The following Oregon State University faculty and staff have expertise related to the COVID-19 global pandemic and are willing to speak with journalists. Their specific expertise, and contact information, is listed below. For help with other OSU faculty experts, contact Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected].

OSU Response

Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]

Clark is the vice president of university relations and marketing and the OSU spokesperson. He has been working closely with university and public health leaders to develop OSU’s plans for university health and safety regarding the potential spread of the virus. He can speak to:

* University health services available for students, faculty and staff

* University informational resources for students or community members seeking more information

* University preparedness and disease management plans

* Concerns facing international students

Public Health

Chunhuei Chi, 541-737-3836, [email protected]

Chunhuei ("Choon-hweh") Chi is the director of the Center for Global Health at OSU, and a professor of health management and policy within the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. He studies comparative health systems and universal health care around the world, global health development and policy, and health system finance and assessment. His areas of expertise include:

* The history of how this COVID-19 emerged

* The epidemiology of how this COVID-19 pandemic evolved since December 2019

* Different national responses to this pandemic, especially that of Taiwan, Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, U.S. and Italy 

* National and state strategies/policies addressing this pandemic

* Prevention and protection steps people can practice to limit the spread of the virus

Chi has been featured in the LA Times, the Oregonian, the Washington Post, The Independent (UK), The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and many others.

Melissa Haendel[email protected], @ontowonka on Twitter

Haendel is OSU's Director of Translational Data Science, as well as the Director of the Center for Data to Health at Oregon Health & Science University. She leads a number of initiatives that are focused on leveraging basic research data, clinical data and patient-generated data. She works specifically in rare disease and cancer, but assists many biomedical areas in their data modeling and management needs. Her areas of expertise include:

* Community outreach and coordination on best practices for reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; see

* Coordinating clinical and research data and knowledge sharing across the U.S. and abroad 

* Open science policies and scientific communication

Haendel has been featured in the Salem Reporter and the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

Mental Health/Wellness

Regan A.R. Gurung, 541-737-1371, [email protected]

Regan (pronounced ree-gan) Gurung is a professor of psychological science and interim director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Oregon State.

* He has spent many years researching social support and conflict in relationships, and can speak to:

* Stress, coping and close relationships in times of crisis

He also has expertise in effective teaching practices and systematic changes to pedagogy. He addressed the shift to remote teaching at many universities in a recent blog post:

He can speak to: 

* Challenges and opportunities for remote teaching

* Tips for educators shifting to online instruction

* Engaging students in new ways online

Gurung has been featured in the Atlantic, the Portland Monthly, USA Today, the Teaching Professor and many others. 

Ryan Reese, 541-322-2021, [email protected]

Reese is an assistant professor in the Master of Counseling program at OSU-Cascades in Bend. His research focuses on how connections with nature can increase emotional wellness, a study area referred to as ecowellness. His areas of expertise include:

Integrating the natural world into counseling practices

How time outdoors can reduce anxiety and improve emotional health 

Reese has been featured in the Mercury News, the Bend Bulletin and OPB.


Alexander Michels, 541-737-8730, [email protected]

Michels is a research associate and communications officer for the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU. His areas of expertise include:

* How vitamin C functions in the body

* The differences between IV vitamin C and taking vitamin C supplements

* Reliability of various claims that vitamin C can "cure" coronavirus

* General information about vitamins, minerals and the immune system

Michels has been featured in the KPTV and Portland Monthly. 

Heather Broughton, 541-322-3133, [email protected]

Broughton is an anatomy and physiology instructor in the biology program at OSU-Cascades in Bend. She has a doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM) and a Ph.D. in integrative biology - infectious disease ecology. As a veterinarian, she has worked directly with coronaviruses in other species. As a disease ecologist, she researches zoonotic diseases (diseases that move between humans and animals), the concept of "One Health" (connectedness of human, animal, and environmental health), coinfections, and ecoimmunology (how host and population level factors impact a host’s immune system and ability to fight infections). Her areas of expertise include:

* Coronavirus behavior and transmission in model veterinary species

* Ecosystem, individual, and population level factors that influence disease spread, host health, and disease outcome

* Within-host interactions between different infectious pathogens that occur simultaneously

* Interactions between viruses, bacteria, and parasites with the host’s immune system

Juyun Lim, 541-737-6507, [email protected]

Lim, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, focuses primarily on sensory mechanisms underlying human taste and smell. She recently joined the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, which was formed to better understand how COVID-19 affects taste and smell. She can speak to:

* The potential relationship between loss of taste and smell and COVID-19 infection.

Gaurav Sahay, 402-216-9713, [email protected]

Sahay is a researcher in the College of Pharmacy working on nanotechnology-based platforms for gene therapy, including the platform behind the coronavirus vaccine being tested by Moderna Inc. He is a principal investigator on awards funded through the National Institutes of Health, Medical Research Foundation of Oregon and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. His areas of expertise include:

* The coronavirus vaccine currently under testing in Seattle

* Vaccine development

* Gene therapy for treating rare disorders

* Delivery of genes for therapy, especially using lipid-based nanoparticles 

Christiane Löhr, 541-737-9673, [email protected]

Löhr is a veterinary pathologist and professor of anatomic pathology in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. She studies animal diseases and their causes, and how they develop and spread. Her areas of expertise include:

* Mechanisms of animal diseases (veterinary pathology)

* Infectious diseases including disease caused by coronaviruses and influenza viruses

* Disease transmission among species

Löhr has been featured on OPB's Think Out Loud and in the Los Angeles Times. 

