UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

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By Sonia Fernandez, UC Santa Barbara

Carolina Arias, an assistant professor of biology at UC Santa Barbara, has received the 2021-22 Harold J. Plous Award. One of the university’s most prestigious faculty honors, the award is given annually to an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences who has shown exceptional achievement in research, teaching and service to the university.


Carolina Arias

The award is presented by the College of Letters and Science, and was established to  honor the memory of Harold J. Plous, an assistant professor of economics. It is the highest honor the College of Letters and Science can bestow upon a junior faculty member.

“Carolina Arias is a prime example of a scholar who uses the tools of her research to help her community,” said Pierre Wiltzius, dean of mathematical, life and physical sciences at UC Santa Barbara. Her development of rapid COVID-19 testing for our campus was an essential and invaluable part of our response to the pandemic. Carolina is extremely deserving of this award.”

“It’s an honor to be commended by my colleagues for all the efforts we’ve made,” said Arias, who with her lab has been on the front lines of the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A virologist by training, Arias’s work has been instrumental in the development of the campus’s asymptomatic COVID-19 surveillance program, the establishment of a clinical-grade CLIA laboratory for COVID-19 testing and the development of a program for genomic sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the identification of its variants. Through collaborations with fellow researchers, as well as with colleagues at UCSB’s Student Health Services, Cottage Hospital and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, tracking of the virus’s movements through the campus and wider community has been enabled, and community members are kept up to date with the latest developments.

“There is so much information to sort through,” Arias said. “I felt that one good use of my time could be in trying to make sense of it myself and then transmitting what I understood to everyone.” She is also a member of UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang’s COVID-19 Response Team.

The COVID-19 activity is on top of ongoing research, teaching and mentoring Arias continues to conduct throughout the pandemic, focusing on genomic techniques to uncover how viruses gain control of their host cells.

Arias is originally from Bogota, Colombia, where she received her B.S. and M.S. in microbiology at Universidad de los Andes. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology at New York University’s Sackler Institute for Graduate Biomedical Sciences in 2008, where she studies virus-host interactions in herpesviruses and poxviruses. As a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Francisco and then at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, she studied the genome-wide transcriptional and translational regulation of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. In January 2016, she conducted comprehensive drug screens to identify FDA-approved compounds that could be used to curtail Zika virus infection. Arias joined the UC Santa Barbara faculty in 2016.

news.ucsb.edu

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MyHonorStudentB Sep 19, 2021 03:19 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

Virologists who spend years learning what is true and what is not true are not appreciated in our society where people would rather listen to martial-artists-turned-podcasters and real-estate-conmen for medical advice. Hence, the run on horse dewormer, chlorox bleach and I will leave it at that. Congratulations to Professor Arias!

Voice of Reason Sep 20, 2021 12:11 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

The run on horse dewormer and bleach is the result of the for-profit media propagating false information for clicks and views. The martial-artists-turned podcaster certainly didn't take, nor recommend taking, horse dewormer just as the real-estate-conmen never recommended drinking bleach. Both are great examples of how the for-profit media has led society astray, with significant negative consequences, solely in the name of making more money.

sacjon Sep 20, 2021 12:31 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

VOICE - again, Trump didn't say drink it, but his followers sure did try after he suggested injecting it ( https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-06-05/cdc-some-people-did-take-bleach-to-protect-from-coronavirus). Nice of you to skip that, again. As for Joe Rogan not recommending horse dewormer, that's just a lie. He bragged about taking it and saying it, along with other meds, was working. It was literally all over the news.

You keep ignoring the fact, the well known fact, that when a person has millions of followers, they are just that, followers. So when that person says anything, they listen. You can't excuse people for their actions just because they didn't say the words "you followers of mine, do this or do that."

Voice of Reason Sep 20, 2021 01:23 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

I swear Sac.... you are the perfect example of the negative consequences of the for-profit media. Trump never recommended drinking or injecting bleach, his followers thought that he did because of the way the for profit media edited, clipped, paraphrased then added their own commentary over. If you read or watch that press conference in full, you'll realize how mistaken you are. You also propagating false information with Joe Rogan recommending horse dewormers, which 100% did not, he to a doctor provided human medicine called Ivermectin. Idiots went out and took horse dewormer because.... the for-profit called it horse dewormer. You trying to defend this only proves my point more as neither of those things actually happened and you're merely regurgitating the same click bait talking points that have caused actual harm to people.

Voice of Reason Sep 20, 2021 02:06 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

"It was literally all over the news." my point exactly Sac, misinformation has literally been all over the news, and people take it as fact, and the consequces have been dire.

sacjon Sep 20, 2021 02:11 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

VOICE - "people take it as fact, and the consequces have been dire" - that is exactly my point. People take Trump's words (and Rogan's words) as gospel. That's why people drank bleach, why they attacked our capitol, why they thought for so many months that covid was "harmless," etc etc etc.... Words and actions have meaning and consequences. No more excuses for those who chose to ignore that phenomena.

