Richard Kessin, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more than 30 years he taught doctoral and medical students the basics of tissue and cell structure. During those years his laboratory did basic research on problems of cell biology and development that was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. For five years, he was an associate dean in charge of 450 graduate students at Columbia’s medical center. Prior to Columbia, he taught genetics at Harvard.His research resulted in many scientific publications and a book on a fascinating group of organisms called the social amebae, about which he will be happy to tell you if you ask. Just for fun, he wrote a novel about a young scientist who discovers a virus that makes men lose their ability to make testosterone. This discovery turns out to be a bigger adventure than she bargained for. The novel is called “The Famine of Men” and, among other things, it explains how the world of basic research functions.Since retiring, Rich Kessin has been writing articles for the Lakeville Journal and the Millerton News that explain the details about various topic, including, recently, measles, coronavirus, and the juncture of politics and science. He also gives occasional talks and discussions on immunology, vaccines and infectious disease. He lives in Norfolk, Connecticut.
The COVID-19 vaccines: Introducing the innate immune system
Innate immunity is fascinating because it is not specific to a particular virus or bacterial infection.
The Body Scientific: Who will deal with the pandemic of 2040?
We need to engage students in science and medicine, and there is nothing better than a good story to do that.
COVID-19 clinical trials and the promise of a vaccine
The new techniques for vaccine production are effective and fast, but we have to know about dangerous viruses before they break into the human population.
Masks, mistakes and progress on COVID-19
Well-designed clinical trials are the most critical part of solving COVID-19. If they are big enough, they may have many arms that test dosages or different age groups or other important questions.