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COVID-19 Research

Clemson University faculty members from a multitude of disciplines have expertise to support research on COVID-19 prevention, preparation and response. The Clemson University School of Health Research has compiled a list of faculty members below as part of an effort to promote COVID-19 research collaborations and to connect Clemson faculty with clinicians treating COVID-19 patients across the state.

If interested in including your information below, please complete this Qualtrics form.

Please check back often. Newly received information will be published frequently. 

COVID-19 Research Funding

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides federal agencies with additional funds to support research on COVID-19 prevention, preparation and response. The Office of Research Development has compiled a list of funding opportunities currently available. Check back often as new opportunities will be posted.
  • College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

    PAUL L. DAWSON

    pdawson@clemson.edu
    Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
    General research areas: Food safety, food handling
    Overview: My research deals with food safety and the transfer of pathogens due to food handling. This research may be useful in developing food processing and handling protocols to deal with COVID-19 in the future.

    ANGELA MARIE FRASER

    afraser@clemson.edu
    Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
    General research areas: Disinfectant efficacy, clean-up protocols, communication, long-term care facilities
    Overview: I currently am the PD for an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant that aims to build the evidence-base regarding clean up of vomit in long-term care facilities. The Clemson work specifically focuses on testing the efficacy of both physical and chemical strategies to eliminate Noroviruses from soft surfaces (i.e., carpet and upholstered furniture). The project team [Xiuping Jiang (Clemson), Jan Vinje (CDC), Ben Lopman (Emory) and Rachael Jones (Utah)] are in process of submitting a supplemental revision grant to AHRQ to study clean-up strategies in long-term care facilities that can be used during the presumed second wave of this pandemic.

    XIUPING JIANG

    xiuping@clemson.edu
    Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
    General research areas: Food microbiology
    Overview: My interests focus on understanding how human pathogens persist in food, pre-harvest environment, and long term care facilities, and developing the strategies to detect and control these pathogens. Relevant to coronavirus research, we have conducted research on detecting Human Norovirus in the food service environment using molecular biological technology, and developed standard methods for virus recovery and disinfection on soft surfaces. Through a recent NIH award, we are closely working with researchers from other disciplines and research institutions on determining the efficacy of chemical-based and non-chemical-based disinfection strategies on contaminated carpet using norovirus surrogates and Clostridium difficile to solve urgent disinfection needs in long term care facilities.

    SACHIN RUSTGI

    srustgi@clemson.edu
    Plant and Environmental Sciences
    General research areas: Aptamer, detection kit, colorimetric, nanotechnology, FANA-oligonucleotides
    Overview: My research does not directly focus on COVID-19, but I have an interest in the development of the SARS-Cov-2 detection methods, which could be applied to detect virus particles in agricultural commodities to facilitate the import and export of goods in the post-pandemic era or after reopening. I believe my experience with the use of RNA interference and genome editing methods, as well as with the nanoparticle-mediated delivery of genome-editing reagents to plants, might help me contribute to this research area. The current focus of my research is the development of nutritionally enhanced and reduced-immunogenicity cereals and legumes, as well as the development of RNA interference-based insecticides and fungicides.

    VIDYA SAMADI

    samadi@clemson.edu
    Agricultural Sciences
    General research areas: Geographic Information System (GIS), geospatial analytics, and GIS app development
    Overview: My focus is on developing geospatial software, Big data analytics platforms, and web and mobile GIS applications. This research is salient during the current COVID-19 pandemic for mapping disease transmission/recovery and including location services in apps that can assist folks needing care and/or supplies.

  • College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

    ANJALI JOSEPH

    anjalij@clemson.edu
    Architecture/Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing
    General research areas: Healthcare facility design, patient safety, operating room design, designing to reduce infections, worker safety
    Overview: I have expertise related to the design of the built environment of healthcare facilities to support effective and safe workflows and practices for pandemic care in different settings. I also have expertise in conducting human factors analysis to understand how the built environment can be designed/modified to support safe interactions while providing COVID care. I am collaborating with David Pastre and the team at MUSC to develop actionable tools and protocols for setting up drive through testing stations for COVID-19 in Charleston and surrounding areas.

    PAMELA E. MACK

    pammack@clemson.edu
    History/Science and Technology in Society
    General research areas: History, STS, history of science, science and technology in society, history of medicine
    Overview: I am a historian of science and technology with some experience with the history of medicine. I am interested in how the public responds to scientific information and also on how policy choices are made at the intersection of changing scientific information and political concerns. I am the Coordinator for Science and Technology in Society, and am teaching a spring minimester D course on Epidemics in Historical and Cross-Cultural Context in which students will build a web page of sources to understand the current COVID-19 pandemic in a larger context.

    ARELIS MOORE DE PERALTA

    ared@clemson.edu
    Languages
    General research areas: Health disparities, preventable diseases, U.S. minorities, community-based participatory research, CBPR, behavioral health, building healthier communities, Latinx families
    Overview: As a medical and social epidemiologist, I have experience in conducting quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research, particularly on health disparities among Hispanics in the US and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). My research focuses in inter-disciplinary and participatory approaches to explore social determinants of health, and to promote health equity in underrepresented communities in the US and the LAC region. My research includes using community-engaged, assets-based approaches and partnerships with community-based organizations and the community at large to study and to address public health priorities in underserved communities. Several of my studies have focused on Hispanics residing in SC Upstate, using effective outreach methods to gather data in an efficient and expedited manner. My research experience before joining Clemson University included descriptive and analytical epidemiological studies on various infectious diseases including vaccine-preventable diseases, HIV, and vector-borne diseases.

    WINIFRED E. NEWMAN

    elyssen@clemson.edu
    Architecture
    General research areas: Responsive environments, VR/AR content, education
    Overview: My research involves using automated and interactive environments to streamline processes in manufacturing, fabrication and making of building components. I also investigate VR/AR learning environments for online education, including content design. My work with the online student course advising map is part of an NSF project submitted with Dr. KC Wang (Clemson) and others. It would be a great project to address tele-advising and online student advising, especially during times of social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    DAVID PASTRE

    pastre@clemson.edu
    Architecture
    General research areas: Design, testing, facilities, emergency, MUSC
    Overview: I am working with Erik Modrzynski, MUSC’s Emergency Manager on documenting the drive-thru testing center MUSC has built in Charleston. MUSC was very pro-active in being prepared for, what was at the time, a possible pandemic. Erik assembled the site with his team on the fly, but asked for help recording their approach to testing in a format that could be shared with other communities. My design studio along with design professionals in Charleston are helping to put together this document. We have completed the first version of this document, which is currently in the hands of MUSC to share with other hospitals and communities as a best-practices model to test for viruses in a drive-thru fashion. We expect this to be a living document with multiple revisions and additions over the next few weeks. We are also working with MUSC to design a safe method to administer tests to walk-up patients, which will also be added to this document once designs are completed and vetted.

