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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Lior Rennert

Associate Professor
Director, Center for Public Health Modeling and Response

Office: 517 Edwards Hall



Vita: View

Educational Background

Ph.D. Biostatistics
University of Pennsylvania 2018

MS Statistics
University of Chicago 2011

BS Mathematics
Pennsylvania State University 2009

Courses Taught

HLTH 8310: Quantitative Methods in Health Research I
HLTH 8320: Quantitative Methods in Health Research II
HLTH 8900: Special topics: Transforming Data Sets into Research Articles


Dr. Rennert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Director of Clemson University's Center for Public Health Modeling and Response. He received his PhD degree in Biostatistics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Pearlman School of Medicine and his MS degree in Statistics from the University of Chicago. His work focuses on the development and application of statistical and mathematical models to guide health-related decision making in the health sciences. Dr. Rennert is PI on multiple NIH awards, including an R01 to develop an infectious disease modeling framework for resource allocation in underserved communities and an R61/R33 to develop data-driven approaches for opioid use disorder treatment, recovery, and overdose prevention in rural communities via mobile health clinics and peer support services. He is also PI on a CDC Center grant to implement Disease modeling and analytics to inform outbreak prevention, response, intervention, mitigation, and elimination (DMA-PRIME). As Clemson University’s Lead Public Health Strategist for Covid-19, Dr. Rennert and his team have developed models that helped guide university policy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Rennert also works closely with Prisma Health’s Opioid Stewardship Program to evaluate opioid-related policies on patient well-being. Dr. Rennert has formed partnerships with several organizations statewide, including Prisma Health, Clemson Rural Health, The University of South Carolina’s Center for Rural and Primary Health Care, the Medical University of South Carolina, and South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Research Interests

Infectious diseases, modeling, opioids, public policy, mindfulness, neurodegenerative diseases, statistical methodology

Research Publications

1. Rennert L,† Howard, KA, Kickham CM, Gezer F, Coleman A, Roth PJ, Boswell Kristie, Gimbel R, Litwin AH (2024). Implementation of a Mobile Health Clinic Framework for Hepatitis C Virus Screening and Treatment: A Descriptive Study. Lancet Regional Health Americas; 29:100648.

2. Jing X, Min H, Gong Y, Biondich P, Robinson D, Law TD, Nohr CG, Faxvaag A, Rennert L, Hubig NC, Gimbel RW (2024). Literature Analysis on Ontologies Applied in Clinical Decision Support Systems. Stud Health Technol Inform; 25(310):1347-1348. doi: 10.3233/SHTI231188

3. Howard, KA, Massimo, L., Griffin, SF, Gagnon RJ, Zhang L, Rennert L† (2023). Systematic examination of methodological inconsistency in operationalizing cognitive reserve and its impact on identifying predictors of late-life cognition. BMC Geriatr 23, 547 (2023).

4. Gormely M, Zhang W, Self S, Ewing JA, Heo M, Roth P, Pericot-Valverde I, Rennert L, Akiyama MJ, Norton BL, Litwin AH (2023). Influence of polysubstance use on the health-related quality of life among people who inject drugs undergoing opioid agonist treatment following treatment for hepatitis C virus, Journal of Substance Use, DOI: 10.1080/14659891.2023.2254391

5. Hossfeld C, Rennert L, Baxter SLK, Griffin SF, Parisi M (2023). The Association between Food Security Status and the Home Food Environment among a Sample of Rural South Carolina Residents. Nutrients. 2023; 15(18):3918.

6. Babatunde A*, Rennert L, Walker KB, Furmanek DL, Blackhurst VA, Cancellaro VA, Litwin AH, Howard KA (2023). Association between initial opioid prescription and patient pain with continued opioid use among opioid-naïve patients undergoing elective surgery in a large American health system. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health Special Issue (Evidence-Based Evaluation of Opioid Prescribing Practices); 20(10), 5766

7. Rennert L†, Ma Z, McMahan C, Dean D (2023). Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness against general SARS-CoV-2 infection from the omicron variant: A retrospective cohort study. PLOS Global Public Health; 3(1): e0001111.

