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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Photo with Dr. Lee Pearson, Dr. Melissa Nolan, Dr. Deborah Beck, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and President Bob Caslen

Addressing Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Arnold School faculty, staff, students and alumni are serving key roles in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Collaborative efforts against this public health crisis include leading original research projects, providing expert input, and educating the public. 


Nabil Natafgi

Researchers to develop nationwide Virtual Patient Engagement Studio focused on COVID-19

Building on the success of the UofSC Patient Engagement Studio, researchers Nabil Natafgi and Ann Blair Kennedy, will use a $200K award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to create a COVID-19-Focused Virtual Patient Engagement Studio. 

Emily Loud

Smokers keep smoking, even as perceptions of COVID-19 risk and severity increase

Health promotion, education, and behavior researchers examined changes in smoking frequency, quit attempts, stress/depression, and perceived severity of COVID-19 among more than 2750 smokers in Mexico during March and July of 2020. 

Melissa Nolan

UofSC researchers lead study to help state health officials fight COVID

One year after the launch of the SC Strong Project, UofSC interviews epidemiology assistant professor Melissa Nolan to find out what the team has learned about COVID-19 infections, spread, testing, vaccinations and risk factors in South Carolina. 


Timeline: Resolve, ingenuity define UofSC pandemic response

UofSC traces the university's efforts to combat COVID with a timeline of activities over the past two years. The Arnold School is proud to have contributed to these collaborations throughout the process.

Matthew Lohman

Research on COVID-19 spread in long-term care facilities suggests these settings serve as early indicators of community-wide spread

A study led by epidemiology researchers has investigated COVID-19 infection rates and deaths among long-term care facility residents and staff in South Carolina. The team found that the early detection of COVID-19 in these settings could serve as a first indicator of disease spread in the surrounding area.

Xueying Yang

Researchers paint picture of COVID-19 severity, outcomes in South Carolina

The first statewide population-based study of COVID-19 symptoms and clinical outcomes has found disparities across different groups, particularly by race/ethnicity and geographic location (rural vs urban). 

Big Data Health Research Center logo

Big Data Health Science Center wins grant to assess impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on maternal health disparities

Professors Xiaoming Li and Jihong Liu will lead an NIH-funded study to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected severe maternal morbidity/mortality with a focus on the combined effects of pre-existing disparities and disproportionate rates of COVID-19.

Bridget Armstrong

Children’s health-related behaviors negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers from the Department of Exercise Science have published new research on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s health-related behaviors (e.g., physical activity, diet, screen time, sedentary behavior, sleep). 

Mufaro Kanyangarara

Study reveals lack of access to water, sanitation, hygiene services in sub-Saharan Africa may have COVID impacts

Researchers from the Arnold School’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics have led a study examining the access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Glenn Weaver

COVID-19 pandemic accelerates children's weight gain, BMI

A study led by researchers at the University of South Carolina's Department of Exercise Science has found increases in body mass index (BMI) scores among school-age children - likely a result of school closures, food insecurity and fewer outdoor activity opportunities.

Janice Probst

Older adults comply with COVID-19 risk mitigation behaviors, but urban-rural disparities persist

Researchers at the Rural and Minority Health Research Center found high levels of compliance with risk mitigation behaviors among all older adults; however, rural residents were consistently less likely than their urban counterparts to adhere to these recommendations. 


The coronavirus meets big data

Xiaoming Li and Bankole Olatosi, co-directors of the UofSC Big Data Health Science Center, are acquiring de-identified electronic health records for all COVID-19 patients in South Carolina to develop a statewide data-driven system to to respond to the pandemic. 

ASPH logo

Alumni, faculty investigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on academics who mother

Scholarly and popular press articles have been published about the change in work environments, the effects of children learning from home, and the innumerable other changes that have affected daily life during the pandemic. Recent research reveals the unique pandemic experience of academics who mother.

El Salvador research

Faculty, students expand infectious disease research in parallel with providing COVID-19 support

Melissa Nolan has built the Laboratory of Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases by engaging an enthusiastic group of students whose membership swells up to 30. From freshmen to veteran doctoral students, these budding scientists are eager to learn the ropes of research. 

COVID vaccine bottle

UofSC Prevention Research Center leads state-wide project to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among underserved communities

Existing health disparities, including healthcare resources and socioeconomic barriers, have exacerbated infection rates and posed additional challenges to COVID-19 vaccine uptake among underserved populations, such as non-Hispanic Blacks. 

Jihong Liu

Researchers find higher rates of mental health conditions among pregnant women during COVID-19 pandemic

A recent study, published in Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, has found higher percentages of pregnant women have experienced symptoms of depression, thoughts of self-harm and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


COVID-19 pandemic reveals need for more interdisciplinary research training among graduate students

Doctoral students Gabriel Benavidez and Jennifer Mandelbaum have published a paper, noting that despite an abundance of support for and findings from COVID-19 research, the lessons learned often appear in silos. 

Vaccine Clinic

Master of Health Administration alumnus leads efforts to bring vaccines to rural residents

With the establishment of community vaccination sites in larger areas across the state at the beginning of 2021, it became apparent to Jacob Evans that access to the vaccine was not readily available in rural communities like Laurens. 