    KELLY C. SMITH

    kcs@clemson.edu
    Philosophy and Religion; Biological Sciences
    General research areas: Biomedical ethics
    Overview: For many years, I have worked in biomedical ethics, including coordinating the ethics and professionalism curriculum at the UofSC School of Medicine-Greenville. I have also done some clinical ethics consulting. Ethical considerations to explore during the COVID-19 pandemic include, but are not limited to, ventilator distribution/allocation in times of shortage, medication selection for illnesses with no validated standard of care, and work attendance in environments of high infection risk, especially for those with caregiving responsibilities for family member(s) among groups at high risk for mortality if infected with COVID-19.

    JAMES H. SPENCER

    jhspenc@clemson.edu
    City Planning and Real Estate Development
    General research areas: Emerging Infectious Diseases and planning/urbanization. Informal water and sanitation infrastructure
    Overview: The link between animal husbandry, wild animals, urbanization and pandemics has recently netted some popular writing highlighting our work on Avian Influenza, urbanization and wildlife/farming interface. Since 2005, our team from University of Hawai'i and the East West Center has been supported by NSF (Coupled Human-Natural Systems) to examine this intersection for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks in Viet Nam. Our latest paper, in Landscape and Urban Planning has been summarized in an East West Center WIRE brief, and was picked up in its entirety by the Sri Lankan Daily News, and referenced by the Voice of America in recent days. 

  • College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

    THOMAS W. BRITT

    twbritt@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Burnout, wellbeing, stress, coping
    Overview: Marissa Shuffler and I have been examining physician well-being prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as assessing work demands and coping mechanisms during the crisis. I also have expertise in organizational stress interventions to improve physician health, well-being, and performance during the pandemic.

    MATTHEW BROWNING

    mhb2@clemson.edu
    Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
    General research areas: Mental health, behavioral changes, leisure behavior, environmental moderators, environmental determinants
    Overview: I am interested in the impact of COVID-19 on leisure behavior and mental health. We developed a battery of survey items to measure these changes and collected around 2,000 survey responses-primarily from college students at four institutions in mid-March. We are submitting papers on these data to journals but welcome consideration of other collaborators. Also, we are very interested in using these survey items with other populations to examine trends or test for differences in populations (for instance, examine health disparities). Also, my research agenda broadly looks at environmental determinants of health. Thus, I would be very interested in examining using remote sensing data of any geolocated cohorts and looking at differences in the built/natural landscape and COVID-19 prevalence/incidence/outcomes.

    KAILEIGH BYRNE

    kaileib@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Decision-making, emotion, psychology
    Overview: I am interested in examining the psychological implications of the pandemic. For example, how social isolation impacts behavior and well-being, the role of fear (or other emotions) and knowledge in social/physical distancing behavior, and general factors that influence decision-making during the pandemic. I am also interested in how substance use disorder may be affected by the pandemic, such as increased cravings and changes in social support.

    ROBERT T. CAREY

    carey2@clemson.edu
    Political Science/Regional Economic Analysis Lab
    General research areas: Economic impact analysis, fiscal impact analysis
    Overview: We do economic impact analysis using the IMPLAN and REMI models as our primary tool. We can project the impact of disruptions associated with COVID-19 on state and local economies. We can also project the impact that these disruptions will have on state and local revenue and expenditure streams.

    JOB CHEN

    zhuoc@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Religion, spirituality, well-being, meaning, morality
    Overview: I have expertise in psychology of religion and spirituality and skills in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. I would be best positioned to take on projects that investigate 1) spiritual and cultural resources that people can use to cope with pandemics and strenuous situations alike, 2) the role belief and value systems play in processing scientific and political information from mass media, and 3) serve as methodological consultant for any complex design and statistical issues pertaining to a particular project.

    TRACY FASOLINO

    tfasoli@clemson.edu
    School of Nursing
    General research areas: Nursing, pulmonary, palliative care, quality of life, symptom management, end of life
    Overview: My nursing experience spans 25 years in clinical, research and academic settings with focus on quality of life and symptom management. These experiences have provided insight into the challenges associated with COVID-19. I have an active NP practice within a pulmonary practice and regularly managed chronic pulmonary patients. I have conducted a number of funded and unfunded research projects to improve patient care encounters using complimentary and integrative therapies, with various methodological strategies. With my research partner Bon Secours Mercy, I assist with nursing research initiatives and have mentored direct patient care nurses and interdisciplinary teams in conducting research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement projects.

    LUCIA GONZALES

    luciag@clemson.edu
    Nursing
    General research areas: Infection control, geriatric workforce development
    Overview: I am currently involved with two dynamic COVID-19-related research teams. The first collaborative team (K. Koehler, D. Albano, D. Ivankovic, S. Saccocio and J. Koehler of Prisma Health; and L. Gonzales of Clemson) is investigating the infection control properties of alternatives of the personal protective equipment (PPE) nose and mouth mask, the N-95 respirator. This initiative promotes evidence-based research in a mindset of creativity and innovation by studying the health impact of PPE alternatives. Dr. Kathleen Valentine leads the second collaborative team of 14 faculty and leaders at the Clemson University School of Nursing. We are investigating how to increase knowledge at the level of undergraduate and graduate nursing education in the field of geriatrics. Elders are experiencing the most devastating effects including death when infected with COVID-19. Health care providers require expert knowledge of the functional and physiologic uniqueness of the cultural, racially and ethnically diverse elder population of Appalachia, Upstate, South Carolina.

    WILLIAM JOHN HALLER

    whaller@clemson.edu
    Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
    General research areas: Immigration, race, family dynamics, social inequalities, health disparities, employment, occupation
    Overview: I have played key roles in two large-scale longitudinal studies of children of immigrants and their maturation and assimilation processes in both the United States (CILS) and Spain (ILSEG). The questionnaire items of these studies (which I have in both English and Spanish) contain survey measures of intergenerational relations and family household dynamics that I expect would bear directly on the probability of transmission of COVID-19 among household members, particularly within minority communities. These include multi-item indices of familism, intergenerational relations, English (and country-of-origin) language proficiency. These studies also included questionnaire items on parental socioeconomic status, occupational and sectoral employment and work experience (of parents and working-age children), demographic profiles of households (number people, their ages, sex, racial/ethnic/nationality origins, levels of education), and community networks.

    XIA JING

    xjing@clemson.edu
    Public Health Sciences
    General research areas: Clinical decision support systems, data-driven hypothesis generation and visual analytics, knowledge representation and semantic web, knowledge bases, health IT for rural and under-served populations
    Overview: I have a background in medical informatics and expertise in the areas of data standards in medicine, utility and usability studies on Health IT applications, and ontology. I am interested in two questions related to COVID-19: 1) What data collection is needed in order to answer sophisticated questions related to the natural history of COVID-19 transmission; 2) How to collect the data with the least burden to clinical personnel and epidemiologists in reusable, sharable and interoperable formats.

    KARYN OGATA JONES

    karynj@clemson.edu
    Nursing/Center for Research on Health Disparities
    General research areas: Health behavior, health communication, health risk perceptions
    Overview: My research focuses on theoretically-driven investigations and interventions to address and improve health behaviors, response to crisis/trauma, and audience perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of health risks. I have experience and expertise in qualitative (interviews, focus groups, qualitative textual analysis) and quantitative (survey and quantitative content analysis) research methods. My specific interest lies in addressing impacts of interpersonal and mediated (social and mass media) communication about health and risk. I am currently collaborating with S. Timmons, V. Parker, K. Valentine, A. Koci, and M. Smith (SON and CRHD) on proposal submission to partner with faith-based organizations to deliver health care services and training via recorded health education modules to address health disparities in rural communities related to COVID-19.

