COVID-19 Lightning Talks

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, study, and take in the world on a day-to-day basis. Researchers and faculty at the University of Memphis are making an impact in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr Marian Levy | School of Public Health COVID-19 Response

Dr. Marian Levy is a Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis. Dr. Levy received her doctorate in public health from UCLA. As a Registered Dietitian and Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she has spearheaded numerous initiatives to promote health equity, provide environmental support for healthy lifestyles, and enhance eco-responsibility.

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Dr. Elena Delavega | Older Adults in Poverty and COVID-19

Dr. Elena Delavega is an Associate Director and Research Advisor at the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute of Social Change where she evaluates the research arm of the Hooks African American Male Initiative and helps drive the writing and publication of the Hooks Institute's Policy Papers. Dr. Delavega also teaches social welfare policy as a Coordinator and Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Memphis.

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Dr. Andrew Olney | Estimating the Effect of Social Distancing Interventions during COVID-19

Dr. Andrew Olney is a Professor in both the Institute for Intelligent Systems and the Department of Psychology at the University of Memphis. Dr. Olney received a B.A. in Linguistics with Cognitive Science from University College London in 1998, an M.S. in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems from the University of Sussex in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Memphis in 2006. His primary research interests are in natural language interfaces. Specific interests include vector space models, dialogue systems, unsupervised grammar induction, robotics, and intelligent tutoring systems.

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Dr. Esra Ozdenerol | Medical Geography, GIS, and COVID-19

Dr. Esra Ozdenerol is a Professor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Director of the University of Memphis GIS Certificate program, and Director of the Spatial Analysis and Geographic Education (SAGE) Laboratory. She is a medical geographer, researching the geographic aspects of health and healthcare. She uses GIS and spatial analysis as essential techniques in understanding of social and environmental determinants of diseases and how they affect population health.

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Dr. Xinhua Yu | Urban/Rural Inequalities in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Xinhua Yu is an epidemiologist with additional training in medicine and statistics and the coordinator of the Epidemiology Doctoral Program at the University of Memphis. Dr. Yu has extensive experience in cancer epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, nutrition, obesity, and physical activity. He is an expert in managing and analyzing very large epidemiological and health care administrative datasets such as longitudinal epidemiological data, Medicare claims, SEER‐Medicare data, medical chart abstraction data, and health survey data. Dr. Yu's current research focuses on health disparities, epidemiology of aging, determinants of health care utilization among cancer survivors, quality of care, clinical epidemiology and epidemiological methods.

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