Two years of COVID-19: Experts available to comment on drug development, hospitality

The first COVID cases in the United States were confirmed in early 2020. Since then, the pandemic has raised questions about health care, education, civil rights and responsibilities and more.

Florida State University experts are available to talk about the effort to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic on the hospitality industry.

Zucai Suo, Eminent Professor & Dorian and John Blackmon Chair in Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine
(850) 645-2501;

Suo is researching how accurately the COVID-19 virus replicates and can discuss drug discovery for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has negatively affected people’s work and life since the end of 2019. Currently, the FDA has approved three vaccines for prevention and several monoclonal antibodies and small molecule drugs to treat COVID-19 infections. Although the number of people infected with COVID-19 has decreased significantly now, we still need to develop more potent, broad-spectrum and fast-acting drugs to treat patients infected by any new variants in the future.”

Daniel J. Van Durme, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Community Affairs, professor, College of Medicine
(850) 645-1396;

Dr. Van Durme has served as the chief medical officer and chair of the FSU Covid Medical Advisory Group for FSU’s Covid response for faculty, staff and students since the start of the pandemic. This role has included the medical oversight of the testing program (with more than 95,000 completed tests), vaccination program and advisory roles for HR and other operations. He also sees patients as a family physician and teaches medical students in a multiple courses and varied capacities.

Nathaniel Line, Cecil B. Day Distinguished Professor, Dedman College of Hospitality

Line researches demand shocks in the lodging industry and marketing environment, hospitality and tourism management and hospitality marketing.

The hospitality industry has faced many challenges since the pandemic began. In the beginning months, many businesses struggled to cope with decreased demand resulting from lockdowns and forced closures. Today, demand is no longer the issue as customers who postponed vacations, dinner gatherings, weddings and more have returned in full force. Unfortunately, labor shortages have hindered the industry’s ability to meet this demand surge and make a full recovery. Accordingly, the future of the hospitality industry will depend on its ability to continue to implement new and innovative business models, product offerings and labor practices that meet the needs of the post-pandemic consumer as well as the post-pandemic employee.”