UCI News

Healthline, July 14, 2022
Should You Wait for Omicron-Targeting COVID-19 Booster Shots?
Dr. Susan Huang, who specialized in infectious disease at UCI Health in Orange County, California, said the current COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against severe disease and hospitalization. But she said in the face of the highly transmissible Omicron subvariants, the vaccines offer limited protection against mild-to-moderate disease. “[This] suggests that all ages from 6 months and up should be given the opportunity to boost with the new multi-valent vaccine when it becomes available,” said Huang, a medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UCI Health and a professor of infectious diseases at UCI School of Medicine.

Fortune, July 11, 2022
To solve the water crisis, companies are increasingly turning to AI
“It’s pretty bad,” said [Professor] David Feldman, … who is the director of Water UCI, a water science and policy think tank at UC Irvine. What we’re seeing in the Southwest is becoming more globally common,” said Feldman, who also works as a government consultant on water issues and has written several books about water policy and management. “The unpredictability of precipitation, the growth in various demands for water, not just for agriculture but for urban use, for industry, for manufacturing–it’s a problem that’s becoming common worldwide.” [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

VeryWell Health, July 14, 2022
Are T-Cell Tests the Key to Monitoring COVID Immunity?
Phil Felgner, PhD, a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of California, Irvine, told Verywell that throughout the pandemic, he had many immunocompromised people ask him for immunity testing in hopes of being able to live less cautiously or give their results to their provider to justify a booster. “Physicians were stuck because people were coming in and asking for boosters, and they wanted more information before advising people,” said Felgner. “They had no advice or protocol to follow other than the CDC guidelines, but the CDC guidelines are not personalized medicine. It’s making decisions for an entire population.”

MedCity News, July 13, 2022
June was a good month for healthcare hiring, but the staffing crisis can only be solved by tech, VBC
Another expert, Tom Andriola, vice chancellor of IT and data at UCI Health, agreed. In fact, he said healthcare employment levels are actually on track to get worse. “If you look at the future staffing situation in healthcare, you can see that demand will continue to grow with an aging population and the increased incidence of chronic disease, as well as an aging workforce that will retire at a faster pace than new professionals coming into the industry,” Andriola said. “You can even now consider a fourth impact — a rising number of health complications due to climate impacts and pandemic viruses.”

Chemical & Engineering News, July 15, 2022
Adeyemi Adeleye
Adeyemi Adeleye struggles with his houseplant relationships. … Luckily, Adeleye, an [assistant professor and] environmental chemist at the University of California, Irvine, is better at building relationships with collaborators from different disciplines. His work on nanoparticles for environmental remediation and water treatment spans chemistry, materials science, biology, and these days, agriculture. Adeleye designs nanomaterials to trap toxic arsenic in contaminated soil without harming critters such as earthworms and plants like lettuce.

Previously “In the News”