems biology at Stanford University. An NIH Pioneer Award recipient, Lin develops protein-based tools for molecular imaging and control of gene and viral therapy.

Dr. William Morice, II, Ph.D., chair, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic; president, Mayo Clinic Laboratories; and professor of laboratory medicine and pathology. Morice is an expert in diagnostic testing, serving in leadership roles for numerous boards and partnerships to enhance understanding of clinical diagnostics and test utilization.

Dr. Jewel Mullen, M.P.H., associate dean for health equity, University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School. Mullen is an internist, epidemiologist and public health physician leader and the former principal deputy assistant secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Dr. Emil Christian Reisinger, director of the Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Rostock, dean of the university and member of the board of the University Hospital Rostock. 

Dr. Clare Rock, M.S., is associate professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Armstrong Institute of Patient Safety and Quality Core Faculty, and Healthcare Epidemiologist, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Rock is an infectious diseases academic physician who innovatively translates healthcare infection prevention strategies to the business, travel and hospitality and event management industries. Her consultative services, Infection Prevention Strategy Consulting, are guiding companies through the pandemic to their "next new normal."

Dr. Stefano Vella, adjunct professor of global health at the Catholic University of Rome and a member of the program committee of Horizon Europe Health Cluster, the research program of the European Commission. Vella specializes in infectious diseases and internal medicine and is a researcher in the pathogenesis and therapy of viral infections. Specific research has been conducted by Vella on major pandemics, including on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

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