Health Inequities

Kenny Maes, 541-737-7870, [email protected] 

Maes is an associate professor and director of the Applied Anthropology Graduate Program at OSU. He is a medical and biocultural anthropologist who studies health systems from cross-cultural perspectives, and the roles of socioeconomic inequalities in driving health inequalities. His areas of expertise include:

* How stigma, racism and other forms of discrimination exacerbate epidemics and suffering

* The roles of community health workers in responding to epidemic and endemic health problems

* How to respond to stigmatizing speech and behavior

Daniel López-Cevallos, 541-737-3850, [email protected]

López-Cevallos is an associate professor of ethnic studies and assistant vice provost of undergraduate education at Oregon State. His research focuses on the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, and other socioeconomic and sociocultural constructs, and their relationship to health and health care issues. He can address health disparities/inequalities issues arising from COVID-19, particularly among Latinx communities. El Dr. López-Cevallos puede responder a sus preguntas en español. His areas of expertise include:

* Medical mistrust and health care discrimination

* Socioeconomic barriers to testing and treatment

* Tackling disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection & death rates among minority populations

Kathleen Bogart, [email protected]

Bogart is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Disability and Social Interaction Lab. Her research focuses on stigma and quality of life with disability. She is currently studying health care access, health care discrimination, and mental health among people with disability and rare disorders. She has been working with the American Psychological Association to develop guidance for supporting people with disabilities during COVID-19. Her areas of expertise include:

* Healthcare access and discrimniation among people with disabilities and rare disorders during COVID-19

* Impact of COVID-19 on mental health issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, social support, and isolation among people with disabilities and rare disorders


Bill Smart, 541-737-0670, [email protected]

Smart’s work centers around how robots and people interact in health care and other settings and how we can get robots to do useful work for long periods of time. He can answer questions about:

* Robots in the fight against infectious diseases like COVID-19 and ebola

* Robots in the home and other assistive robots

* Privacy issues related to robotics and AI


Christopher McKnight Nichols, 541-737-3530, [email protected]

Nichols is the director of the Center for the Humanities at OSU and an associate professor of history in the school of history, philosophy, and religion, within the College of Liberal Arts. Nichols' expertise centers on U.S. political history and U.S. foreign policy, Oregon and U.S. politics, international relations, and the historical dimensions of contemporary issues. His areas of expertise include:

* Lessons learned from the Influenza Epidemic in 1918-19 and broader WWI era

* The historical dimensions of globalization, isolationism, and internationalism as they undergird the U.S.'s role in the world community today

* The history of national and state strategies/policies addressing the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-19 in comparison to the current pandemic

Nichols has been featured in Buzzfeed, The New York Times, the International Business Times, the Associated Press, OPB, the Oregonian and many others.


Aimee Huff, 541-737-3688, [email protected]

Huff is an assistant professor of marketing in the College of Business. Her research explores consumer culture in contexts that are socially contentious, including gun culture and consumer relationships with guns. Her areas of expertise include:

* Political and public health messaging during the pandemic, including clarity and interpretation issues. For example, communication challenges around face-coverings – how regulations, social norms and individual choices have intersected

* Consumer interest in guns and ammunition during the COVID-19 pandemic

Huff has been featured in The New York Times. 

Todd Montgomery, 541-322-2086, [email protected]

Montgomery is the executive-in-residence, an instructor, and the lead of the Hospitality Management program at OSU-Cascades in Bend. He has 23 years of experience in the travel industry in sectors including airline, cruise, rental car, restaurants and gaming. His areas of expertise include:

* Guiding companies through external economic shocks including SARS, the Asian financial crisis, terrorism and catastrophic weather events

* Montgomery has been featured in the Portland Business Journal and the Astorian. 

Dina Ribbink, 541-706-2180, [email protected]

Ribbink is an assistant professor of business administration at OSU-Cascades who teaches and conducts research on supply chain management. She can address supply chain issues and business impacts related to coronavirus, including:

* Potential impacts of coronavirus on global manufacturing and distribution of supplies

* Challenges of disaster response planning for supply chain disruption in a global crisis

* Potential government interventions to ward off economic downturn or ensure needed supplies are available

* Company responses to supply shortages, including reducing demand for products or shifting manufacturing to new locations

Ribbink has been featured in the Register-Guard. 


James Sterns, 541-737-1406, [email protected]

Sterns is an associate professor of applied economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences. His research focuses on agribusiness economics and management, agricultural marketing and institutional economics. His areas of expertise include:

* Agricultural and food supply chains

Lauren Gwin, 541-737-1569, [email protected]

Gwin is an associate professor, OSU Extension community food systems specialist, and associate director of the Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems in the College of Agricultural Sciences. She co-founded and directs the national Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network. Her areas of expertise include:

* Farm and food system policy

* Local and regional food supply chains

* Community food system development

Nadia A. Streletskaya, 541-737-9285, [email protected]

Streletskaya is an assistant professor of applied economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences, director of the Applied Experimental Economics Lab and a fellow at the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR) at University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on consumer demand for, and behavior around, food and food choice. Her areas of expertise include:

* Consumer food choices in a changing retail environment, including social distancing cues and new sanitation measures.

* Behavioral changes in response to changing information about COVID-19 risks and concerns related to food safety and food availability.

* Comparative effectiveness of social pressure, nudge-type and information-based interventions at achieving behavioral change in consumers, such as increased social distance, mask wearing and sanitizer use.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Molly Rosbach, 541-737-0787, [email protected]

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