Epidemiologists, Virologists, Nurses, and Other Health Experts Can Address Emergency Preparedness, the Biology of Viruses, and Preventing the Spread of Disease

Coronavirus rendering

The following NYU experts, researchers, and scientists are available to speak about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

[Note: for media inquiries related to NYU’s policies and the university’s response to coronavirus, please visit nyu.edu/coronavirus or contact John Beckman at john.beckman@nyu.edu]

NYU School of Global Public Health

David Abramson, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Science, NYU School of Global Public Health
Abramson is the director of the research program on Population Impact, Recovery and Resilience (PiR2) at NYU School of Global Public Health, and a professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  His work examines the social and health consequences of disasters, individual and community resilience, and long-term recovery from acute collective stressors. Abramson has conducted major population studies on hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, as well as research on risk communication strategies and population vulnerabilities associated with infectious disease outbreaks like H1N1 and Zika.  He can speak to these issues as well as to those of systems of public health preparedness and response.

Jack Caravanos, DrPH, Clinical Professor of Environmental Public Health Sciences, NYU School of Global Public Health
Caravanos is an expert in environmental health and a board-certified industrial hygienist. Industrial hygienists are concerned with the science of protecting and enhancing the health, safety, and environment of people at work and in their communities.

Caravanos can speak about personal protective equipment, including facemasks, jumpsuits, and gloves, and how health care workers use this equipment to protect themselves from pathogens like the coronavirus. He trained workers to use this equipment during the Ebola outbreak. He can also speak about the different types of facemasks, who they are recommended for, and shortages of personal protective equipment.

Joshua Epstein, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, NYU School of Global Public Health
Epstein’s research focuses on modeling complex social dynamics using mathematical and computational methods, notably the method of agent-based modeling in which he is a recognized pioneer. In agent-based modeling, Epstein builds 3D models of cities complete with artificial societies in order to better understand problems in social, behavioral, and biomedical science. The point of such models is to avoid describing human affairs from the top down with fixed equations, but rather use a bottom-up approach through looking at the interactions of many individuals, leading to a real-world richness and spontaneity that is hard to simulate otherwise.

Epstein has used agent-based modeling to study infectious diseases (e.g., Ebola, influenza, smallpox), diseases carried by mosquitoes (e.g., Zika), urban disaster preparedness, contagious violence, and the evolution of norms, among many other topics.

Robyn Gershon, DrPH, Professor of Epidemiology, NYU School of Global Public Health
Gershon is an occupational and environmental health and safety researcher with extensive experience in the areas of disaster preparedness, health care safety, and risk assessment and management in high-risk work occupations.

Gershon has conducted numerous groundbreaking studies to develop and test new metrics of preparedness. Her work has influenced the adoption of safe work practices and regulatory control measures, such as national needlestick prevention guidelines and high-rise building fire safety laws. Her research encompasses a wide range of topics, including bloodborne pathogen exposure, hospital safety climate, “ability and willingness” of essential workforce employees to report to duty during disasters, emergency preparedness of the elderly and disabled, and adherence to emergency public health measures among the general public.

Elodie Ghedin, PhD, Professor of Biology and Global Public Health, New York University
Ghedin is a molecular parasitologist and virologist who uses genomics tools to explore host-pathogen interactions in viral infections. Her laboratory explores influenza virus diversity in the infected host and the respiratory tract microbiome to understand transmission dynamics. Her omics-based predictive modeling project aims to predict severe disease outcome of influenza to develop point of care testing, as some people are more prone to severe versus mild influenza infections. Additionally, her Zika research will be used to develop predictive models for Zika disease severity.

Michael Merson, MD, Visiting Professor and Dean's Special Advisor, NYU School of Global Public Health; Director, SingHealth Duke - National University of Singapore Global Health Institute and Wolfgang Joklik Professor of Global Health at Duke University
Merson is an international leader in global health and disease prevention. Trained as an infectious disease physician, his work has looked at infectious diseases around the world, including AIDS and cholera. 

Merson has held numerous public health leadership roles, including serving as director for the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS, which was responsible for mobilizing and coordinating the global response to the AIDS pandemic, and WHO’s Diarrheal Diseases Control and Acute Respiratory Infections Programs. Merson was the first dean of public health at Yale and was the founding director of the Duke Global Health Institute. 

Danielle Ompad, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, NYU School of Global Public Health
Ompad is an infectious disease epidemiologist whose work is focused in the areas of urban health, HIV, illicit drug use, and adult and adolescent access to vaccines. She studies the prevalence and persistence of viruses including herpes and HPV. Her work with illicit drug use focuses on the risk for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and sexual transmitted infections. She has also developed and evaluated interventions aimed at distributing vaccines to hard-to-reach (or easy-to-miss) populations such as unhoused people, people who use drugs, elderly shut-ins, and undocumented immigrants during public health emergencies.

Carol Shoshkes Reiss, PhD, Professor of Biology, Neural Science, and Public Health, New York University
Reiss is a viral immunologist who has studied and taught infectious diseases for more than four decades. Her research focused on viral infection of the central nervous system, the role of innate immunity in the host response, and pathogenesis of infection.

NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, President of the American Academy of Nursing 
Sullivan-Marx is a distinguished nursing leader, educator, and clinician known for research and innovative approaches in primary care, the use of advanced practice nurses (e.g. nurse practitioners), and developing health policy in community-based settings. She can speak to the role of nursing in the U.S. and globally, including during public health emergencies. She has expertise in emergency preparedness and has been a member of city commissions on disaster preparedness.

Sullivan-Marx is also an expert in gerontology and caring for older adults, many of whom have chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Older adults, including those living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, have been particularly vulnerable to severe cases of COVID-19.

Sean Clarke, RN, PhD, FAAN, Executive Vice Dean and Professor,NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Clarke is a nurse educator and researcher who has taught nursing and health policy in the U.S. and Canada for more than 25 years. His research focuses on quality and safety issues in acute care hospitals, workforce issues, occupational safety of nurses, and the influences of economic and political factors on healthcare delivery and the nursing profession. He is known for research on nurse staffing in hospitals and surveys of nurse working conditions. Clarke can discuss how hospitals manage patient surges, make decisions around staffing, and allocate and adjust space in hospitals to address urgent needs, as well as stressors in nurses' work lives and how they manage them.

Kimberly Glassman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Clinical Professor and Associate Dean for Partnership Innovation, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Glassman is a seasoned nurse leader with experience helping health systems prepare for and deal with disasters. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU Meyers, Glassman held various clinical and leadership positions at NYU Langone Health, where she served as the senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer for ten years.

Glassman is the former president of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders and was the representative of the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care to the National Quality Forum Measures Application Partnership Hospital Workgroup that advises performance metrics to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She co-authored a book about using data in nursing to improve patient care.

Christine Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, Mathy Mezey Professor of Geriatric Nursing, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
A nurse educator and researcher, Kovner researches quality improvement, RN working conditions, and nursing care costs. She has studied and written about enabling a disaster-resistant healthcare workforce, including how nurses are impacted by the disasters and how they can best be supported in their nursing responsibilities. Specifically, she studied emergency preparedness, recovery, and resilience among nurses working in New York City during Hurricane Sandy.

NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Sherry Glied, PhD, Dean of NYU Wagner and Professor of Public Wagner
Glied is an expert in healthcare policy and management, and served as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services for more than two years ending August, 2012. She served as senior economist for health care and labor market policy on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, 1992-93, under Presidents Bush and Clinton.

She can speak to issues of hospital capacity, health care policy, and the ongoing federal, state, and local emergency response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Gordon J. Campbell, JD, MPA, Clinical Professor of Public Service, NYU Wagner
Campbell has over 30 years of experience in public and nonprofit leadership and management. He most recently served as President and CEO of United Way of New York City, which creates, leads and supports strategic initiatives that have a measurable and lasting impact in improving education, income stability, and health. He is former CEO of Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading and largest victim assistance organization. During his tenure, Safe Horizon was widely recognized for its compassionate and effective emergency response to the 9 /11 attacks. He previously served in senior positions in the Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani administrations, and was the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services. Before arriving in New York City, Campbell served as a prosecutor, labor attorney, as well as the Chief Administrator for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.

Campbell can speak to about delivery of government and nonprofit healthcare and preventive services to the homeless and at-risk populations in hard-hit metropolitan areas.

Thomas D’Aunno, PhD, Professor of Management, NYU Wagner
D’Aunno’s research focuses on the organization and management of much-needed healthcare services. He has particular interest in the use of evidence-based practices, and leadership and organizational change. He has examined these and other issues in a variety of national studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research.

He can speak to organizational performance and challenges facing hospitals and other parts of the healthcare system, as well as the impact of the coronavirus on the nation's substance abuse treatment system, and those coping with opioid use disorders. 

Victor G. Rodwin, PhD, MPH, Professor of Health Policy and Management, NYU Wagner
Rodwin co-directs the World Cities Project, a joint venture of Wagner/NYU, the Hastings Center, and the Butler Columbia Aging Center. He teaches courses on community health and medical care, comparative analysis of health care systems, and international perspectives on health system performance.

Rodwin can speak about care and protection of the elderly and others at higher risk from the coronavirus in New York and other megacities of the world.

NYU Silver School of Social Work

Robert Hawkins, PhD, McSilver Associate Professor in Poverty Studies, NYU Silver School of Social Work
Hawkins teaches and researches family and children’s poverty, diversity and racism, and social policy. He can speak about the impact of the epidemic and the governmental response on low income communities.

Carol Tosone, PhD, Professor of Social Work, NYU Silver School of Social Work
Tosone is an expert in assisting survivors of trauma, and in helping mental health professionals who are working within a zone of crisis. She is a Distinguished Scholar in Social Work in the National Academies of Practice in Washington, DC, editor-in-chief of the Clinical Social Work Journal, and serves on the editorial boards of several other social work journals.

Tosone can speak to the epidemic’s impact on mental health for individuals as well as behavioral health professionals.