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‘Second Opinion,’ Episode 7: The Third Wave

“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 seventh episode, Los Angeles Times Executive Chairman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong speaks with Dr. Adam Brufsky, an oncologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, about this fall’s resurgence of the coronavirus. The discussion also covers how the various vaccine candidates in Phase 3 trials in the United States work, and how daily life might change once a vaccine is introduced to the public.

Though he specializes in breast cancer, Brufsky sees parallels between the behavior of cancer and COVID-19 and has published nine academic papers on the novel coronavirus. Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and scientist specializing in the immune system and infectious disease. In mid-October, Soon-Shiong’s company, ImmunityBio, received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin Phase 1 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Dr. Adam Brufsky is a professor at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and an associate chief of the hematology-oncology division at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Brufsky specializes in metastatic breast cancer and leads research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the U.S. Army Breast Cancer Research Program. In addition to his medical degree, he has a doctorate in developmental biology and molecular genetics.