Skip to main content

Dasgupta Nabarun, is a Senior Research Scientist at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, a CDC-supported research entity, where he innovates in exploring assessments of the effects of social distancing, and, exploring relationships between social media and public statements from the federal government.

Keywords: social epidemiology, overdose, opioids, mapping
Researchers: Dasgupta Nabarun

Steve Marshall, Director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC, a CDC-supported research entity) and Professor of Epidemiology, Beth Moracco UNC IPRC Associate Director and Associate Professor of Health Behavior, and Rebecca Macy, L. R. Preyer Distinguished Professor of Social Work began work on COVID19 related effects of social distancing and social stress on domestic violence (violence between intimate partners) particularly in light of local, state, and potentially national ‘stay-at-home’ orders.

Keywords: intimate partner violence, domestic violence
Researchers: Steve Marshall, Rebecca Macy, Beth Moracco

UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) is launching a COVID-19 child and adolescent well-being research survey to be added as a research tool on any studies conducted by FPG researchers. Once the survey has been developed and IRB-approved, FPG will invite investigators to add the questions to ongoing research projects to collect data from a large sample for future research on the impacts of COVID-19 on children and adolescents.

Allison Aiello, Professor and Social Epidemiology Program Leader in the UNC Department of Epidemiology, studies Healthcare worker exposure and social exposure to COVID19 with collaboratators in the School of Medicine. Aiello also brings significant expertise to infectious disease research through the lens of non-pharmaceutical interventions, details of social networks/infectious disease transmission (contact tracing) and supporting and interpreting WHO guidance

Keywords: projections and modeling, leadership and training, healthcare sector workforce, behavior and communities
Researchers: Allison Aiello

Alice Ammerman, Director, Center for Health Promotion And Disease Prevention, And Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor, Department Of Nutrition studies real time food availability and its impact in communities across the state.

Keywords: vulnerable populations, behavior and communities
Researchers: Alice Ammerman

Molly DeMarco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and is focusing her work on COVID-19 and living wage. DeMarco is in the middle of a study of a living wage ordinance with 1000 low-wage workers and is exploring participant-informed questions about this cohort to be conducted over the summer of 2020.

Keywords: vulnerable populations, behavior and communities
Researchers: Molly DeMarco

Leah Devlin, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Bill Gentry, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Ed Fisher, Professor in the Deptarmnt of Health Behavior, and Gene Matthews who directs the Network for Public Health Law, SE Region, and Claudia Fernandez, Associate Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, all explore institutional and governmental leadership and training during public health emergencies, including UNC CH campus response to its public health obligations.

Keywords: leadership and training, behavior and communities
Researchers: Leah Devlin, Gene Matthews, Ed Fisher, Bill Gentry

Aunchalee Palmquist, Assistant Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health studies infant and young child feeding in emergencies and other situations of extreme adversity. Palmquist is spearheading efforts to strengthen implementation of recommended infant feeding practices and COVID-19 through the new United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) COVID-19 Infant & Young Child Feeding Constellation.

Researchers: Aunchalee Palmquist

Matthew Andrews, Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of History, Jonathan Weiler, Teaching Professor in the Curriculum in Global Studies, and Geneva Collins, Director of Communications in the College for Arts & Sciences, are launching COVID Conversations: Society, Politics and Economics amid the COVID-19 Pandemic,, a four-part podcast series designed to help the public make sense of the extraordinary social measures and economic impacts unfolding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring sought-after expert researchers on the faculty of UNC-Chapel Hill, the podcast focuses on immediate concerns driving current headlines.

Keywords: social impact
Researchers: Matthew Andrews, Jonathan Weiler, Geneva Collins

Patricia Sawin, Associate Professor in American Studies, Folklore, and Anthropology, is tracking information circulated on social media about COVID-19 and social distancing, with a project titled Pandemic Rumors: What do they teach? Which should we trust? Rumors, whether accurate or not, can serve as a valuable index to the issues about which people are particularly anxious. She is investigating how people can train themselves to distinguish reliable from unreliable information.

Keywords: public health communications
Researchers: Patricia Sawin

Fraga Rizo, Assistant Professor, and Rebecca J. Macy, L. Richardson Preyer Distinguished Chair for Strengthening Families in the School of Social Work, are interested in understanding how the effect of public health COVID-19 mitigation efforts designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 would impact known risk factors for intimate partner violence (e.g., economic stress, relationship tension and conflict, social isolation and lack of social support). The team has extensive experience conducting research focused on: (a) examining the experiences and needs of survivors; (b) enhancing intimate partner violence service delivery; and (c) developing and evaluation intimate partner violence prevention and intervention efforts.