8. Rennert L†, Howard KA,* Walker KB, Furmanek DL, Blackhurst VA, Cancellaro VA, Litwin AH (2023). Evaluation of Policies Limiting Opioid Exposure on Opioid Prescribing and Patient Pain in Opioid-Naïve Patients Undergoing Elective Surgery in a Large American Health System. Journal of Patient Safety; 19(2): 71-78. DOI: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000001088

9. Sarasua SM, DeLuca JM, Rogers C, Phelan K, Rennert L, Powder KE, Weisensee K, Boccuto L (2023). Head Size in Phelan-McDermid Syndrome: A Literature Review and Pooled Analysis of 198 Patients Identifies Candidate Genes on 22q13. Genes; 14(3):540.

10. Dietz CJ, Sherill WW, Ankomah S, Rennert L, Parisi M, Stancil M (2023). Impact of a community-based diabetes self-management support program on adult self-care behaviors. Health Education Research; 38(1):1-12,

11. Jing X, Min H, Gong Y, Biondich P, Robinson D, Law T, Nohr C, Faxvaag A, Rennert L, Hubig N, Gimbel R (2022). A systematic review of ontologies applied in clinical decision support system rules. JMIR Medical Informatics. DOI: 10.2196/43053.

12. Rennert L†, Ma Z, McMahan C, Dean D (2022). Effectiveness and protection duration of COVID-19 vaccines and previous infection against any SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nature Communications; 13, 3946.

13. Dietz CJ,* Sherrill WW, Stancil M, Rennert L, Parisi M, McFall D (2022). Health Extension for Diabetes: Impact of a Community-Based Diabetes Self-Management Support Program on Older Adults’ Activation. Diabetes Spectrum. 36(1):59-68.

14. Jing X, Akash I, Hubig NC, Min H, Cimino JJ, Sitting D, Rennert L, Robinson D, Biondich P, Wright A, Nohr C, Law TD, Faxvaag A, Gimbel RW (2022). A systematic approach to configuring MetaMap for optimal performance. Methods of Information in Medicine. DOI: 10.1055/a-1862-0421

15. Martin B,* Witrick B, Sivaraj B, Tyler L, Devane M, Gimbel R, Rennert L (2022). Equivalent outcomes at lower costs for totally implantable venous access device (TIVAD) placement by interventional radiologists compared with surgeons. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology; 33(10):1184-1190.

16. McMahan CS, Lewis D, Deaver JA, Dean D, Rennert L, Kalbaugh CA, Shi L, Kriebel D, Graves D, Popat SC, Karanfil T, Freedman DL (2022). ACS EST Water. Predicting COVID-19 Infected Individuals in a Defined Population from Wastewater RNA Data. DOI: 10.1021/acsestwater.2c00105

17. Rennert L, Xie SX (2022). Cox regression model under dependent truncation. Biometrics; 78(2):460-473.

18. Kunkel D, Stuenkel M,* Sivaraj L,* Colenda C, Pekarek L, and Rennert L† (2022). Predictive value of clinical symptoms for COVID-19 diagnosis in young adults. Journal of American College Health. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2068963

19. King KL, Wilson S, Napolitano JM, Sell KJ, Rennert L, Parkinson CL, Dean D (2022). SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Alpha and Delta show increased viral load in saliva. PLoS One.

20. Pericot-Valverde I, Heo M, Niu J, Rennert L, Norton BL, Akiyama MJ, Arsten J, Litwin AH (2022). Relationship between depressive symptoms and adherence to direct-acting antivirals: Implications for Hepatitis C treatment among people who inject drugs on medications for opioid use disorder. Drug and Alcohol Dependence; 234:109403.