    ROBIN KOWALSKI

    rkowals@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Attitudes, protection motivation, benefit-finding, post-traumatic growth
    Overview: I am currently conducting two studies related to COVID-19. The first involves a collaboration with a psychologist in the State of Washington. We are investigating people's attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19. This study is specifically testing the Protection Motivation Theory of health. The second study is in the development stage and will examine meaning-making, benefit-finding, and post-traumatic growth with COVID-19.

    DARREN LINVILL

    darrenl@clemson.edu
    Communication
    General research areas: Misinformation, disinformation, health communication
    Overview: I research tactics and strategy of social media disinformation. My work has focused on state sponsored disinformation, particularly that of the Russian government. Mis and disinformation are obviously important in a health communication context, as incorrect information may lead to negative health outcomes for those who consume it. Disinformation is rampant regarding COVID-19. My colleague Patrick Warren (CU Economics) and I are exploring some of this content and recently wrote a piece for the Washington Post on the subject. 

    RACHEL M. MAYO

    rmayo@clemson.edu
    Public Health Sciences/Associate Dean's Office CBSHS
    General research areas: Addiction, women's health, maternal and child health, cancer, interventions
    Overview: I have worked in public health as a practitioner and researcher for the past 22 years. My research expertise includes addiction research, cancer prevention and control, and health disparities among minority and underserved populations, particularly African American and Latino. I have a particular interest in public health interventions that can reduce the disparities we are seeing in diagnosis, treatment and mortality for COVID-19. In addition, I am interested in efforts to improve addiction treatment for mothers and children during this pandemic.

    JAMES A. MCCUBBIN

    jmccubb@clemson.edu
    Psychology/Clemson University School of Health Research (CUSHR)
    General research areas: Behavioral medicine, health behavior, risk-taking behavior, adherence to medical recommendations, psychological stress, hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease
    Overview: I have over 20 years of NIH funded research and review committee service related to my behavioral medicine research program focused on stress and chronic disease, especially hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. These are some of the major underlying conditions contributing to risk for death from COVID-19. My latest published research focuses on risk-taking behaviors, factors affecting adherence to medical recommendations, and CNS control of visceral and emotional reactivity. Here's a recent media contribution (4/8/2020) related to COVID-19 and risk-reducing behavior.

    BRYAN LEE MILLER

    BLM2@clemson.edu
    Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
    General research areas: Drugs, corrections, mental health, drug treatment, rural crime, criminological theory, evaluation research
    Overview: I am interested in the impact of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system. Specifically, I am interested in the impact of the pandemic on criminal justice based mental health initiatives, officer wellbeing, and jails. Additionally, I have more general interests in the impact of social distancing on crime rates, substance use and abuse, and mental health.

    STEVEN V. MILLER

    svmille@clemson.edu
    Political Science
    General research areas: Public opinion, Bayesian statistics, multilevel models, poststratification, surveys, prejudice
    Overview: I am interested in the political implications of this pandemic and how Americans in or out of South Carolina are assessing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Toward that end, I would be well positioned to help on research projects that involve a public opinion component, deal with spatial or temporal clustering within a mixed effects (hierarchical/multilevel) framework, or for which Bayesian solutions would be ideal. My recent published research has shown interest in the political implications of race/ethnicity and prejudice, for which there is intuitive overlap with the ongoing pandemic. My involvement with the two most recent releases of the Palmetto Poll in 2019 and 2020 show an added ability to deal with non-representative/"convenience" samples in order to get valid population-level inferences.

    CATHERINE MOBLEY

    camoble@clemson.edu
    Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice
    General research areas: STEM education, social science education, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, mixed-methods research, food insecurity, hunger, environmental sustainability, medical sociology, community development
    Overview: My academic training is in sociology and policy analysis and development. My areas of expertise include the sociology of education, STEM education, environmental sociology/sustainability, medical sociology, and hunger and food insecurity. I have engaged in interdisciplinary research throughout my career, contributing sociological insights to a variety of projects. Much of my research engages a mixed-methods approach that integrates qualitative and quantitative methods in unique ways. I have also engaged in program evaluation of community-based agencies and programs. I am particularly interested in investigating how COVID-19 may be influencing environmental attitudes and behaviors, shaping experiences with hunger and food insecurity, and altering educational trajectories for STEM students and other students.

    VERONICA G. PARKER

    veronic@clemson.edu
    Nursing/Center for Research on Health Disparities
    General research areas: Data analytics, health disparities, vulnerable populations, epidemiology, health equity
    Overview: I have expertise in areas including, but not limited to, categorical data analysis, path analyses, statistical analysis of survey and chronic disease registry data, and big data analytics. My current research interests are in the areas of health disparities/health equity, quality of life and well-being, resilience, spirituality, and health risk behaviors in vulnerable and underserved populations. With expertise in biostatistics and epidemiology, I can provide analyses of comprehensive data by race and ethnicity to facilitate understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on health disparities (access and receipt) and economic relief. In addition, I can work with teams to develop new models to track epidemics (accounting for mutations in diseases) that would be beneficial in making public health and economic decisions during times of disease outbreaks.

    CYNTHIA L. S. PURY

    cpury@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Positive psychology, virtue psychology, couarage
    Overview: I study the psychology of courage, defined as "taking a worthwhile risk." I have not done work directly related to this virus, but I believe my work in courage may be relevant in many different populations dealing with the pandemic and would be happy to collaborate.

    ANDREW PYLE

    apyle@clemson.edu
    Communication
    General research areas: Crisis, social media, disaster, communication
    Overview: I study crisis communication in organizational and community-level contexts. I also study how organizations communicate and respond to crises via social media. During the COVID-19 response, colleagues and I have begun examining how organizations are communicating about COVID-19 with stakeholders. So far these projects include a study of university responses and a study of non-profit organization responses.

    LIOR RENNERT

    liorr@clemson.edu
    Public Health Sciences
    General research areas: Data analysis; biostatistics
    Overview: I am a biostatistician and data analyst. My expertise is valuable in analyzing impact of social distancing interventions on reducing COVID-19 spread, and impact of social distancing interventions and COVID-19 on the health care system and vulnerable populations. I am proficient in the design and analysis of observational and randomized trials.

    LU SHI

    lus@clemson.edu
    Public Health Sciences
    General research areas: Lifestyle intervention, cardiovascular health, behavior, data analysis, simulation modeling, mindfulness, telehealth, mobile health
    Overview: I study behaviors related to infectious disease testing, vaccination and risk perception. Currently, I am conducting a lifestyle experiment that can be delivered via telephone and internet during the time of a pandemic. This research involves programs that can promote physical activity and mental health when it is not easy to go for outdoor exercise. I also conduct secondary data analyses of administrative data about COVID-19 treatment, bringing in my data analysis and simulation modeling skills.

