Virtual COVID Presentation Offered For LAPS Staff Feb. 17

Los Alamos Public Schools staff are invited to a presentation by LANL scientists on new strains of COVID and their impact on children. Photo Courtesy LAPS


All LAPS staff are invited to a presentation on coronavirus on Wednesday, Feb. 17 starting at 2:00 pm. Dr. Harshini Mukundan and Dr. Sara Del Valle, both from Los Alamos National Laboratory, will be the featured speakers. This presentation will focus on new strains of the COVID virus and its impact on children.

Staff will be sent the Zoom link prior to the presentation. 

Harshini Mukundan graduated with a MS in Microbiology and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences. Following a two-year stint developing optical biosensors and assays for a start-up biotech company, she joined LANL as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in 2006 in C-PCS and has stayed in the group ever since. Now, Harshini leads the chemistry for biomedical applications team, which is focused on the development of diagnostics and surveillance tools for emerging infectious diseases. This is a multi-dimensional effort at the intersection of physical chemistry, spectroscopy, microbiology, immunology, microfluidics and fabrication and computation. These efforts lead to several awards and recognitions, including an R&D 100 Award in 2018, the laboratory’s first ever gold award for corporate social responsibility, and eight patent applications. She has served on several LANL, National and International science and process committees, is on the editorial board of journals, and has published over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and articles. Harshini is the winner of the Fellow’s prize in research, New Mexico Technology council’s Women in Technology recognition, among other awards. She is a dedicated mentor and science advocate and was named an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador in 2019. She has also served as the Deputy Group Leader for C-PCS since 2018, contributing to the management and operations of the group, as well as recruitment and program engagement aspects. She is currently serving as Acting Group Leader.

Sara Del Valle is a Deputy Group Leader for the Information Systems and Modeling Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In this role, she oversees over 50 staff members, postdocs, and students working on a diverse portfolio from deterring proliferation of weapons-usable nuclear materials to modeling and optimization of infrastructure impacts and data analytics. She leads an interdisciplinary team that combines large-scale heterogeneous data streams and mathematical models to understand, forecast, and mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. Sara received a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences from the University of Iowa. She also has a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.