Neha Sood

Master of public health alumna applies lessons learned at UofSC to role as CDC health communication specialist

Neha Sood believes her academic programs and research/practical experiences with the SC Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program, SC Tobacco-Free Collaborative, and the UofSC School of Medicine helped prepare her for her career. 

Saurabh Chatterjee

Cell study suggests pesticide exposure may increase COVID-19 susceptibility

New research from ENHS associate professor Saurabh Chatterjee's Environmental Health and Disease Laboratory suggests increased COVID-19 susceptibility among those exposed to pesticides, particularly veterans with Gulf War Illness. 

Janice Probst

America’s Next COVID Obstacle: Vaccine Deserts

Health Services Policy and Management Distinguished Professors Emerita Janice Probst and Saundra Glover (also director/deputy director emerita for the Rural and Minority Health Research Center) talk to New York Magazine about the next COVID 19 obstacle: vaccine deserts.

Saundra Glover

Virus and vaccine myths debunked in virtual meeting for SC minority population

Distinguished Professor Emerita Saundra Glover talks to ABC News4 about the virtual meeting for the SC minority population that she led with assistant state epidemiologist Jane Kelly to debunk vaccine myths.

Janice Probst

Lack of transportion, health services impede vaccine access

Janice Probst, Distinguished Professor Emerita of HSPM and director emerita of the Rural and Minority Health Research Center, explains to the Washington Post how the lack of health services and transportation impede access to the COVID-19 vaccine in communities of color. 

Graham Adams

SC Office of Rural Health responds to COVID-19

The Rural Monitor interviews Arnold School alumnus Graham Adams about how the SC Office of Rural Health is responding to COVID-19 and addressing social determinants of health.

Gabriel Benavidez

Gabriel Benavidez awarded funding to conduct COVID and Anti-Racism Pilot Project

Ph.D. in Epidemiology student Gabriel Benavidez is collaborating with three other members from his cohort to lead a Health Policy Research Scholars COVID and Anti-Racism Pilot Project with support from a $35K grant from the program.

Melissa Nolan

New project to determine COVID-19 prevalence and immunity across SC

Melissa Nolan, assistant professor of epidemiology, and Virginie Daguise, director of DHEC's Bureau of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, are launching a new representative testing strategy  to prospectively assess and monitor COVID-19 within South Carolina.

Bridget Armstrong

COVID-19 restrictions have negative impacts on children

Bridget Armstrong, assistant professor of exercise science, talks to the Washington Post about the ways she has adapted her research on children and physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Monique Brown

Potential impacts of COVID-19 on older adults living with HIV

Monique Brown and Sharon Weissman (School of Medicine) have published a paper on the impact of COVID-19 on older adults living with HIV, describing HIV care and psychosocial effects for this group during the coronavirus pandemic.

Julius Fridriksson

Effects of COVID-19 on the brain, cognition and language processing

The Aging Brain Cohort (ABC), one of eight high-impact projects established by UofSC’s Excellence Initiative in 2019, has launched a study to learn more about the negative cognitive and neurological effects of COVID-19. 

Big Data Health Science Center Logo

Investigators receive $1.25M grant to develop data-driven strategies in fighting COVID-19

Led by Big Data Health Science Center co-principal investigators Xiaoming Li and Bankole Olatosi, this two-year NIH grant will allow the team to develop a database system via REDCap and a mobile application for collating surveillance, clinical, multi-omics and geospatial data on both COVID-19 patients and health workers in SC. 

Monique Brown

COVID-19 highlights underlying racial health disparities

UofSC talks to epidemiology assistant professor Monique Brown, who is also a researcher with the Rural and Minority Health Research Center and the SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality, about how COVID-19 highlights underlying racial health disparities. 

Sean Norman

Coronavirus in wastewater treatment plants potential pathway to population testing

UofSC features the research of environmental health sciences associate professor Sean Norman, who is partnering with CDC and SC DHEC to detect COVID-19 in 11 locations.  


COVID-19 crisis adds new layer to diabetes study

The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new layer to epidemiology professor Angela Liese’s SEARCH Food Security Study: providing much-needed support and resources to individuals with diabetes.

Center for Community Health Alignment logo

Community health workers serve SC on front lines of COVID-19 crisis

Director Julie Smithwick couldn’t have known about the impending COVID-19 pandemic that would ravage the world just one year later, but the Community Health Worker Institute launched just in time to prepare its first cohort of community health workers for a greater challenge than anyone foresaw.  

Bankole Olatosi

COVID-19 impact: Why are hospitals laying off nurses in the middle of a pandemic?

Clinical associate professor of health services policy and management Bankole Olatosi answers UofSC questions about how hospitals are struggling financially because of strains brought on by the pandemic.  

Swann Adams

COVID-19 impact: Cancer patients and their families

Swann Arp Adams researches disparities in cancer prevention and screening. Here, she provides insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect current or recovering cancer patients and their families.

Lucy Annang Ingram

COVID-19 response: Arnold School faculty rise to challenge of online teaching

In the new world of distance learning, faculty are getting a crash course in online education — and the learning curve can be steep. But it’s not insurmountable, says Lucy Ingram, assistant dean for academic affairs and online education.


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