Multidisciplinary R&D to Improve COVID-19 Understanding and Response

October 20, 2020

Multidisciplinary R&D to Improve COVID-19 Understanding and Response

Pat Fitch, associate laboratory director for chemical, earth, and life sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), will give the next Vice President for Research Distinguished Lecture as part of Washington State University's Research Week.

His talk, Multidisciplinary R&D to Improve COVID-19 Understanding and Response, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. The lecture will be livestreamed via Zoom. Fitch will highlight how the response to COVID-19 by LANL and by the newly formed National Virtual Laboratory (NVBL) demonstrate the positive impacts that can be achieved by linking multidisciplinary science, technology and engineering teams with end-users and decision-makers. He will share NVBL and LANL approaches and results of R&D in modeling, manufacturing, and lab testing.

In March 2020, Fitch was appointed to lead the LANL Special Office for COVID-19 R&D and the NVBL COVID-19 Testing Team. His expertise is in biosecurity, genomics, biotechnology, medical device design, imaging systems, and computer algorithms and architectures. LANL has programs and capabilities in infectious disease forecasting and modeling, bioinformatics, genomics, biodefense, biomanufacturing, and environmental microbiology.

He has served on advisory and governing boards for five different national labs, a regional higher education center, three universities, the U.S. Animal Health Association, and the California State Breast Cancer Research Program. He also served on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, and chaired and served on several panels of the National Academies.

Fitch has bachelor degrees in physics and engineering sciences from Loyola College. He received his doctorate in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Fitch worked at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for 22 years and served as the director of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center for 12 years.

The Vice President for Research Distinguished Lecture Series invites world-renowned experts to WSU to share ideas and spark conversations about research that addresses society’s biggest challenges. Invited lecturers are leaders in their fields. This VPR Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Office of Research and is part of Research Week 2020.