21. Rolke LJ, Griffin SF, Hamilton J, Mayo R, Williams JE, Rennert L, Sease KK (2022). Parent/Guardian Experiences with the Healthcare System and Community Supports for Pediatric Asthma Management. Journal of Patient Experience. doi:10.1177/23743735221089458

22. Rennert L† and McMahan C. Risk of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in a university student population (2022). Clinical Infectious Diseases; 74(4):719-722,

23. Plumb EV, Ham RE, Napolitano JM, King KL, Swann TJ, Kalbaugh C, Rennert L, Dean D (2022). Implementation of a Rural Community Diagnostic Testing Strategy for SARS-CoV-2 in Upstate South Carolina. Frontiers in Public Health.

24. Gormley MA, Akiyama MJ, Rennert L, Howard KA,* Norton BL, Pericot-Valverde I, Muench S, Heo M, Litwin AH (2022). Changes in health-related quality of life for HCV-infected people who inject drugs on opioid agonist treatment following sustained virologic response. Clinical Infectious Diseases; 74(9),

25. McMahan CM, Self S, Rennert L, Kalbaugh C, Kriebel D, Graves D, Colby C, Deaver JA, Popal SC, Karanfil T, Freedman DL (2021). COVID-19 wastewater epidemiology: a model to estimate infected populations. Lancet Planetary Health. 5(12):e874-e881.

26. Rennert L†, Kalbaugh CA, McMahan C, Shi L, Colenda C (2021). The impact of phased university reopenings on mitigating the spread of COVID-19: A modeling study. BMC Public Health; 21, 1520.

27. Zhang Z, Bai H, Blumenfeld J, Ramnauth AB, Barash I, Prince M, Tan AY, Michaeel A, Liu G, Chicos I, Rennert L, Giannakopoulous S, Labri K, Hughes S, Salvatore SP, Robinson BD, Kapur S, Rennert H (2021). Detection of PKD1 and PKD2 Somatic Variants in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Cyst Epithelial Cells by Whole-Genome Sequencing. J Am Soc Nephrol; 32(12):3114-3129. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2021050690.

28. Massimo L, Rennert L, Xie SC, Olm C, Bove J, Van Deerlin V, Irwin DJ, Grossman M, McMillan CT (2021). Common Genetic Variation Is Associated with Longitudinal Decline in Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Degeneration. Neurobiology of Aging.

29. Zhang L, Hsieh MC, Rennert L, Neroda P, Wu XC, Hicks C, Wu J, Gimbel R (2021). Diagnosis-to-surgery interval and survival for different histologies of stage I-IIA lung cancer. Translational Lung Cancer Research. 10(7);

30. Howard KA*, Rennert L, Pericot-Valverde I, Heo M, Norton BL, Akiyama MJ, Agyemang L, Litwin AH (2021). Utilizing patient perception of group treatment in exploring medication adherence, social support, and quality of life outcomes in people who inject drugs with Hepatitis C. Journal of Substance Abuse; vol 126.

31. Rennert L†, McMahan C, Kalbaugh C, Yang Y,* Lumsden B,* Dean D, Pekarek L, Colenda CC (2021). Surveillance-Based Informative Testing for Detection and Containment of SARS-CoV-2 Outbreaks on a Public University Campus: an observational and modelling study. The Lancet Child & Adol. Health; 5(6):428-436.

32. Heo M, Pericot-Valverde I, Rennert L, Akiyama MJ, Norton BL, Gormley M, Agyemang L, Arnsten JH, Litwin AH (2021). Hepatitis C virus DAA treatment adherence patterns and SVR among people who inject drugs treated in opioid agonist therapy programs. Clinical Infectious Diseases.

33. Rennert L†, Heo M, Litwin AH, de Gruttola V (2021). Accounting for confounding by time, early intervention adoption, and time-varying effect modification in the design and analysis of stepped-wedge designs: application to a proposed study design to reduce opioid-related mortality. BMC Medical Research Methodology; 21(1):1-14.