Voice of Reason Sep 20, 2021 02:52 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

Sac, seriously, how are you missing this? Those weren't Trumps words, nor Rogans words, those were the (for-profit) MEDIA's words that people took as gospel. The media twisted around what both said into something completely different and that is what caused the harm. Neither of them said 'bleach' or 'horse dewormer', the media did, and here you are, a perfect example of my point, repeating what the media said, NOT what the people actually said. _Rogan: my doctor prescribed me Ivermctin and several other drugs, I got better quickly. _Media: Joe Rogan takes horse dewormer and recovers quickly. _Idiot: goes to the animal supply store and buys horse dewormer. _Sacjon: Joe Rogan recommended horse dewormer.

sacjon Sep 20, 2021 03:07 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

VOICE - you're not getting it are you? I never said they said the exact words you're saying I did. I said they mentioned things in front of their loyal followers that were taking literally and caused injury. Stop twisting this around. My point is and has been that even announcing that you are taking invermectin (Rogan) or suggesting injecting disinfectant to your loyal band of pro-conspiracy, anti-vax followers is reckless and will lead to injury or death.

Stop blaming the "for-profit media" (as if Newsmax, Fox, OANN, etc are not for profit) for the actions of loyal followers of "leaders" who are careless with their words.

sacjon Sep 20, 2021 03:35 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

VOICE - let me help you, again. Sigh.... you really need to start doing your own work. I can't keep holding your hand.

12:31PM - "You keep ignoring the fact, the well known fact, that when a person has millions of followers, they are just that, followers. So when that person says anything, they listen."

2:11pm - "VOICE - "people take it as fact, and the consequces (sic) have been dire" - that is exactly my point."

3:07PM - "I said they mentioned things in front of their loyal followers that were taking literally and caused injury. "

Again, you're completely off here. My point is and always has been: Words matter, actions have consequences. Stop defending them and shifting blame to the media.

Voice of Reason Sep 20, 2021 04:03 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

They never said what you erroneously think they said, the media put those words in your head, the people with millions of follow did not say that. If you actually listened to his podcast, or the WH press conference, you would not have come away thinking they recommended drinking bleach or taking horse dewormer. The media put that false idea in your head.

_Rogan: My doctor prescribed me Ivermctin and several other drugs, I got better quickly.
_Media: Joe Rogan takes horse dewormer and recovers quickly.
_Idiot: goes to the animal supply store and buys horse dewormer.
_Sacjon: Joe Rogan recommended horse dewormer to his followers, he should be more responsible....

You keep repeating false information, something that neither person actually said. You got that false information from the media, but it's somehow not the media's fault? Of course! It's the people who didn't say what you think they said, it's there fault! I think I get it now.... SMH.

sacjon Sep 20, 2021 04:12 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

VOICE - I never said they said those things. Are you blind? You're losing it man. You keep INTENTIONALLY missing my point.

Let me help, again:

_Rogan: My doctor prescribed me Ivermctin and several other drugs, I got better quickly.
_Media: Who cares what the media says. The people following liberal media aren't the same as those following Rogan/Trump.
_Idiot: goes to the animal supply store and buys horse dewormer.
_Sacjon: Words matter and actions have consequences.
_Voice: Sac is saying Trump told people to drink bleach and Rogan told people to use horse dewormer! It's the media's fault people are taking their leaders/idols literally and following everything. Sac is saying things but I have no evidence to back it up!

Sure, I may have worded my 12:31 comment poorly. When I said "As for Joe Rogan not recommending horse dewormer, that's just a lie," I should have stated, "Joe Rogan told all his followers he was taking ivermectin and that it was working. and then they all started praising ivermectin as a cure." There, is that better? Does it make a difference in my overall point here? No, not in the slightest.

Shake your head all you want, but seems last time you did, you shook the reasoning part right out of it.

Mas Gaviota Sep 20, 2021 04:15 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

VOR: When Rogan said "My doctor prescribed Ivermctin (sic) and several other drugs, I got better quickly" his half wit fans / followers interpreted that message as saying take Ivermectin if you get Covid it will cure the disease. That is a recommendation. BTW Rogan is part of the media.

Voice of Reason Sep 20, 2021 04:24 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

Mas Gaviota, weird how you pull that interpretation out for his followers to follow but ignore the very important "my doctor prescribed" part. If anything he recommended talking to your doctor about treatment options. It's the media that put horse dewormer into peoples heads. In fact, I'm willing to bet the same (few) people that actually took horse dewormer don't even know what a podcast is. Also, by media I mean the main stream media (i.e. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.) Sacjon, you're either so lost or intentionally doing this, either way I can't help you, good day.

bosco Sep 20, 2021 04:42 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

All parties here are at fault. The media just fuels the fire. They tell people what they want to hear for more attention. The problem is the people no longer trust actual science and officials and rather listen to idiots like Rogan, Trump, and the Media which reinforce their own misguided beliefs. The point here is that hard work and educated opinions of people Ms. Arias are no longer respected if they don't agree with someone's prescripted narrative.

Luvaduck Sep 20, 2021 12:00 PM
UCSB Virologist Wins Harold J. Plous Award

I hope that means she will be promoted to full professor soon. Too many bright young people get stuck in what amounts to no tenure, no security tracks where they perform full professor work until they retire.

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