    ROBERT R. SINCLAIR

    rsincla@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Occupational health, stress, safety, job insecurity, organizational climate, resilience
    Overview: I am interested in the effects of COVID-19 on issues related to the stress, safety, health, and well-being of workers. My core research areas include economic stressors, the employee-employer relationship, organizational climate, and occupational health in high risk settings.

    KHOA TRUONG

    ktruong@clemson.edu
    Public Health Sciences
    General research areas: Prevention, containment, prediction, data collection and analyses
    Overview: I have been involved in efforts to contain and assess economic impact of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in Southeast Asian. Vietnam is my home country and I have had research collaborations there. Vietnam has a population of approximately 100 million people with long border with China, and has had less than 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (as of April 22) and no fatality. Vietnam could be an interesting study site to learn its containing and coping strategies.

    KATHLEEN VALENTINE

    klvalen@clemson.edu
    Nursing
    General research areas: Healthcare evaluation, aging, diabetes, nursing, caring, rural, nursing workforce
    Overview: I am engaged in faith-based partnerships to provide evidence-based health education and care to rural South Carolinians disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This work includes expanding and enhancing the South Carolina Wellness in Togetherness (WiT) program, MotiSpark Self-Care and diabetes self-management education (DSME) support telehealth program, and geriatric workforce development. Additionally, I am engaged in COVID-19 rural access and care delivery to develop a professional nurse practitioner network, the Appalachian Association of Nurse Practitioners (AAANP).

    KATHERINE WEISENSEE

    kweisen@clemson.edu
    Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
    General research areas: Human identification, death investigation, forensics, anthropology
    Overview: I collaborate with coroners and medical examiners to assist with human identification. COVID-19 has impacted mechanisms through which human remains are disposed. Furthermore, state and local laws and policies regarding unclaimed bodies are likely to be strained. Another project that I have worked on recently, I have developed a GIS-based application for the Pickens County coroner's office to input coroner cases efficiently and this could be useful if caseloads increase as a result of the virus.

    LU ZHANG

    lz3@clemson.edu
    Public Health Sciences
    General research areas: COVID-19 and cancer treatment, Coronavirus infection for cancer patients
    Overview: My research expertise lies in cancer epidemiology. I have interest in risk and mangement of coronavirus infection for cancer patients, and cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    HEIDI ZINZOW

    hzinzow@clemson.edu
    Psychology
    General research areas: Mental health, traumatic stress, violence, intervention, clinical psychology
    Overview: I conduct research on traumatic stress and mental health. I am interested in the impact of social distancing measures, media exposure to COVID-19-related content, and other public health interventions on mental health. I am particularly interested in investigating the impact for vulnerable individuals, such as persons with trauma or a history of mental illness. I am also interested in examining interventions to ameliorate COVID-related mental health symptoms.

  • College of Business

    BENJAMIN GRANT

    bngrant@clemson.edu
    Management
    General research areas: Analytical modeling, scheduling, preventative healthcare, healthcare policy, capacity
    Overview: My research focus is on healthcare operations management. My focused areas are on patient flows, capacity decisions, value-based healthcare, preventative healthcare, and scheduling from analytical and data driven perspectives. I'm currently working on an IRB protocol and data use agreement with a Prisma Health physician focused on rural healthcare utilization.

    PATRICK L. WARREN

    pwarren@clemson.edu
    Economics
    General research areas: Social media, misinformation, disinformation, rumors
    Overview: I study the creation and dissemination of misinformation and disinformation. I have not worked specifically on health-related misinformation, but I'm interested in doing so.

  • College of Education

    MICHELLE L. BOETTCHER

    mboettc@clemson.edu
    Educational and Organizational Leadership Development
    General research areas: Students, crisis, critical incident response, behavioral intervention teams
    Overview: I have expertise in campus crisis response, particularly crises impacting students. I have worked with and have researched about the experiences of student affairs professionals in a variety of crisis contexts.

    LIZ BOYD

    beboyd@clemson.edu
    Education and Human Development/Counselor Education
    General research areas: Mental health, integrated care, posttraumatic growth, community response
    Overview: I am interesting in collaborating on research opportunities involving integrated care for patients and families impacted by COVID-19. I am also interested in learning about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health services, as well as the impact the pandemic has on the society. I have a background in research related to women's health, integrated care, and posttraumatic growth.

    AMANDA RUMSEY

    arumsey@clemson.edu
    Education and Human Development
    General research areas: Trauma, school counseling, suicide, social emotional needs
    Overview: COVID-19 is undoubtedly presenting potentially traumatic levels of stress, increased mental health challenges, and reduced access to support services for children and families. My training and areas of research interest/expertise include the use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to explore topics related to childhood trauma, secondary traumatic stress, suicide, school counseling, underserved populations, and counselor training and preparation. I am interested in research related to mental health and substance abuse awareness, prevention, and treatment, especially for marginalized children and families in connection with the K-12 schools in South Carolina.

    CORRINE SACKETT

    csacket@clemson.edu
    Education and Human Development
    General research areas: Clinical mental health counseling, social justice advocacy
    Overview: My COVID-19-related expertise is in clinical mental health counseling, social justice advocacy, and qualitative research methods.

    DAVID A. SCOTT

    dscott2@clemson.edu
    Education and Human Development
    General research areas: Mental health, at-risk youth, career, crisis/trauma, identity development
    Overview: I am interested in how COVID-19 will impact mental health during and after the pandemic. I would like to examine the use of tele-mental health. I am also interested in how career exploration and development will be changed due to COVID-19.

    BROOKE WYMER

    bellis5@clemson.edu
    Education and Human Development/Counselor Education
    General research areas: Child mental health, parenting support interventions, mental health counseling, counselor training, crisis intervention
    Overview: My areas of research expertise relevant to COVID-19 would be related to child mental health, parenting support interventions, crisis intervention, counselor training, and mental health counseling more generally.

  • College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

    MARK BLENNER

    blenner@clemson.edu
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    General research areas: Cell line engineering, protein engineering, metabolic engineering, protein expression and purification, cell culture
    Overview: My expertise is in cell line engineering, protein engineering, metabolic engineering, protein expression and purification, cell culture. Currently working on rapid development of serological assays to measure SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM levels.

    TERRI BRUCE

    terri@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering; Division of Research
    General research areas: Diagnostics, viral particle capture, chromatography, separations, imaging, antibodies
    Overview: I am currently working with Dr. Ken Marcus (Clemson, Chemistry) to develop an ELISA-based point of care device for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our group at Clemson University has developed an efficient, cost-effective method of virus isolation using patented capillary-channeled polymer (C-CP) fibers to remove virus particles from bodily fluids via hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The fibers are made of commodity polymers, so they are inexpensive, and can be modified to provide specific affinities to SARS-CoV-2 capsid biomarker proteins. The fibers may be packed into columns to create an efficient isolation platform or extruded as films for a lateral flow immuno-assay (LFIA) for use in rapid diagnostics (<15 min) from blood, saliva, urine, or other bodily fluid samples without the need for laboratory equipment. As members of the current state-wide COVID-19 task force diagnostics group, Dr. Marcus and I will utilize our C-CP fiber technology to assist with antibody purification for development of ELISA-based serological tests for the state. Our technology will be further utilized to increase the overall sensitivity of these tests, which will be a vital part of the return to work policies for health care workers in SC.