34. Charron E,* Rennert L, Mayo RM, Eichelberger KY, Dickes L, Truong KD (2021). Contraceptive initiation after delivery among women with and without opioid use disorders: A retrospective cohort study in a statewide Medicaid population 2005-2016. Drug and Alcohol Dependence; 220(1). doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108533.

35. Pericot-Valverde I, Rennert L, Heo M, Akiyama MJ, Norton BL, Agyemang L, Lumsden B, Litwin AH (2021). Rates of perfect self-reported adherence to direct-acting antiviral therapy and its correlates among people who inject drugs on medications for opioid use disorder: The PREVAIL study. Journal of Viral Hepatitis; 28(3):548-557.

36. Rennert L†, Kalbaugh CA, Shi L, McMahan C (2020). Modelling the impact of pre-semester testing on COVID-19 outbreaks in university campuses. BMJ Open; 10:e042578. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042578

37. EC Francis*, Charron E, Li M, Chen L, Mayo R, Butler LS, and Rennert L (2020). Third trimester maternal vitamin D and early childhood socioemotional development. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.

38. Schockling CA, North A, Sivaraj B, Lumsden B,* Stuenkel M, Pavuluri H, Miller K, Reddic J, Kalbaugh C, Rennert L, Heavner-Sullivan S, Zhang L, Delcan A (2020). The Association Between Vitamin D Deficiency and COVID-19 Severity in Prisma Health Patients. Southern Medical Journal. 113(12):694-695.

39. Zinzow H, Shi L, Rennert L, Chen L, Lopes S, Zhang L, Jones K, Jindal M, Stam C, Mclain M (2020). Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based relapse prevention for opioid use disorders. Contemporary Clinical Trials; 99:106182.

40. Rennert L†, Zhang L, Lumsden B,* Harwood K, Tyler L, Ashby M, Hanna JW, Gimbel RW (2020). Factors influencing lung cancer screening completion following participation in shared decision-making: A retrospective study in a US academic health system. Cancer Treatment and Research Communications; 24;100198.

41. Charron E, Mayo RM, Heavener-Sullivan SF, Eichelberger KY, Dickes L, Troung KD, and Rennert L (2020). “It’s a very nuanced discussion with every woman”: Health care providers’ communication practices during contraceptive counseling for patients with substance use disorders. Contraception.

42. Byrne KA, Roth PJ, Merchant K, Baginski B, Robinson K, Dumas K, Colie J, Ramsey B, Cull J, Cooper L, Churitch M, Rennert L, Heo M, Jones R (2020). Inpatient link to peer recovery coaching: Results from a pilot randomized control trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence,

43. Hudson, J. A., Charron, E.,* Maple, B., Krom, M., Heavner-Sullivan, S. F., Mayo, R. M., Dickes, L. A., and Rennert L (2020). Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Is Associated with Lower Rates of Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia. Breastfeeding Medicine, 15(3), 176--182.

44. Gimbel, R. W., Rennert L., Crawford, P., Little, J. R., Truong, K. D., Williams, J. E., Griffin, S. F., Shi, L., Chen, L., Zhang, L., others (2020). Enhancing Patient Activation and Self-Management Activities in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Using the US Department of Defense Mobile Health Care Environment: Feasibility Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(5), e17968.

45. Francis, E., Li, M., Hinkle, S., Cao, Y., Chen, J., Wu, J., Zhu, Y., Cao, H., Kemper, K. A., Rennert L, Williams, J. E., Tsai, M., Chen, L., Zhang, C. (2020). Adipokines in Early and Mid-Pregnancy and Subsequent Risk of Gestational Diabetes: A longitudinal study in a multi-racial cohort. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care;8:e001333. doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001333

46. Rennert L and Xie SX (2019). Bias induced by ignoring double truncation inherent in autopsy-confirmed survival studies of neurodegenerative diseases. Statistics in Medicine, 38(19): 3599-3613.

