Panel Discussion

Friday, March 4th 2022 | 7:00pm

Featuring panelists:

Dr. Allison McGeer, Microbiologist and Infectious Disease Consultant
Professor Kate Choi, Associate Professor of Sociology, Western University
Professor Erica Di Ruggiero, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, UofT
Professor Christopher Rutty, Historian

Two years on from the start of the pandemic, we invite four distinguished scholars from four different academic disciplines and research traditions to consider the pandemic in perspective.  Each panelist will offer an opening statement summarising their particular approach to the pandemic, the kinds of questions they’ve been engaged in and what they have learned so far following which Dr. Allison McGeer will lead a panel discussion among the four guests digging more deeply into some of the key issues and themes.  There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions from the audience. 




Kate H. Choi is a social demographer interested in examining the causes and consequences of international migration.  Her research areas encompass two fields: (1) neighborhood contexts and their impact on immigrant integration and (2) the social determinants of COVID-19.  Her work has been published in leading journals in migration, demography, and family sociology, including Demography and Journal of Marriage and Family.  She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA and completed her postdoctoral training at Princeton University.  She is currently an associate professor in Sociology and the Director of the Centre for Research on Social Inequality at Western University. 

Erica Di Ruggiero is Associate Professor of Global Health, Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences and Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), University of Toronto.  Dr. Di Ruggiero is the Director of the DLSPH’s Centre for Global Health and Co-director, of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Promotion.  Her research examines how evidence affects global policy agendas related to employment, other determinants of health and health equity in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Her work focuses on governance-related questions about the roles of global institutions.  

Dr. Allison McGeer is a Professor in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and an Infectious Disease Specialist and Senior Clinician Scientist at the Lunenfeld—Tanenbaum Research Institute of the Sinai Health System in Toronto.  She has a research interest in adult immunization and in emerging infections, and has been a member of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.  Since February, 2020, she has been working on research related to the prevention and management of COVID-19.

Christopher J. Ruttyis a professional historian with special expertise in the history of medicine, public health, infectious diseases and biotechnology in Canada.  He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Department of History, with his dissertation on the history of poliomyelitis in Canada, for which he was supervised by the late Professor Michael Bliss, author of the seminal book, The Discovery of Insulin.  Since completing his Ph.D. in 1995, Dr. Rutty has provided historical research, writing, consulting and creative services to a variety of clients through his company, Health Heritage Research Services.  Dr. Rutty also teaches at the UofT’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.