    KEVIN CHAMPAIGNE

    kchampa@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: Assay development, instrumentation, electrophysiology, imaging, commercialization
    Overview: I am interested in investigating the viroporin ion channel-like activity associated with the E protein using electrophysiological and imaging techniques. I also have a small business (Circa Bioscience) with experience in SBIR/STTR grants, which could serve as a commercialization partner for university-developed technology.

    DELPHINE DEAN

    finou@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: Sensors, medical device, instrumentation, design, low-resource settings
    Overview: I am the Clemson lead for the Serological Testing and Diagnostics Working Group part of the COVID-19 coalition between Clemson, MUSC, Prisma Health, and University of South Carolina. I am managing meetings and coordinating with the different subgroups to figure out what the needs are. In terms of COVID-19 related research projects, I'm working with Mark Blenner, Teri Bruce, and Ken Marcus to create more sensitive tests for detecting antibodies to COVID-19 in alternative body fluids (saliva) and detecting viral particles in urine for both diagnostics and community health monitoring of waste streams. I am also working on design of personal negative pressure spaces for patients in the hospitals with John DesJardins and Clemson Creative Inquiry students.

    STEPHEN H. FOULGER

    foulger@clemson.edu
    Materials Science and Engineering
    General research areas: Drug delivery, medical imaging
    Overview: I do research in medical imaging and drug delivery through the use of nanoparticles.

    BRUCE Z. GAO

    zgao@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: Biochemistry, nano technology, biomedical engineering, biofabrication, bioimaging
    Overview: Ya-Ping Sun and I have developed specially designed carbon nanoparticles that have high two-photon emission efficiency for label-free imaging tracing. We will collaborate with MUSC’s eye institute professor Rohrer Baerbel to coat our nanoparticles with COVID-19 viral envelopes to study how COVID-19 virus attacks human eyes and accordingly explore a protection strategy.

    RONG GE

    rge@clemson.edu
    Computing
    General research areas: Big data, machine learning, high performance computing, mobile and wearable devices
    Overview: My research expertise is in high performance computing, big data, machine learning, and Internet of Things. It can be instrumental to drug design through machine learning inspired and high performance computing enabled simulation, and remote diagnoses and symptom recording through mobile and wearable devices.

    RACHEL GETMAN

    rgetman@g.clemson.edu
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    General research areas: Computationally guided design of materials, quantum chemical calculations, multiscale modeling, magnetic nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks, adsorption, structure property relationships
    Overview: We do computational design of materials using methods such as quantum chemical simulations, molecular dynamics, multiscale modeling, and machine learning. We can aid in providing fundamental understanding of and developing structure function relationships for materials being used to diagnose/treat/etc. COVID-19. We are collaborating with Thompson Mefford's group. We are members of the MADE in SC initiative.

    JORDON GILMORE

    jagilmo@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: Point of care diagnostics, biosensors
    Overview: Our work focuses on development of inexpensive, point of care biosensors for quantification of wound infection. Our thought is that this work could be retooled from detection of bacterial infection to viral infection.

    MELINDA HARMAN

    harman2@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: N95 masks, personal protective equipment, reprocessing, reuse, decontamination, sterilization, global health
    Overview: I am Director of the Clemson University GreenMD program focused on medical device recycling and reprocessing. As part of the COVID-19 Bioengineering Innovation Working Group between Clemson University, USC, MUSC, and Prisma Health, I am the Clemson lead for personal protective equipment (PPE) reprocessing projects. My efforts are focused on new technology for cleaning N95 masks and validating a cleaning process that can be used by hospitals to effectively remove biological contaminants on PPE before sterilization. This technology is designed to integrate with existing reprocessing practices and is intended for rapid deployment in healthcare settings. Clinical translation of this technology involves integration with the hydrogen peroxide vapor sterilization systems available at Prisma Health and includes their sterile processing department and Jeremy Mercuri at Clemson. I am also working with Mike Matthews at USC and Mark Johnson at Clemson to potentially integrate this cleaning technology with a carbon dioxide disinfection system. In addition, I am working with Delphine Dean and John DesJardins and Clemson Creative Inquiry students to address other industry applications for this technology and to meet global health needs.

    NINA CHRISTINE HUBIG

    nhubig@clemson.edu
    Computing
    General research areas: Contagion models, fraud detection, missing values, probabilistic methods
    Overview: I am a machine learning researcher, emphasizing model explainability and interpretability and on large data sets. Relative to COVID-19, my research is applicable to contagion models.

    SCOTT M. HUSSON

    shusson@clemson.edu
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    General research areas: Bioprocessing, proteins, DNA, mRNA, purification
    Overview: My expertise related to COVID-19 is the development of rapid purification tools for bioprocessing environments. Specifically, my group develops affinity membranes for the rapid purification of proteins, plasmid DNA, and mRNA. Of note, mRNA-based vaccines have emerged as leading contenders for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with at least one mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine already in clinical trials. Industrial mRNA production lacks the tools necessary for rapid purification, which may become a limiting factor for the production of a coronavirus vaccine. In addition to my university research group, I am the founder of Purilogics, LLC in Greenville. The company is translating university research to commercialization, and is highly experienced with SBIR grant development.

    TUGCE ISIK

    tisik@clemson.edu
    Industrial Engineering
    General research areas: resource allocation, staffing, risk management
    Overview: My research interests include management of service operations including healthcare, resource allocation and capacity planning, workforce management, simulation and stochastic modeling/optimization. A review of these areas during the COVID-19 pandemic can facilitate quality improvements. I am currently collaborating with Prisma Health.

    YUNYI JIA

    yunyij@clemson.edu
    Automotive Engineering
    General research areas: Robotics, teleoperation, human-robot collaboration, remote diagnosis and treatment
    Overview: My research focuses on robotics and human-robot collaboration. My research can create robotics technologies to enable doctors to conduct diagnosis and treatment from a distance without close physical contact with patients.

    MARK JOHNSON

    Majohn@clemson.edu
    Materials Science / Center for Advanced Manufacturing
    General research areas: Materials, manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, partnerships
    Overview: Advanced manufacturing process and partnerships for safe decontamination and reuse of N95 masks. Advanced manufactur in ng of medical equipment and supplies, including additive manufacturing, flexible response.

    IOANNIS KARAMOUZAS

    ioannis@g.clemson.edu
    Computing
    General research areas: Crowd modeling, multi-agent simulation, robot navigation, AI
    Overview: I'm an expert in multi-agent navigation, with my prior work on modeling human crowds having received high accolades by the scientific and popular press, and led to some of the most popular agent-based models used by academia and industry. My work can be combined with optimization-based techniques to provide guidelines for safe use of essential public spaces such as grocery stores and urgent care clinics. In addition, it can enable the deployment of robots to perform tasks in a timely manner (e.g., deliver food in hospitals or disinfect areas).