47. Shi L, Welsh RS, Lopes S, Rennert L, Chen L, Jones K, Zhang L, Crenshaw B, Wilson M, Zinzow H (2019). A pilot study of mindful walking training on physical activity and health outcomes among adults with inadequate activity. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 44: 116-122.

48. Massimo L, Rennert L, Xie S, Irwin D, Grossman M, McMillan C (2019). Genetic Variations Hasten Decline in Young Onset Dementia. Nursing Outlook, 67(1):116-117.

49. Massimo L, Xie SX, Rennert L, Fick DM, Halpin A, Placek K, Williams A, Rascovsky K, Irwin DJ, Grossman M, McMillian CT. (2019). Occupational attainment influences longitudinal decline in behavioral variant Frontotemporal Degeneration. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 13(1):293-301.

50. Tan AY, Zhang T, Michaeel A, Blumenfeld J, Liu G, Zhang W, Zhang Z, Zhu Y, Rennert L, Martin C, Xiang J, Salvatore SP, Robinson BD, Kapur S, Donahue S, Bobb WO, Rennert H (2018). Somatic Mutations in Renal Cyst Epithelium in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 29(8): 2139-2156; DOI:

51. Robinson JL, Lee EB, Xie SX, Rennert L, Suh E, Bredenberg C, Caswell C, Van Deerlin VM, Yan N, Youself A, Hurtig H, Siderowf A, Grossman M, McMillan CT, Miller B, Duda JE, Irwin DJ, Wolk D, Elman L, McCluskey L, Chen-Plotkin A, Weintraub D, Arnold SE, Brettschneider J, Lee VM. (2018). Neurodegenerative disease concomitant proteinopathies are prevalent, age-related and APOE4-associated. Brain, 141(7):2181-2193

52. Rennert L and Xie SX (2018). Cox regression model with doubly truncated data. Biometrics, 74(2):725-733.
-Winner of W. Edwards Deming Student Scholar Award in Applied Statistics (2017)

53. Yousef A, Robinson JL, Irwin DJ, Byrne MD, Kwong LK, Lee EB, Xu Y, Xie SX, Rennert L, Suh E, Van Deerlin VM, Grossman M, Lee VMY, Trojanowski JQ. (2017). Neuron loss and degeneration in the progression of TDP-43 in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Acta Neuropatholagica Communications,5(68). doi:10.1186/s40478-017-0471-3.

54. Wimberly AS, Ivey M, Rennert L, McKay JR. (2017). Effect of continuing care for cocaine dependence on HIV sex-risk behaviors. AIDS and Behavior, 21(4):1082-1090.

55. Chahine LM, Xie SX, Simuni T, Tran B, Postruma R, Amara A, Oertel WH, Iranzo A, Scordia C, Fullard M, Linder C, Purri R, Darin A, Rennert L, Videnovic A, Del Riva P, Weintraub D. (2017). Longitudinal changes in cognition in early Parkinson’s disease patients with REM sleep behavior disorder. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 27:102-106.

56. Brennan L, Siderowf A, Rubright JD, Rick J, Dahodwala N, Duda JE, Hurtig H, Stern M, Xie SX, Rennert L, Karlawish J, Shea JA, Trojanowski JQ, Weintraub D. (2016). The Penn Parkinson’s Daily Activities Questionnaire-15: Psychometric properties of a brief assessment of cognitive instrumental activities of daily living in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 25:21-26.

57. Brennan L, Siderowf A, Rubright JD, Rick J, Dahodwala N, Duda JE, Hurtig H, Stern M, Xie SX, Rennert L, Karlawish J, Shea JA, Trojanowski JQ, Weintraub D. (2016). Development and initial testing of the Penn Parkinson’s Daily Activities Questionnaire. Movement Disorders, 31(1):126-134.

