In the News & Media

Our Epidemiology and Biostatistics faculty have been consulted as experts and are often featured in high-profile media outlets and Downstate press releases.

Emerging Issues: COVID-19


SUNY Distinguished Academy Logo

Epidemiology DrPH Student Ayanna Besson -– Was a featured panelist in the 2-hour inaugural webinar from the SUNY Distinguished Academy on Health and Wellness in the Age of COVID: A Call to Action for Higher Education on April 15, 2021, featuring Richard Rosenfeld as Emcee and Moderator, with addresses by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President, Wayne Riley, and presentations by T. Colin Campbell, Susan Benigas, and Sharon Brangman.


Dr. Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis has been serving on a multitude of institutional task forces and committees related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some examples:

Served as expert panelist in multiple discussions about the evolution of the coronavirus:

CoronavirusInterviewed by CosmosFM-NY (the largest Greek-American Radio station; hosted by Dr. P. Andreopoulou, an endocrinologist at Weill Cornell Medicine) on COVID-19:

Interviewed by ABC7 Eyewitness News on COVID-19:

TEDxAthens 2020 speaker on the COVID-19 pandemic


Photo of Vegetables

Dr. Elizabeth Helzner serves as the Chair of Downstate's  Committee on Plant-Based Health & Nutrition which promotes awareness of the health benefits of plant-based nutrition and finds ways to integrate plant-based health into resident training, medical student education, and the overall culture at SUNY Downstate. Her leadership contributes to the development of various partnerships and resources, such as the Food as Medicine Initiative for medical and public health students, as well as the collaboration with Plant-Powered Metro New York on developing the plant-based committee webinars. Below are some of the webinars as well as a link to the 2nd Annual Conference on Plant-Based Health and Nutrition:

Dr. Janet Rosenbaum – Evaluated an HIV intervention for alcohol-using Black young women, published in April 2021 in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 

Dr. Janet Rosenbaum – Evaluated approaches to syphilis contact tracing in her publication and invited to write a blog entry highlighting this research in October 2020.

Dr. Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis – Uncovered a hidden gene in the SARS-CoV-2 genome and investigated the virus’ evolutionary trajectory during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in a publication in eLife in October 2020.

Dr. Simone Reynolds – Led a seminar titled, "Epidemiology for Non-Epidemiologists" with DrPH student, Bianca Rivera at the 2018 APHA Meeting and Expo. 


Dr. Janet Rosenbaum -– Research entitled, "Educational and Criminal Justice Outcomes 12 Years After School Suspension" was ranked the 4th most cited paper in the Youth & Society Journal.

Photo of Alecia James

Epidemiology DrPH Student Alecia James – Won first prize in the student poster competition at a regional conference, UPSTAT 2021, of the American Statistical Association (ASA) for her study entitled "Child Abuse and Chronic Sleep Problems: Investigating the Mediating Role of Negative Affect – Findings from Midlife in the United States.” The research was a semester-long original research project in Dr. Janet Rosenbaum’s Epidemiology Research Methods II course. Click here to view the full announcement and here to view Ms. James' poster. 

Dr. Simone Reynolds -– Received the Excellence in Mentoring Award at the 4th Annual Dr. Dale Blackstock Awards Lecture and Ceremony on March 18th, 2021.

Spencer Foundation LogoDr. Janet Rosenbaum – Awarded a research dissemination grant from the Spencer Foundation in February 2021 to disseminate her Spencer-funded research finding that adolescents who are suspended from school for the first time have greater risk of STIs 5 years later and lower educational attainment and higher criminal justice involvement 12 years later, compared with similar adolescents who were never suspended. The dissemination grant pays MPH student Lydia Fu and her colleague at JAMA Emily Ling to create animations with the intent of changing state laws towards school suspension.