‘Second Opinion’ Episode 3: Path to a Vaccine

“Second Opinion,” a new discussion series produced by L.A. Times Studios in conjunction with the Los Angeles Times newsroom, takes you to the forefront of medical research and conversations about health, science and technology.

In our third episode, Los Angeles Times Executive Chairman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong speaks with biologists Alessandro Sette and Shane Crotty, whose research on cellular memory of the coronavirus offers clues about paths to a vaccine against COVID-19.

“Second Opinion” is also available to watch on the media tab on our app and our YouTube channel. The discussion is moderated by Eli Stokols of The Times’ Washington bureau.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times, is a surgeon and scientist who has spent his career studying the human immune system to fight cancer and infectious diseases. He is the chairman and chief executive of NantWorks, and the owner of or investor in a number of companies, including ImmunityBio and NantKwest, which are currently researching immunotherapies for COVID-19.

Shane Crotty is a professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Crotty’s work focuses on the relationship between the immune system and vaccines, and in particular the development of antibodies and cellular memory. Aside from his work on COVID-19, Crotty’s research is devoted to finding clues that might lead to vaccines for diseases for which no cure has yet been found, including HIV. Crotty holds a doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is author of Ahead of the Curve, a biography of the scientist and Nobel Laureate David Baltimore.

Alessandro Sette is a professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and a member of the institute’s Infectious Disease and Vaccine Center. Sette is a leading expert on immune response, especially as it relates to allergies, autoimmunity, and a variety of infectious diseases. Sette’s work, with Crotty, on T cell memory of the novel coronavirus was referenced by Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during congressional testimony in July. Sette is also responsible for the design of the La Jolla Institute’s Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), the largest bioinformatics resource of its kind. Sette holds a doctorate in Biological Sciences.