Penn State virologist Szpara to co-host COVID-19 vaccine education town halls

Free virtual events, March 31 and April 7, sponsored by American Society for Virology and American Society for Microbiology

Credit: American Society for VirologyAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Moriah Szpara, associate professor of biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, will co-host two COVID-19 vaccine education town halls at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 7, with Benhur Lee of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Sponsored by the American Society for Virology and the American Society for Microbiology, these town halls are part of a free series that runs March 22 to April 9 on Zoom, featuring more than 50 scientific experts — including virologists, infectious disease specialists, and medical doctors — from major colleges and universities across the country. The town halls aim to answer COVID-19 vaccination-related questions from as many Americans as possible, including communities of color that have been hardest hit, as well as other underserved communities.

Moriah Szpara, associate professor of biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

“While the concept of vaccine outreach isn’t new, it is new for this to be coming from virologists and to be coordinated by our national society, the American Society for Virology, in partnership with the American Society for Microbiology,” said Szpara, a Penn State alumna who is also a faculty member of the University’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and organizes the Virology@PSU network. “I am thrilled to help provide accurate information to anyone who has questions about vaccines for COVID-19. Information is power, and if the information that we provide helps people feel more comfortable about vaccination, then that’s a win-win situation.”

Registration is required for these free events. Interested parties can sign up as well as view the full schedule and more information on the presenters at

Last Updated April 15, 2021