COVID-19 Experts

Experts at the University at Buffalo are available to discuss COVID-19 and the societal impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

For help reaching an expert on deadline, please contact UB's media relations team at 716-645-6969 or

UB's COVID-19 experts by category:

Infectious disease, health policy


Dennis Kuo

Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics

Expertise: pediatric health policy; health care disparities; immunizations; breastfeeding; children with special health care needs and medical complexity; child health care financing; primary and preventive care

Phone: 716-323-0034


Kuo, a pediatrician and expert on children with special health needs, can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic puts children with disabilities at significant risk.


Timothy F. Murphy

SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Expertise: infectious diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), vaccine development, children’s ear infections, health disparities, clinical and translational science

Phone: 716-881-8911


Murphy can discuss infectious diseases and how and why they spread, as well as vaccine development. He also can discuss how infections invade the respiratory tract.


Nancy Nielsen

Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Expertise: Affordable Care Act, Medicare for all, health care policy, Medicare and Medicaid policy, clinicians’ response to the opioid epidemic

Phone: 716-207-6866


Nielsen is an expert on health care policy. A former president of the American Medical Association, she can discuss a variety of issues relating to health care policy, and the strategies to protect health care workers who are at risk of COVID-19.


Thomas A. Russo

Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine

Expertise: infectious diseases; superbugs; antibiotic resistance; drug and vaccine development

Phone: 716-829-2674. Russo can also be reached through Ellen Goldbaum in University Communications at 716-645-4605 or, or Douglas Sitler in University Communications at 716-645-9069 or


Russo can discuss all aspects of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.


John A. Sellick Jr.

Professor of Medicine

Expertise: infectious disease, outbreaks and pandemics, vaccinations, bioterrorism planning, flu, Ebola

Phone: 716-862-8758


Sellick is an expert on infectious disease. He can discuss pandemics and medical issues involving the spread and prevention of infectious disease.


Sanjay Sethi

Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine

Expertise: respiratory infections and lung disease, especially in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia

Phone: Sanjay Sethi can be reached through Ellen Goldbaum in University Communications at 716-645-4605 or, or Douglas Sitler in University Communications at 716-645-9069 or


Sethi, a pulmonologist and expert in COPD and respiratory infections, can discuss how COVID-19 affects patients, especially those with underlying lung disease.


Shauna Zorich

Clinical Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Expertise: infectious disease epidemiology, including for influenza and coronavirus; preventive medicine; social distancing; pandemics

Phone: 716-829-5345


Zorich is an expert on the spread and prevention of infectious disease, including coronavirus and influenza. She can discuss topics such as surveillance, vaccines and preventive measures like social distancing and handwashing. Zorich served for 5 years as an active duty military officer, during which time she was involved in activities that included influenza surveillance.

Supply chains, emergency services


Natalie Simpson

Chair of Operations Management and Strategy

Expertise: emergency services and disaster response; supply chain risk and resilience; creative and temporary operations; complex networks

Contact: Natalie Simpson can be reached most quickly through Jackie Ghosen in the School of Management Communications Office at 716-645-2833 or

Simpson is an expert on emergency services and supply chain resilience. With regard to the coronavirus pandemic, she can discuss at-risk supply lines, the logistics of shelter-in-place, and the power of temporary organizations.


Nallan Suresh

UB Distinguished Professor and Chair of Operations Management and Strategy

Expertise: global supply networks; supply chain disruptions; U.S. manufacturing, especially auto and steel industries; global manufacturing; U.S.-China-India trade; logistics; infrastructure; economic development

Contact: Nallan Suresh can be reached most quickly through Jackie Ghosen in the School of Management Communications Office at 716-645-2833 or

Suresh is an expert on global supply networks. He can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting supply chains for everything from food and other groceries to health care supplies.

Gig Economy, workers


Erin Hatton

Associate Professor of Sociology

Expertise: labor movements, gig economy, job security, coerced labor, pay for college athletes, minimum wage, workfare

Phone: 716-645-8476


Hatton is an expert on the labor force, including the gig economy. She can discuss the impacts of coronavirus on workers, including those who are part of the gig economy and lack job security.

Stock market, financial impacts


Cristian Tiu

Chair of Finance

Expertise: stock market; hedge funds; financial fraud; risk management and asset allocation; institutional investors; text analysis in finance

Contact: Cristian Tiu can be reached most quickly through Jackie Ghosen in the School of Management Communications Office at 716-645-2833 or

Tiu is an expert on financial issues. He can discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the stock market.

Impact on homeless people


Elizabeth Bowen

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Expertise: homelessness, homeless youth and young adults, health issues affecting homeless populations

Phone: 716-645-1258


Bowen is an expert on homelessness. She can discuss the potential impacts of coronavirus on homeless populations, and how society can work to protect homeless people during this crisis.

Communication, information literacy


Yotam Ophir

Assistant Professor of Communication

Expertise: misinformation; persuasion; effect of media content on audiences, including in health, science, politics and terrorism

Phone: 716-645-1158


Ophir is an expert on the effect of media coverage on opinions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, including in health, science and politics. He can discuss how news stories and social media impact people’s perceptions of COVID-19; trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations; and intention to comply with CDC recommendations. Ophir can also discuss how people can avoid believing and spreading misinformation about the pandemic.


Monica Stephens

Assistant Professor of Geography

Expertise: social media, social media and politics, digital divides, misinformation (fake news), mapping social phenomena, volunteered geographic information (VGI), Big Data, gender and the Internet

Phone: 716-645-0499


Stephens analyzes social media to understand trends in society, including in health and politics. She can discuss how social media can address social isolation, provide information and foster dialogue about the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also interested in online rumors about coronavirus, and how organizations are working to detect and prevent misinformation.

Head shot of Helen Wang.

Helen Wang is an associate professor of communication in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. She can offer insight into essential skills for navigating the media and finding accurate information during the COVID-19 and other crises.


Janet Yang

Associate Professor of Communication

Expertise: science, health, environmental and risk communication

Phone: 716-645-1169


Yang is a health communication expert. She can discuss strategies for keeping communication about coronavirus clear and simple, and how people can find reliable information during the pandemic.

UB COVID-19 Experts in the News


The importance of the gathering needs to be balanced with potential consequences, especially if some family members are vulnerable and are at risk for a bad outcome if they become infected with the new coronavirus.



Boston Globe quotes Robert Silverman in a story about how coronavirus has impacted retail development.


ProPublica speaks to communications expert Yotam Ophir who says its dangerous to take something not political, like a disease, and make it a political question.


Elemental quotes Steven Dubovsky in an article about coronavirus anxiety playing a factor in people's health. 


Bloomberg story quotes Elizabeth Bowen about how San Francisco is fighting coronavirus by finding the homeless a home. 


CNBC quoted Nancy Nielsen about the risks posed to healthcare workers posed by COVID-19.


Mashable quoted Timothy Murphy in a story on the risks Florida’s crowded beaches have in potentially spreading COVID-19. 


Business Insider quotes Veljko Fotak, in a story on why Alibaba stock is considered safe while most stocks plunge as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.