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Tip Sheets

Cornell experts on coronavirus - Science and public health

Media Contact

Gillian Smith

If you are interested in other angles to this story, please find a list of experts who can discuss the pandemic's impact on the economy, job markets and specific industries, as well as a list of faculty on the societal impacts of the crisis.


Ruth Collins

Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine

Ruth Collins, biologist and expert in molecular medicine, is available to discuss coronavirus at the molecular level. She can also discuss ways to help boost the immune system. 

Isaac Weisfuse

Isaac Weisfuse

Medical Epidemiologist

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, and the epidemiology of infectious diseases.

Steven Osofsky

Jay Hyman Professor of Wildlife Health and Health Policy

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.

Gary Whittaker

Professor of Virology

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. Whittaker researches how coronaviruses are a major cause of disease in many animal species and have become increasingly important as human pathogens. He says that while the virus is spreading rapidly, good public health measures will help limit further contagion.

Sean Nicholson

Sean Nicholson

Professor, and Director of the Sloan program

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. Although a federal bailout is possible, private and government health insurers should step in to do their part. And they need to step in right now.

Adam Seth Litwin

Associate Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell’s ILR School

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.

Nellie Brown

Nellie Brown

Director of Workplace Health & Safety Programs

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.

Randy Worobo

Randy Worobo

Professor of Food Science

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.

Juan Hinestroza

Associate Professor of Fiber Science

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.  

Huiju Park

Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design

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.


Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.