Cornell experts on coronavirus - Science and public health
May 12, 2020
If you are interested in other angles for this story, please find experts on the science of vaccines and coronavirus's impact on healthcare, as well as the pandemic's impact on the economy, effects on countries around the world and broader social impact.
Nellie Brown is a certified industrial hygienist, and director of Workplace Health & Safety Programs at Cornell University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations. She leads over one hundred trainings about workplace health and safety around New York state and offers tips on how to minimize the potential for virus spreading at the office. Brown believes we will see an increase in collective bargaining for safer workplaces.
Ruth Collins, biologist and expert in molecular medicine, is available to discuss coronavirus at the molecular level, including how to know if you've already had it and the efficacy of antibody tests. She can also discuss ways to help boost the immune system.
Juan Hinestroza, professor of fiber science, explores new pathways for creating multifunctional fibers at the nanoscale level. Hinestroza and his team are working on developing new fibers that can be used to prevent the spread of disease. Specifically, their masks use nanofibers that improve the flow of air and also contain functional molecules that can capture toxic pollutants and antibodies that could be used to detect biological threats. Here's Hinestroza discussing the impacts of COVID-19 on his field of study.
Adam Seth Litwin's research examines the determinants and impact of labor relations structures and technological change. His work includes research about the relationship between labor relations and germ transmission. In a 2017 paper about superbugs and hospital cleaning staff he found that hospitals frequently outsource cleaning functions, increasing the likelihood that these workers are under-rewarded, undertrained, and detached from the organization and the rest of the care team. As a result, the outsourcing could have the unintended consequence of increasing the incidence of health care–associated infection.
Gen Meredith, an expert in public health assessment, intervention development and workforce capacity building explains contact tracing and its importance. Meredith can also speak to what will need to be done to recruit, train, and deploy contact tracers in New York.
Sean Nicholson, professor of policy analysis and management and director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration, says that American hospitals are facing a financial crisis just when we need them the most during this unprecedented health crisis.
Steven Osofsky, professor of wildlife health and health policy, is an expert on the transfer of disease between animals and humans, and has written for CNN about how to keep viruses in the wild from finding human hosts. His team works on launching and growing programs and policy initiatives that cut across regional and disciplinary boundaries to solve environmental and related health challenges. He is available to discuss such topics, as well as how we can prevent such things from happening again.
Huiju Park, an expert in functional apparel design, researches ways to improve the mobility and thermal comfort of personal protective clothing. He is available to discuss the design and evaluation of protective clothing related to heat and stress, disposable and reusable protective gear, manufacturing issues and quality evaluation.
Isaac B. Weisfuse is a medical epidemiologist with more than 25 years of experience in public health at the local and national levels. He is available to discuss public health emergency preparedness and response, the epidemiology of infectious diseases and whether it is safe to exercise outdoors.
Gary Whittaker, virology expert at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, is leading a working group of core laboratories trying to better understand COVID-19, with the hope of future treatment and containment. He has found that the structure of SARS-CoV-2 offers a possible clue to its high infection rate.
Randy Worobo can speak about food safety as it relates to COVID-19, including best practices for food shopping and food preparation. Additionally the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell created a list of FAQs for consumers as well as a list of resources on food safety recommendations.