COVID Questions: Vaccines on January 6 at 7 pm

Pitt-Johnstown, the Tribune-Democrat, and In This Together Cambria are partnering to hold the second in the virtual series “COVID Questions” on the theme of vaccinations. The virtual town hall will be held January 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm. Participants can take part through Zoom at, and the presentation will be livestreamed over In This Together Cambria’s Facebook Page, “Humans of Johnstown,” at

Chip Minemyer, editor of The Tribune-Democrat, will moderate the virtual town hall with two members of the Pitt-Johnstown faculty with expertise in this area: Jill Henning, Ph.D. an associate professor of biology at Pitt-Johnstown, and Matthew Tracey, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry.

“The vaccine is starting to roll out nationwide and in our community, with frontline healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes among the first to have the opportunity to get it,” said Ashlee Kiel of In This Together Cambria. “It’s important for people to know the facts about the vaccine as it becomes more and more available, and we hope this forum will educate people about its safety and efficacy.”

The public is invited to submit questions about COVID, in particular those related to vaccinations, at

“COVID Questions” is an ongoing series featuring various experts to answer questions, dispel myths, and confirm how others are doing their share to curb the pandemic. The series is part of a larger effort in partnership with In This Together Cambria, an all-volunteer organization of local residents partnering to make Cambria County a better place to live, The Tribune-Democrat, and Pitt-Johnstown.

COVID Questions: Vaccinations presents:

Matthew Tracey, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, where he teaches General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry labs, and Medicinal Chemistry. He earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Fordham University and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on Organic Chemistry. He has a passion for chemical education, including the establishment of “Science Saturdays with Dr. Matt” with the Johnstown Area Heritage Association and involvement with the National Chemistry Week programs offered through the American Chemical Society. His current research interests include synthesis of bioactive molecules, new organic chemistry lab experiments, and new pedagogical methods to engage his students.

Jill D. Henning, PhD is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Campus. She has a broad background in immunology, infectious diseases, and cancer biology. In general, her research examines how infectious disease affect humans and animals—a concept referred to as “One Health.” She has divided her research into two specific categories: viral influences on immune function associated with cancer and zoonotic infectious diseases and their vectors. She completed her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health in 2008. She was a post-doctoral fellow in biobehavioral medicine for a year and joined the faculty here at Pitt-Johnstown in 2009.