    GOUTAM KOLEY

    gkoley@clemson.edu
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    General research areas: Sensors
    Overview: My expertise is on development of wearable sensor systems with capability to detect COVID-19 symptoms from measurement of multiple physiological parameters, and performing remote cloud-based analysis, and providing feedback in real time.

    ETHAN KUNG

    ekung@clemson.edu
    Mechanical Engineering
    General research areas: Medical device, cardiopulmonary, physiology, modeling, fluid mechanics, pneumatics, prototyping
    Overview: I have expertise in medical device development, modeling, and testing. My lab has experimental fluid and pneumatic setup that can mimic in-vivo cardiopulmonary conditions, computational models of human cardiopulmonary physiology, as well as hardware-in-the-loop technology for medical device testing with simulated physiologic feedback. I can assist in the development of low-cost versions of critical medical devices such as respirators, ECMO machines, etc.

    YINGJIE LAO

    ylao@clemson.edu
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    General research areas: Machine learning, deep learning, robotics
    Overview: My research interests include machine learning, deep learning, and robotics. In particular, we have designed, prototyped, and fabricated a type of tactile glove with pressure sensors, which can be used for remote control to assist contactless treatment in COVID-19. In addition, the tactile glove could provide force feedbacks to better analyze and localize the medical work for doctors. It can also help visualization for both doctors and patients, when integrated with AR/VR.

    FENG LUO

    luofeng@clemson.edu
    Computing
    General research areas: Deep learning, machine learning, bioinformatics
    Overview: My research interests are in the areas of deep learning and application, computational genomics and genetics, high throughput biological data analysis, data-intensive bioinformatics, network biology, bio-image, big data analytics. This technology is key in analyzing and garnering intensive COVID-19 data.

    IGOR LUZINOV

    luzinov@clemson.edu
    Materials Science and Engineering
    General research areas: Surface modification, functional polymer coatings, polymer materials
    Overview: My research involves the modification of any surfaces (plastic, metal, textile, glass, ceramic, paper) with robust coatings that may kill/inactivate COVID-19.

    RODRIGO MARTINEZ-DUARTE

    rodrigm@clemson.edu
    Mechanical Engineering
    General research areas: Microfluidics, lab on a chip, diagnostics
    Overview: My lab can supply expertise in the design, manufacturing, validation and scalability of microfluidics devices and platforms for sample preparation, specifically separation, enrichment, purification and lysis, as well as high throughput experiments featuring small reagent volumes, single cell, and/or cell culture.

    OLIN THOMPSON MEFFORD

    mefford@clemson.edu
    Materials Science and Engineering
    General research areas: Drug delivery, magnetic hyperthermia, MRI contrast agents, surface modification of colloids, biosensing, polymer synthesis
    Overview: My research focuses on developing stable, polymer-iron oxide nanoparticle complexes and composites for biomedical applications. These applications include: developing materials for magnetic hyperthermia, MRI contrast agents, and drug delivery systems. Specific expertise includes the synthesis and functionalization of colloidal nanomaterials that are biocompatible, have surface functionalization to prevent protein fouling, and the ability to be functionalized with a wide range of materials including, adhesions for pathogen binding, optical markers, antibodies for disease detection, and other imaging modalities. This expertise will be especially useful in developing seriologic testing for COVID-19. The laboratory can quickly create metal ferrite-based nanomaterials, silica based materials, and specialized polymers via ring opening polymerizations with narrow molecular weight distributions.

    ZHAOXU MENG

    zmeng@clemson.edu
    Mechanical Engineering
    General research areas: Advanced filtration materials, material modeling and design
    Overview: My expertise is in multiscale computational model development that can aid the design of advanced filtration materials that slow the spread of infectious respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19. I am collaborating with Dr. Hongseok Choi to work on the development of high-performance filtration materials that can be used in masks and respirator filters. Our vision for future filtration materials is that they will be extraordinary in two aspects - durability and self-sensing/self-cleaning function, which are not yet achieved in currently available masks and filters. Through our collaboration on the molecularly informed design of mechanical-robust and piezoelectric nanofibers, we will seed an effort towards our vision.

    JENNIFER OGLE

    ogle@clemson.edu
    Civil Engineering
    General research areas: transportation, disadvantaged populations, traffic, motor vehicle crashes, policy
    Overview: My research relates to the travel patterns associated with COVID-19, and the relative decreases in traffic levels, congestion, and motor vehicle crashes and resulting deaths and injuries. I'm interested in the policy decisions and impacts on travel choices by geographic region and how travel is affecting the spread of the virus. Also of interest are the potential increased susceptibility of disadvantaged populations due to their reliance on public transportation.

    PIERLUIGI PISU

    pisup@clemson.edu
    Automotive Engineering
    General research areas: Anomaly detection, prediction
    Overview: Integration of sensor systems with novel AI can be utilized to determine correlation models between recorded biodata and physiological anomalies associated with various health conditions including COVID-19.

    ILYA SAFRO

    isafro@clemson.edu
    Computing
    General research areas: AI, hypothesis generation, literature analysis
    Overview: Scientific literature underpins research, providing the foundation for new ideas. But as the pace of science accelerates, many researchers struggle to stay current. To expedite their searches, scientists leverage AI hypothesis generation systems, which can automatically inspect published papers to uncover novel implicit connections. With no foreseeable end to the driving pace of research, we expect these systems will become crucial for productive scientists, and later form the basis of intelligent automated discovery systems. The pandemic of COVID-19 is precisely one of the cases when such systems can play an extremely important role in coping with the coronavirus.

    SAPNA SARUPRIA

    ssarupr@g.clemson.edu
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    General research areas: Protein, molecular simulations, ligand docking
    Overview: Our group is an expert in molecular simulations of materials including biomolecular systems. We can perform simulations of proteins and protein assemblies. We can use this toolset to perform molecular simulations of COVID-19 proteins especially simulations such as ligand binding and structural changes of SARS-CoV-2 dimeric main protease. The protease has been used as one of the targets for inhibition.

    YONGJIA SONG

    yongjis@clemson.edu
    Industrial Engineering
    General research areas: Optimization, operations research, resource allocation, transportation and logistics, scheduling, emergency response
    Overview: Resource allocation decisions, such as transportation and logistics, staffing and scheduling, etc., play critical roles in combating COVID-19 pandemic, as they deal directly with the distribution of life-saving medical supplies and mobilization of medical workers to meet urgent patient needs. These operations planning decisions for relief efforts under COVID-19 pandemic face significant challenges due to the fast-evolving COVID-19 situations on patient needs, medical supply availabilities, as well as their evolving forecasts. These dynamically evolving uncertainties present significant challenges for dynamic resource allocation decision making by federal and state emergency management agents. We would like to apply optimization modeling and algorithmic framework to support life-saving medical resource allocation decision making by state emergency management departments and local health care providers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Epidemiologists have made forecasting tools and data for COVID-19 widely available online, making it amenable for emergency managers and health care administrators to utilize the so-called look-ahead policies for prescribing resource allocation decisions over time. We aim to develop a decision-support tool for dynamic allocation of life-saving medical supplies (such as ventilators and PPEs) under various sources of uncertainty, to provide a timely decision support for state emergency management departments and health care providers in mobilizing and distributing of critical medical resources, utilizing available rolling forecasts on the COVID-19 situation.

