Science and Research

U of M researchers find that losartan is not effective in reducing COVID-19 lung injuries

The University research team — which included Division of Biostatistics researchers Joseph Koopmeiners, Thomas Murray, and Helen Voelker — found that the blood pressure medication did not protect the lungs of patients admitted with COVID-19, and had no effect on mortality. 

University of Minnesota study tests wildlife for SARS-CoV-2 virus

Professor Jeff Bender led a study team that found only white-tailed deer tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and there is currently no evidence the virus can be transmitted to people through handling or eating wild deer.

Limited social media engagement may have caused older adults to miss out on resources and support early in the pandemic

The study led by researcher Jude Mikal showed older adults are not participating in the most popular groups and pages or staying on social media sites long enough to see the most important pandemic information shared.

People use Facebook as an emergency communication system during pandemic

Researcher Jude Mikal found that in the first weeks of the pandemic Facebook users shared helpful details, spread misinformation, and even created a call-out culture to police social distancing behavior.

Study of NYC vaccination rates proves validity of new structural racism measurement tool

The study led by PhD student Bert Chantarat showed that using the Multidimensional Measure of Structural Racism tool to analyze COVID-19 vaccination rates in New York City provides increased insight into the root cause of health inequities.

Study identifies racial/ethnic and language inequities in ways patients obtain COVID-19 virus testing

The study led by MD/MPH student Rohan Khazanchi found racial, health, and language differences in who initiated testing through telehealth services versus the emergency department.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been linked with six unhealthy eating behaviors

A University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health study shows a slight increase in eating disorders, one of the deadliest psychiatric health concerns.

New system connects patients with COVID-19 outpatient treatments

Researcher JP Leider led the development of a system designed to quickly and fairly connect patients and providers with facilities offering monoclonal antibodies and other treatments. (JP Leider)

Finding better ways to detect and measure infectious viruses in the air

A study led by Professor Peter Raynor found that a two-sampler approach may be necessary to detect viruses and accurately measure their concentrations. (Peter Raynor)

Studying how stress from COVID-19 affects healthcare workers

Associate Professor Ryan Demmer is co-leading the study with the School of Nursing to help healthcare systems determine how to best support the health and well-being of employees during the COVID-19 crisis. (Ryan Demmer)

Study counts COVID-19 pediatric hospitalization cases to help states prepare for future

Research by PhD student Zachary Levin showed that some states have seen COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations increase by as much as 5,000%. (Zachary Levin)

Online tool calculates risk of COVID-19 infections for small gatherings — and their snowball effect

The tool developed by Associate Professor Eva Enns uses key data, such as group size, to predict how many new infections and hospitalizations gatherings could trigger in the state.

Measuring coronavirus infection among MN grocery store workers

Professor Craig Hedberg is recruiting 1,000 Minnesota grocery store workers for a study to see if they have antibodies for the virus causing COVID-19.

Vaccine trials ensure they are safe and effective

Professor Joseph Koopmeiners explains how the typical three-phase clinical trial works and the ways researchers and the FDA are safely speeding up the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Emerging adults are struggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lead researcher Nicole Larson says the study results reveal a need to expand food assistance benefits for people ages 18-26 years old, reduce barriers to safely purchasing healthy foods, and other measures.

New NIH clinical trial run by the School of Public Health tests a combination of drugs to treat COVID-19

Professor Jim Neaton and the school’s Coordinating Centers for Biometric Research are running a trial to test a COVID-19 treatment that combines a highly concentrated solution of antibodies with the drug remdesivir.

Ensuring vulnerable college students have enough to eat, especially during COVID-19

A new paper highlights findings from a review of federal bills addressing food insecurity among college students and points to a need to update SNAP eligibility requirements, communication, outreach, and technical assistance to better serve today’s college students.

Evaluating changes in food insecurity, stress, and weight-related behaviors among mothers during pandemic

The findings of the study by PhD students Jessica Friedman and Junia N. de Brito will help clinicians and policymakers improve their understanding of how the pandemic is affecting the health of mothers and connect women and their families with community resources and support.

Can a new treatment thwart COVID-19?

A global clinical trial in hospitalized patients is looking for answers.

Measuring SARS-CoV-2 infection among a sample of symptom-free Twin Cities health care workers

The results of the study led by Associate Professor Ryan Demmer suggest that the prevalence of active infection at any single point in time is potentially low among health care workers without symptoms.

Surveying social interactions during the pandemic

Professor Shalini Kulasingam is leading a survey of Minnesotans to learn about their daily social contact patterns during the outbreak. The data from the study will be incorporated into one of the models used by the State to plan its response to the pandemic.

Air pollution in the U.S. declines during the COVID-19 pandemic

The pollution study by Assistant Professor Jesse Berman showed that nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter levels in the U.S. dropped during March and April compared to the same months in previous years.

Nursing home residents from communities of color experience a lower quality of life. COVID-19 could make it worse.

The findings of a new study led by Associate Professor Tetyana Shippee reveal the need to improve the care of racial/ethnic minority residents — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommendations to eliminate COVID-19 racial and ethnic disparities in long-term care facilities

Associate Professor Tetyana Shippee led a study that recommends improving COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment access, and other measures in facilities with high proportions of minorities.

Can a common blood pressure medication be used to treat COVID-19 patients?

School of Public Health and Medical School researchers are conducting two new studies to see if losartan can protect the lungs of COVID-19 patients.

18.4 million Americans could face disruptions and potential loss of health insurance due to pandemic

The health insurance levels were calculated using the new University of Minnesota COVID-19 Health Insurance Model developed by Professor Lynn Blewett and Associate Professor Ezra Golberstein.

New resource helps Somali grocery stores teach community about COVID-19

SPH Professor Alan Lifson and Assistant Extension Professor Serdar Mamedov partnered to create health information guidelines to be shared with store owners, employees, and shoppers alike.

Old drug, new use: Can hydroxychloroquine work against COVID-19?

Some doctors treating COVID-19 patients have used hydroxychloroquine as a last ditch attempt to save lives. But does it work? A School of Public Health and Medical School partnership is investigating.

SPH team creates COVID-19 info sheets and video for Hennepin County Jail

Affiliate Assistant Professor Rebecca Shlafer led students Karmen Dippmann, Carly Edson, and Rachael Mills in the project to replace fear with facts among people incarcerated in the jail.

Rapid deployment of school-based mental health providers during the COVID-19 crisis

Assistant Professor Susan Mason is leading a study involving school-based mental health providers to test strategies for protecting children’s academic engagement and parent-child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Minnesotans stay home, risk of domestic and sexual violence grows

Associate Professor Ruby Nguyen is co-leading a study investigating how best to provide sexual and intimate partner/domestic violence services in Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modeling COVID-19 for Minnesota

The School of Public Health is modeling the spread and impact of COVID-19 in Minnesota to help the state avoid worst case scenarios.

Study to identify how common COVID-19 virus is among health care workers without symptoms

Associate Professor Ryan Demmer is leading a study to test 500 health care workers without symptoms of COVID-19 to see what proportion of them are actually infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the illness.

Do stress and other factors affect how well people comply with social distancing?

A study led by Assistant Professor Gillian Tarr and Associate Professor Marizen Ramirez is surveying families and older adults to identify key factors that may affect how much people adhere to social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can social media help people be happier, healthier, and well informed during COVID-19?

Researcher Jude Mikal is examining whether social media can be leveraged by users to exchange helpful information and resources, and provide beneficial socio-emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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