Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Experts
Infectious disease transmission and prevention
Dean Blumberg is chief of pediatric infectious diseases and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. He can discuss preventing and treating infections such as the novel coronavirus. He is also co-host of the Kids Considered podcast, a conversation between two pediatricians, discussing child health topics of interest to parents in plain, non-medical language.
Stuart Cohen is chief of infectious diseases at UC Davis Health. A physician, Cohen specializes in treating challenging syndromes linked with infectious diseases, infection and outbreak control, and the epidemiology of resistant microorganisms. His research focuses on developing new antimicrobial agents. He is available to comment on COVID-19.
Nam Tran is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine who oversees COVID-19 testing efforts at UC Davis Health. Tran is a leading expert on the different types of testing done to determine if someone has COVID-19, and the equipment and materials needed to run those tests. He serves on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force, a public-private collaboration to more quickly increase coronavirus testing capacity.
UC Davis Health’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate trial
Timothy Albertson is chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and the principal investigator on a late-stage clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The trial, taking place at 120 sites and with 30,000 participants, is headed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Albertson also is chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine for the Veteran's Administration Northern California Health Care System.
Angela Haczku is respiratory immunologist and professor in the department of Internal Medicine. She is also co-principal investigator on a late-stage clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The trial, taking place at 120 sites and with 30,000 participants, is headed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Dr. Haczku is director of the Lung Biology Center, and is Associate Dean of Translational Research for the UC Davis Health.
COVID-19 and children
Erik Fernandez y Garcia is an associate professor of clinical pediatrics who is passionate about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in children and families. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic health care disparities, parental depression identification and reduction of parental depression in pediatrics, and residential cultural competency education. Fernandez y Garcia is fluent in English and Spanish.
COVID-19 and multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, breastfeeding with COVID
Satyan Lakshminrusimha is the medical director of UC Davis Children’s Hospital and chair of pediatrics at UC Davis Health. He is a neonatologist offering care to term and preterm newborn infants. His COVID-19 research includes breastfeeding during COVID-19, perinatal COVID-19 infection prevention and multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children.
The crucial role of universities in pandemic response
Allison Brashear is dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. Dean Brashear is available to discuss the critical role of academic medical centers during the current pandemic. She can speak about medical discoveries to slow the spread of coronavirus, including the synergy between academic research, patient care, treatment and testing.
COVID-19 health disparities
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola is a professor of internal medicine and director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities. He can discuss the reasons why COVID-19 affects Latinx and Black populations disproportionately and what it takes to achieve health equity. He also is an expert in Latino mental health. Aguilar-Gaxiola is fluent in English and Spanish.
Jann Murray-García is a physician and an associate clinical professor in the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. In addition to the elimination of health disparities, Murray can speak about the impact of racial stratification and racial identity development on the health of youth and adults. Murray-García co-coined and developed the concept of Cultural Humility, and developed the immersive, interprofessional Central Valley Bus Tour, where nursing and medical students travel down Highway 99 to learn about the social determinants of health and health inequities.
COVID-19 contact tracing, social determinants of health, immigrant health
Lorena Garcia is an associate professor of epidemiology in the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences. She is an expert on the importance of contact tracing. She also is a noted researcher in health disparities and social determinants of health, in particular cardiovascular-related health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, and immigrant health in the Latino community. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Health disparities and mental health
Hendry Ton is a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral Sciences, and associate vice chancellor for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He is an expert on the disproportionate rate of COVID-19 infections across the U.S. and the effect of the virus on mental health.
Reducing COVID-19 anxiety and fear (general)
Peter Yellowlees is chief wellness officer at UC Davis Health. He is an expert in physician health and telepsychiatry who has published seven books and over 200 scientific articles and book chapters. He was interviewed on Facebook Live about wellness strategies to reduce anxiety brought on by coronavirus. He also authored a Medscape commentary about how physicians and health systems can reduce fear around COVID-19.
Reducing anxiety and fear (children, including those with neurodevelopmental conditions)
Breanna Winder-Patel is a clinical psychologist and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the UC Davis MIND Institute, specializing in the assessment and treatment of anxiety and neurodevelopmental disorders. She can talk about the pandemic’s impact on the mental health of children and provide tips for people of all ages about coping with greater levels of anxiety, such as in this recent UC Davis LIVE COVID-19. She is a co-investigator of STAAR, a study about treating anxiety in children with autism.
Megan E. Tudor is a clinical psychologist and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She can talk about anxiety and mental health in children, particularly those with neurodevelopmental conditions, and provide strategies for kids who are dealing with anxiety related to the pandemic and distance-learning, such as in this recent Minds Behind the MIND webinar. She supervises the cognitive behavior therapy arm of the STAAR study as part of the UC Davis Autism Center of Excellence.
Marjorie Solomon is a licensed psychologist, professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Oates Endowed Chair in Lifespan Development in Autism, and a faculty member of the UC Davis MIND Institute. She can talk about the impact of anxiety and depression on children during the pandemic, especially those with autism, as seen in this recent UC Davis LIVE COVID-19. She is an expert on social skills intervention programs for children, adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and cognitive development in autism. She is also the Principal Investigator of STAAR, a study about treating anxiety in children with autism and a newly funded study of depression in autism.
Family caregiving and care for older adults during COVID-19
Terri Harvath is an internationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and director of the Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She is also vice president of the Gerontological Society of America. She can discuss caring for older adults during the pandemic and balancing the needs of family and caregivers of older adults or COVID-19 patients. She can also speak about health care related to the older adult population, including improving the relationship between individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers.
Older adults in long-term care facilities during COVID-19
Debra Bakerjian is a nurse practitioner and clinical professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She can speak to patient safety and quality improvement practices in long-term care, particularly nursing homes; and interprofessional education and collaborative practice in primary care. She is the immediate past president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine. She is also the co-editor-in-chief of AHRQ PSNet, the federal government’s web resource for patient safety and can speak to patient safety issues.