Keywords: intimate partner violence, family violence
Researchers: Rebecca Macy, Fraga Rizo

Sheryl Zimmerman, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham Distinguished Professor, and the Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care co-director, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research leads a team with expertise in care and outcomes of older adults in long-term care (nursing homes and assisted living), and a large network of sites and providers with which to collaborate.

Keywords: older adults, nursing homes, assisted living
Researchers: Sheryl Zimmerman

Barbara Frederickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, is studying mental health effects of social distancing as a function of various forms of technology-mediated social interactions (synchronous forms, like Zoom, versus asynchronous forms, like social media). Data collection is underway via Amazon mTurk both nationwide, with oversampling focused in northern CA and NC. A second study will follow up on a large sample (N > 400) of local participants from a 35-day diary study (randomized controlled trial), some of whom were randomized to increase the quality and quantity of positive social connection. The researchers will test whether micro-intervention helped to buffer study participants from the adverse mental health effects of social distancing. A third study explores intellectual humility of students enrolled in Introduction to Philosophy, The study will test whether intellectual humility predicts accurate discernment between COVID-19 facts and myths, and whether it predicts proactive health behaviors.

Keywords: mental health and wellbeing
Researchers: Barbara Frederickson

Eva Telzer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, is embarking on a project assessing adolescents’ emotions, experiences, and activities every day for 28 days. The data obtained from these daily measures will provide insight into how living through a global pandemic may affect adolescent health and well-being.

Keywords: mental health and wellbeing
Researchers: Eva Telzer

Kurt Gray, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, has published work on how social psychological research can help predict people’s behavior during a pandemic, with the title of Measuring Two Distinct Psychological Threats of COVID-19 and their Unique Impacts on Wellbeing and Adherence to Public Health Behaviors

Keywords: public health compliance
Researchers: Kurt Gray

Ted Mouw, Professor in the Department of Sociology, is applying to the Census to expand his current project using restricted access American Community Survey data in the Census data center. The goal would be to link the Census microdata up to real-time spatial data on the geographic spread of the case counts to understand demographic risk and resiliency.

Keywords: demographic risk
Researchers: Ted Mouw

Cassandra R. Davis, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy, and team are investigating the impact of COVID-19 on college persistence amongst First-Generation College Students (FGCS) at multiple college campuses. Research suggests that FGCS tend to come from low-income households and arrive at college with fewer resources as compared to non-FGCS. The team will use qualitative methods to assess this occurrence and provide administrators with data on the ways to best support vulnerable populations through the COVID-19 pandemic event.

Researchers: Cassandra R. Davis

Alexandrea Ravenelle, Assistant Professor in Department of Sociology, is currently conducting a mixed methods panel study utilizing remote interviews and demographic surveys with more than 100 precarious and gig workers in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Part I of the study, conducted from April through July 2020, will focus on the daily impact of the virus on essential gig workers, such as delivery staff and errand runners. The second and third phases, which will occur in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2022, will examine the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers.

Keywords: economic resilience
Researchers: Alexandrea Ravenelle

Howard Aldrich, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology, is studying how entrepreneurship in impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: economic resilience
Researchers: Howard Aldrich

Jon Williams, Associate Professor in Department of Economics, is working with broadband providers to figure out how to accommodate the changing internet traffic flows due to far reaching public health restrictions. A forthcoming paper explores the effects of tele-educ/health/work and the role of broadband providers in making it all work.

Keywords: broadband capacity and tele-work
Researchers: Jon Williams

Todd M. Jensen, Research Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, promotes family and youth well-being, particularly in the face of change, stress, and adversity. His research also focuses on the prevention of family violence, with an emphasis on military-connected families.

Keywords: youth well-being, military families, family well-being, family violence
Researchers: Todd M. Jensen

Melissa Lippold, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, is studying how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting family relationships and its subsequent effect on mental health, physical health, and substance use. Prof. Lippold also is also interested in understanding how families are adapting to and managing increased stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, how stress may be transmitted between family members, and effects of pandemic-related stress on substance use and mental/physical health

Keywords: substance use, stress, parenting, family relationships, adolescence
Researchers: Melissa Lippold

Anusha Chari, Professor in the Department of Economics, has shown that unanticipated changes in predicted infections during the SARS and COVID-19 pandemics forecast aggregate equity market returns. Dr. Chari’s team model cumulative infections as either exponential or logistic, and re-estimate the parameters of these models each day of the outbreak using information reported up to that day. For each trading day they compute the change in predicted infections using day t − 1 versus day t − 2 information. Regression results imply that a doubling of such predictions is associated with a 4 to 11 percent decline in aggregate market value. This result implies a decline in returns’ volatility as the trajectory of the pandemic becomes clearer.

Keywords: economic resilience
Researchers: Anusha Chari