News

UArizona Experts Available to Comment on Coronavirus and Influenza

Thursday, January 23, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Health Sciences has a number of news sources/health experts available at the university’s campuses in Tucson and Phoenix for media interviews regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Leila Barraza, JD, MPH

Airport Outbreak/Communicable Disease Emergency Preparedness:

Leila Barraza, JD, MPH, assistant professor of public health law, UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, co-author of the study, “Airport Public Health Preparedness and Response: Legal Rights, Powers, and Duties,” (2018), funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report focuses on legal considerations for airports developing communicable disease preparedness plans. Barraza also serves as a senior consultant for the Network for Public Health Law – Western Region. She teaches public health law and studies the impact of laws and regulations on population health, both nationally and globally.

Jun Wang, PhDDrug Discovery:

Jun Wang, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the UArizona College of Pharmacy. His research group focuses on medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of antivirals, targeting emerging and re-emerging viruses such as influenza A and B viruses, non-polio enteroviruses such as EV-A71, EV-D68, and coxsackievirus. His team is exploring both viral proteins and host factors as antiviral drug targets with the goal of developing broad-spectrum antivirals with a high genetic barrier to drug resistance.

Michael Worobey, PhDEcology & Evolutionary Biology:

Michael Worobey, PhD, is head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the UArizona College of Science, which he joined in 2003. He received his doctorate from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford in 2001. He uses the genomes of viruses to trace the evolution of major communicable diseases and to understand their origins, emergence and control. Dr. Worobey has made seminal discoveries pinpointing where, when and how HIV originated and spread worldwide, and how influenza pandemics like the 1918 Spanish flu and the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus emerged and killed large numbers of people. His work is regularly published in Nature and Science, gets frequent worldwide press coverage, and is the focus of several books and documentary films (e.g., “Spillover,” “Tinderbox,” “Rise of the Killer Virus”). He is a Rhodes Scholar, Packard Fellow and National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, and he the holds the University of Arizona’s Louise Foucar Marshall Science Research Professorship.

Clinical Simulation Training for Infectious Disease and Pandemic Response:

Allan J. Hamilton, MDAllan Hamilton, MD, executive director of the Arizona Simulation Technology & Education Center (ASTEC) at the UArizona Health Sciences, is a medical simulation expert who has designed and led multiple simulations concerning pandemics and human factors in the spread of communicable diseases within a health care facility. During the 2014 Ebola epidemic, Dr. Hamilton’s simulation work with Banner – University Medical Center (then the University of Arizona Medical Center) contributed to the Tucson and South campuses being named an Infectious Disease Centers of Excellence by the Arizona Department of Health Services and one of 55 Ebola Treatment Centers across the United States by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Discoveries through the course of the Ebola simulation training for health-care professionals donning/doffing personal protective equipment also resulted in a change to the national protocol. Dr. Hamilton, a decorated U.S. Army officer and surgeon, is a Regents’ Professor of Surgery with appointments in the Departments of Neurosurgery, Radiation Oncology, Psychology, and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the UArizona.

 

Other Resources:

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NOTE: Photos available upon request.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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