58. Suh E, Lee EB, Neal D, Wood EM, Toledo JB, Rennert L, Irwin DJ, McMillan CT, Krock B, Elman LB, McCluskey LF, Grossman M, Xie SX, Trojanowski JQ, Van Deerlin VM. (2015). Semi-automated quantification of C9orf72 expansion size reveals inverse correlation between hexanucleotide repeat number and disease duration in frontotemporal degeneration. Acta Neuropathologica, 130(3):363-372.

59. Brennan, L., Rubright, J., Rick, J., Dahodwala, N., Duda, J., Hurtig, H., Stern, M., Xie, S., Rennert L, Karlawish, J., others (2015). The Pennsylvania daily activities questionnaire: Development, reliability and validity of a new item bank for cognitive instrumental activities of daily living in Parkinson's disease: 1072. Movement Disorders, 30.

60. Van Horn DHA, Drapkin ML, Lynch KG, Rennert L, Goodman JD, Thomas T, Ivey M, McKay JR. (2015). Treatment choices and subsequent attendance by substance-dependent patients who disengage from intensive outpatient treatment. Addiction Research and Theory, 23(5):391-403.

61. Van Horn DHA, Rennert L, Lynch KG, McKay JR. (2014). Social network correlates of participation in telephone continuing care for alcohol dependence. American Journal of Addictions, 23(5):447-552.

62. Rennert L, Denis C, Peer K, Lynch KG, Gelernter J, Kranzler HR. (2014). DSM-5 gambling Disorder: Prevalence and Characteristics in a Predominantly Substance-Dependent Sample. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22(1):50-56.

63. Plebani JG, Lynch KG, Rennert L, Pettinati HM, O’Brien CP, Kampman KM. (2013). Results from a pilot clinical trial of varenicline for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 133(2):754-758.

64. Kampman, K. M., Henninger, A., Rennert L, Plebani, J., Vernace, J., Pettinati, H. (2014). Success in cocaine treatment trials: Which drug use outcome is most associated with clinical improvement? Drug and Alcohol Dependence(140), e99.

65. McKay, J. R., Van Horn, D., Ivey, M., Drapkin, M. L., Rennert L, Lynch, K. G. (2013). Enhanced continuing care provided in parallel to intensive outpatient treatment does not improve outcomes for patients with cocaine dependence. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs, 74(4), 642--651.

66. McKay JR, Van Horn D, Rennert L, Drapkin M, Ivey M, Koppenhaver J. (2013). Factors in sustained recovery from cocaine dependence. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(2):163-172.

67. McKay JR, Van Horn D, Ivey M, Drapkin M, Rennert L, Lynch KG. (2013). Enhanced continuing care provided in parallel to intensive outpatient treatment does not improve outcomes for patients with cocaine dependence. Journal on Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, 74(4):642-651.

68. McKay, J. R., Van Horn, D., Rennert L, Drapkin, M., Ivey, M., Koppenhaver, J., Morgan-Lopez, A. A., Saavedra, L. M., Hien, D. A., Campbell, A. N., others (2013). Meta-analysis of the effects of MI training on clinicians' behavior. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(2).

69. Peer K, Rennert L, Lynch KG, Farrer L, Gelernter J, Kranzler HR. (2013). Prevalence of DSM-IV and DSM-5 alcohol, cocaine, opioid, and cannabis use disorders in a largely substance dependent sample. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 127(1-3):215–219.

*My student
†Corresponding Author

Honors and Awards

Clemson University Junior Researcher of the Year (2021)

Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences: Award of Excellence in Research - Emerging Scholar (2021)

Clemson University Data and Analytics Working Group Standout Project of the Year (2021)

Data Access, Transparency and Advocacy Group: COVID-19 Data Hero Award Nominee (2021)

Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences: Award of Excellence in Graduate Student Advising and Mentoring (2020)

Annual Deming Conference on Applied Statistics: W. Edwards Deming Student Scholar Award (2017)


COVID-19 research

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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
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