    JOSHUA DAVID SUMMERS

    jsummer@clemson.edu
    Mechanical Engineering
    General research areas: Engineering product design
    Overview: My research focuses on engineering design of mechanical systems. I have led student efforts on design of automated "bagging" (ventilation) for developing countries (India) for low cost solutions to replace parents and family members manually bagging the infants. I design and build (prototype) mechanical solutions.

    KEVIN TAAFFE

    taaffe@clemson.edu
    Industrial Engineering
    General research areas: Simulation, optimization, staffing, emergency medicine, capacity allocation
    Overview: We are supporting efforts with Prisma Health Emergency Medicine and Anesthesia that address how to plan for anticipated surge in patients and how to best allocate staff to deliver care to COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Studies to explore department-level staffing are ongoing to understand 1) the risks of cross-contamination of staff across facilities, 2) how to maximize "care delivery hours" by accounting for staff having to be quarantined if testing positive, 3) how to segregate patient populations in the ED and deliver care to each population, 4) how to create robust staffing models in the ED that reduce patient handoffs and possible exposure, and 5) the expected requirements of PPE and how to use overall hospital capacity to meet the surge. Many of these problems, while trying to provide support immediately, are well suited for further, more formal research.

    KUMAR VENAYAGAMOORTHY

    gvenaya@clemson.edu
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    General research areas: AI, cellular modeling, distributed systems
    Overview: My expertise relevant to COVID-19 includes Artificial Intelligence, computational intelligence, cellular computing, network systems, modeling of complex systems, distributed systems, distributed and parallel processing.

    ALEXEY VERTEGEL

    vertege@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: Antiviral, environmental surfaces, disinfectant, chitosan
    Overview: Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings. Currently used surface disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite, ethanol or hydrogen peroxide provide high level of activity for a limited period of time (typically, less than 4 h). We developed a novel chitosan-based formulation that forms a protective biocidal film on treated surfaces. This film is resistant to rubbing by hand and shows biocidal activity on frequently touched surfaces for at least 48 h. Such formulation could be used as a surface disinfectant either in the form of a spray or as disinfecting wipes. It is advantageous over currently available disinfectants because of its long-term antimicrobial action. In addition, chitosan is a naturally occurring antimicrobial, and its use will satisfy societal demand for greener alternatives to hazardous chemicals.

    NARENDRA R. VYAVAHARE

    narenv@clemson.edu
    Bioengineering
    General research areas: Targeted therapy, lung repair, drug delivery, cardiovascular diseases
    Overview: We have developed specific nanoparticles that can target degraded elastin in lung and cardiovascular tissues. We have shown that these nanoparticles can be loaded with any drugs and they can slowly release the drug and inhibit inflammation or repair tissue damage that happens in COVID-19 related cytokine storm. We also are looking at repurposing already FDA approved drugs for COVID-19. Collaboration are in place to do quick clinical study.

    KUANG-CHING (KC) WANG

    kwang@clemson.edu
    ECE & Watt Center
    General research areas: Networking, big data, sensors, IoT, video, speech
    Overview: My research spans networking and computing systems (cloud, HPC, embedded, mobile), and artificial intelligence systems. I lead NSF experimental research infrastructure projects including NSF Cloud and NSF FABRIC (national high-speed future Internet), DoD's deep-learning mobile speech and video medical documentation project, and Watt Center's IBM Watson-in-the-Watt AI program. AI and deep-learning speech and video documentation and analytics holds promise for rapid documentation and safe handling of active cases of COVID-19.

    YUE (SOPHIE) WANG

    yue6@clemson.edu
    Mechanical Engineering
    General research areas: Human-robot interaction, robotics, pharmaceutical manufacturing, teleoperation of robots, manufacturing automation
    Overview: I have been working on several areas related to COVID-19. First of all, we have been developing intelligent robotics and automation solutions for fully automated pharmaceutical manufacturing and syringe filling to achieve improved sterility and efficiency. This is useful to address potential drug shortage and ensure supply chains for critical medicine related to COVID-19 response during the pandemic. Second, we have been investigating tele-autonomous operation of mobile robots (e.g., autonomous car-like robots, drones) and mobile manipulators to work in dangerous and/or hazardous environment under remote human supervision. This work can be utilized to help frontline nurses and clinicians to take care of patients (e.g., pick and deliver medicine and food, restocking) without the necessity of physical interaction in hospitals. Last but not the least, we have been working on human-robot collaboration and teaming solutions in assembly manufacturing plants, which can help to avoid close human-human interactions to protect workers and improve manufacturing efficiency to meet increased demand.

    HAI XIAO

    haix@clemson.edu
    Electrical and Computer Engineering/SC Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health (SC TRIMH)
    General research areas: Virus detection, smart PPE, advanced manufacturing
    Overview: My area of expertise is mainly on sensors and instrumentation that are useful to battle COVID-19. In our lab, we have been working on the design, development, fabrication and testing of various sensors which include those for detection of chemical and biological species. We can develop specialized instrumentation to work with the sensors for improved accuracy, sensitivity and data collection/analytics. We have also worked on advanced manufacturing technologies that allowed us to manufacture various custom devices and parts for medical applications. These unique capabilities uniquely position us to compact COVID-19 by providing better detection tools, better protections tools and better knowledges. We look forward to working with researchers of various backgrounds to develop better tools to combat COVID-19.

  • College of Science

    JOSHUA ALPER

    alper@clemson.edu
    Physics and Astronomy/EPIC
    General research areas: Biophysics, single-molecule assays, binding affinity, protein-protein interactions
    Overview: The Alper Lab is an experimental biophysics lab with expertise in molecular and cellular biophysics. We study how proteins interact to generate cellular level effects. The techniques we use include optical tweezers to apply and measure forces on molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, lipids) and cells, microscale thermophoresis to measure ligand-receptor binding affinity (protein-protein, protein DNA, protein small molecule, etc.), biochemical and molecular biological assays. We are not currently doing any COVID-19 research, but we are interested in collaborating with others to study this new, and important disease.

    JEFFREY ANKER

    janker@clemson.edu
    Chemistry
    General research areas: Sensors, radiography, contrast agents
    Overview: My research interests related to COVID-19 are rapid diagnostics for serology, cytokine storm, or virus, as well as the development of contrast agents for lung inflammation

    Anker Research
    General research areas: Diagnostics
    Overview: Rising to the COVID-19 challenge with Buoyant and Magnetic (BAM) 2-factor assay
    We are developing a new type of rapid, onsite, immunoassay that could be useful for COVID-19 detection (and other diseases). Remarkably, this highly sensitive assay can be performed with minimal training and equipment. SARS-CoV-2 proteins in saliva will bind to both buoyant and magnetic (BAM) microspheres, thus linking them together in a "sandwich complex" (a magnetic bead on one end of the protein and a buoyant bead on the other). This "two factor identification" allows the complexes to be completely separated from unreacted magnetic and buoyant beads providing high specificity. The BAM assay is read by eye or using a cell phone video capture. We expect this will meet the World Health Organization's ASSURED criteria for diagnostics in resource limited setting (Affordable, Sensitive and Specific, User-friendly, Rapid (10 minutes), Equipment-free and Deliverable). The test would be especially useful in a variety of screening settings. Our team includes investigators from Prisma Health Department of Emergency Medicine, the Sonoco Packaging Institute, USC School of Medicine Greenville, Akadeum Life Sciences Inc., and Biomagnetic Solutions LLC.

