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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. 


couple looking at bills

New research ties long, severe COVID to economic hardship for U.S. families

A study led by HSPM assistant professor Nicole Hair has revealed that U.S. families whose members experienced persistent COVID-19 symptoms and, to a lesser extent, severe COVID-19 illness, were more likely to encounter economic hardship.


Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers identify key takeaways for AIDS service organizations to ensure resilience

USC scientists identified seven lessons regarding health care system resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. These takeaways detail ways that AIDS service organizations in SC were able to persevere through the pandemic.

Shan Qiao

New study will assess pandemic interruptions to health care for South Carolinians living with HIV

Shan Qiao has been awarded $3.5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study disruptions to HIV-related care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xueying Yang

Pandemic hurts HIV care, management for South Carolinians

In a statewide examination of electronic health records, researchers found that people living with HIV were less likely to engage with their health care providers and maintain adequate viral suppression during the pandemic.

Chen Liang

Researchers develop algorithm to determine when COVID-19 infection happens during pregnancy using nationwide electronic health records

Published in PLOS ONE, the method leverages large amounts of data from electronic health records and enables researchers and clinicians to better understand the potential risks to both fetus and mother.

Sean Norman in Lab

SARS-CoV-2 wastewater monitoring for individual buildings offers insights beyond community-level sampling

Over the past two years, the team discovered that building-level surveillance provides additional useful information, including the emergence of variants and the presence of viral transmission hotspots.

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Study reveals quality of life declines due to COVID—related social isolation among older adults

Researchers from the Aging Brain Cohort (ABC) Study have published findings from a study examining the effects of social isolation among older adults during SC's month-long stay-at-home/shelter-in-place orders in 2020. 

Screen Time

Health behaviors of children negatively impacted when learning virtually during pandemic

Researchers have completed a study comparing the health behaviors of children learning virtually vs in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding worsening trends in physical activity, screen time and sleep among children learning from home.

Peiyin Hung

Does telehealth fail minority, rural pregnant women during the pandemic?

The latest Arnold School project to learn from and address impacts of COVID-19 comes in the form of a $3 million U01 grant to investigate the effects of telehealth on disparities in maternal care during the pandemic. 

Chen Liang

Arnold School researchers enlisted in nationwide effort to tackle long COVID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded more than $400K to health services policy and management assistant professor Chen Liang as part of the Long COVID Computational Challenge.

Susan Steck

COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted health behaviors, anxiety in university settings

The study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health, found that negative impacts on physical activity, sedentary time and anxiety persisted for this population from the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 until a year later in 2021 when the research was conducted.

Chen Liang

Chen Liang awarded new grant to better understand COVID-19 – HIV coinfection through data mining and artificial intelligence

The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases has awarded more than $400K to Chen Liang to curate a knowledge base for individuals with coinfection of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 by data mining a nationwide electronic health records repository. 

Xueying Yang

Xueying Yang awarded grant to examine COVID-19 vaccine efficacy among people living with HIV

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded nearly $400K to Xueying Yang, a research assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB) and with the South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ).

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Center for Community Health Alignment to provide training, technical assistance to community health worker programs addressing COVID-19

Already known for their training, capacity-building and technical assistance services, the Center has recently been awarded a $2.3 million grant to offer technical assistance (e.g., database development/training) to community health worker programs nationwide.

Melissa Nolan

Melissa Nolan awarded $5.4 million, health policy fellowship to continue fighting COVID-19, vector-borne diseases and the disparities they create

The team will assess community buy-in for at-home COVID-19 testing, evaluate intended use and self-reporting of results, determine perceptions of at-home testing for minority, rural and hard-to-reach populations, and measure testing performance of at-home diagnostics.  

Xueying Yang

Arnold School paper included in top 10 list of 2021 COVID-19 research

NEJM Journal Watch has included a paper led by Xueying Yang and Xiaoming Li in their top 10 list of 2021 COVID-19 research stories. The researchers found that certain groups of people living with HIV have worse COVID-19 outcomes.

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). 

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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. 

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 transportation, 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.

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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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