    DEV ARYA

    dparya@clemson.edu
    Chemistry
    General research areas: RNA, non coding RNA, antiviral drugs, antisense drugs
    Overview: My research relates to antimicrobial drug development. Specific to COVID-19, I am interested in targeting RNA secondary structures, sequences, RNA-protein interactions to modulate viral growth.

    WILLIAM S. BALDWIN

    baldwin@clemson.edu
    Biological Sciences
    General research areas: Antibodies, qPCR, testing
    Overview: I am a collaborative part of a RAPID grant to evaluate different statistical testing methods for COVID-19. Regarding testing, I am specifically interested in PCR/qPCR applications. I also have some ELISA experience.

    FENG DING

    fding@clemson.edu
    Physics and Astronomy
    General research areas: Nanomedicine, antibody, aptamer, molecular recognition
    Overview: I have three key areas of research related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are 1) predicting molecular recognitions, including protein-protein, protein-peptide, and small molecule-protein interactions, 2) designing RNA/DNA aptamers, and 3) Nanomedicine. In the area of designing RNA/DNA aptamers, I have a NSF RAPID proposal in the waiting list of the PM about designing a rapid SARS-CoV-2 detection tool.

    CARLOS D. GARCIA

    cdgarci@clemson.edu
    Chemistry
    General research areas: Sensors
    Overview: My research involves biosensors and microfluidic devices, especially those for point-of-care. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lab is also interested in advanced oxidation processes that could be adapted to decontamination.

    R. KENNETH (KEN) MARCUS

    marcusr@clemson.edu
    Chemistry
    General research areas: Analytical chemistry, diagnostic devices, protein purification, virus isolation
    Overview: My group has expertise in the separation and purification of biomacromolecules (proteins) and bionanoparticles (exosomes and viruses). We have unique fiber and film technology that could be used in the purification of those species or in their use as a platform in a lateral flow assay format.

    CHRISTOPHER S. MCMAHAN

    mcmaha2@clemson.edu
    Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
    General research areas: Spatio-temporal modeling, developing infectious disease testing protocols
    Overview: My areas of expertise involve infectious disease modeling, survival analysis, latent data modeling, statistical computing, random effects models, Monte Carlo methods, spatio-temporal modeling, high dimensional regression techniques, semiparametric/nonparametric methods, and machine learning.

    JAMES MORRIS

    jmorri2@clemson.edu
    Genetics and Biochemistry/Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center (EPIC)
    General research areas: Recombinant protein expression, serology, RT-PCR, PCR, nucleic acids,
    Overview: I am a molecular parasitologist with experience studying human pathogens using a range of molecular and biochemical techniques, including nucleic acid-based approaches and recombinant protein production. Experience in plate reader-based assays. I served as chair of NIH study section that covered non-HIV infectious agent detection/diagnostics (ZRG1 IDM-V (12), 2017-2019). Currently, I am working with Dr. Mark Blenner (Clemson), representatives of Prisma Health (Dr. Jesse Stafford), MUSC and Phil Buckhaults (USC) on COVID-19 projects.

    MEREDITH MORRIS

    mmorri3@clemson.edu
    Genetics and Biochemistry
    General research areas: Recombinant protein expression, ELISA based assays, RT-PCR, PCR, nucleic acids
    Overview: My research is focused on molecular cell biology of parasites with experience in recombinant protein expression, ELISA based assays, RT-PCR, PCR, nucleic acids. I am currently working with investigators from MUSC, UofSC and Prisma Health to increase COVID-19 nucleic acid and serology testing capacity in South Carolina.

    YA-PING SUN

    syaping@clemson.edu
    Chemistry
    General research areas: Biochemistry, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, biofabrication, bioimaging
    Overview: Bruce Gao and I have developed specially designed carbon nanoparticles that have high two-photon emission efficiency for label-free imaging tracing. We will collaborate with MUSC’s eye institute professor Rohrer Baerbel to coat our nanoparticles with COVID-19 viral envelopes to study how COVID-19 virus attacks human eyes and accordingly explore a protection strategy.

    CHARLES D. RICE

    cdrice@clemson.edu
    Biological Sciences
    General research areas: Recombinant proteins, immunogen and antigen design, monoclonal antibody production, hybridoma maintenance, inflammation
    Overview: I am an immunologist who works with several different vertebrate models, and have extensive experience with designing highly immunogenic synthetic peptides for antibody production. This, coupled with expressing and purifying recombinant proteins, allows for the rapid production of quality monoclonal antibodies. I also research small molecules that have anti-inflammatory properties, some of which may have potential in halting cytokine storms common to COVID-19 like diseases.

    HUGO SANABRIA

    hsanabr@clemson.edu
    Physics and Astronomy / SC-TRIMH
    General research areas: Single-molecule biophysics, structural dynamics, protein-protein interactions.
    Overview: My work focuses on understanding the structure, dynamics, and function of proteins. In some cases, the structural dynamics could be used to better-design effector molecules that could alter their function. As such, we aim to understand M(pro) inhibition. M(pro) is the main protease responsible for virus replication in both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS.

    MICHAEL SEHORN

    msehorn@clemson.edu
    Genetics and Biochemistry
    General research areas: Protein purification antigen biochemistry
    Overview: My research expertise lies in protein biochemistry. We have experience with proteins outside of my main research focus of DNA repair. We are exceptionally qualified to purify proteins and enzymes and biochemically characterize them. For instance, we have purified Taq polymerase, antigens for antibody generation and a number of other enzymes that are commercially available. These proteins could be used in screening kits and possibly in the use of developing vaccines to combat viruses such as coronavirus.

    MATTHEW TURNBULL

    turnbul@clemson.edu
    Biological Sciences
    General research areas: Virology, Cell Biology, Immunology
    Overview: My research focuses in part on viruses associated with agriculturally relevant insects (primarily caterpillar and fly), including their molecular, cellular, and organismal biology. To that end, I have expertise in standard molecular and cellular techniques associated with virology, including viral tittering, cytopathology assays, quantitative real-time PCR, and immunological assays. These assays are key in aiding in the testing of COVID-19 and will aid South Carolina in meeting the COVID-19 testing demands.

    QIONG ZHANG

    qiongz@clemson.edu
    Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
    General research areas: Clinical trial design; spatial-temporal modeling
    Overview: My research expertise lies in statistical design and spatial-temporal modeling of observational data. Statistical design is potentially related to clinical trial design of treatment procedures for COVID-19. Spatial-temporal modeling is potentially related to analysis and prediction based on collected datasets (e.g., number of COVID-19 cases in different regions).