Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Academic experts available to discuss coronavirus

Northwestern University scholars can speak to medical, public health, economic angles and more

  • Created: February 27, 2020
  • Updated: March 26, 2020

The coronavirus epidemic, declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization, continues to spread around the globe, affecting governments, medical systems, businesses and individuals. 

Northwestern University experts are available to discuss the rippling impact of the virus. Medical experts from Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine can speak to the physical and mental health impacts of the virus, as well as the public health response. Faculty from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management can speak to the global economic impact. And University spokespeople are available to discuss Northwestern's response to the epidemic.

Read our media advisories for the latest commentary from the experts. Journalists looking for expert insight can connect with faculty directly using the contact information below, or reach out to media relations for assistance.

Interview the experts


Media advisories on coronavirus

Coronavirus research


Interview the experts

Virology and infectious diseases

robert murphy coronavirus expert2

Dr. Robert Murphy

Infectious disease and global health pandemic expert

(312) 503-9000

Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Feinberg , is well versed in the ever-evolving facts surrounding COVID-19, including physical symptoms, how it spreads, updates on potential treatments and vaccines, and how public health officials are managing the disease’s spread. As a global health expert, Murphy can speak about this epidemic and how it compares to previous disease outbreaks.

Headshot of Karla Satchell, who is working on a vaccine for COVID-19Karla Satchell, Ph.D.

Expert on the process and challenges of developing drugs to fight the virus

(312) 503-2162

Karla Satchell, professor of microbiology-immunology at Feinberg, leads a national team of scientists who are investigating the structure of the coronavirus to understand how to stop it from replicating in human cells. 

headshot of michael ison coronavirus expertDr. Michael Ison

Infectious diseases expert

(312) 695-4186

Michael Ison, professor of infectious diseases and organ transplantation at Feinberg and a Northwestern Medicine physician, can speak about the clinical side of the virus, including symptoms and the promise of potential treatments. As one of Northwestern's go-to influenza experts, Ison is well versed at speaking to media about the flu and other respiratory viruses.

wei zhang coronavirus pregnancy2Wei Zhang, Ph.D.

Studies coronavirus in pregnant women

(312) 503-1040

Wei Zhang, associate professor of preventive medicine at Feinberg, recently co-authored a study of nine pregnant women in Wuhan, China, that found no evidence that coronavirus can jump from mother to fetus in the womb. Based in Chicago, Zhang provided epidemiology and data interpretation for this study and is continuing to work with scientists in China to research COVID-19.

hartmann140Erica Hartmann, Ph.D.

Studies how microbial communities respond to human-made chemicals

(847) 467-4528

Erica Hartmann, an assistant professor of environmental engineering, studies microbiomes inside built environments. She can discuss how best to disinfect homes and workplaces to kill viruses but without unintentionally causing bacteria to develop antimicrobial resistance.

LoriPost171Lori Post

Expert on global health and health disparities  

Lori Post is the director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at the Institute for Public Health and Medicine and a professor of emergency medicine and medical social sciences and at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Post is an expert in global health and health disparities and can speak about potential disruptions to the food supply during the COVID-19 outbreak and if it’s safe to eat food handled by people who have tested positive for COVID-19. 


Mental health and isolation

catherine belling coronavirus anxiety3Catherine Belling, Ph.D.

Can discuss hypochondria and concerns about the virus

(312) 503-3215

Having written a book about the state of hypochondria in America, Catherine Belling, as associate professor of medical education at Feinberg, can discuss anxiety and how to decipher what might be hypochondria versus rational concern about the virus. Belling says the real issue with COVID-19 is the uncertainty surrounding the disease, which leads some people to panic while others underreact, become complacent and neglect to take the necessary precautions to be safe.

stewart shankman coronavirus anxiety2Stewart Shankman, Ph.D.

Expert on dealing with anxiety caused by the epidemic


Stewart Shankman, chief of psychology at Feinberg, can speak about coping mechanisms for anxiety related to the spread of a disease such as COVID-19, including deep breathing, exercise and not reading or researching too much about the epidemic. He said it’s important to strike a balance between being informed and catastrophizing.

2richard zinbarg coronavirus anxiety 1Richard Zinbarg

Expert on anxiety and treatment

(847) 467-2290

Richard Zinbarg, professor and chair of psychology, studies anxiety and treatments and can also speak about the tendency for people to think about mortality in the wake of extreme events.

phyllis zee sleep coronavirus covid20Dr. Phyllis Zee

Expert on how light affects sleep and overall health

(312) 908-8549

Dr. Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology and director of the Northwestern Medicine Sleep Disorders Center, studies the impact of sleep and light on overall health. She can provide advice on how to use sun and artificial light to improve mood, physical health, and general well-being, which can be especially helpful during periods of self-isolation due to coronavirus social distancing. 

judy moskowtiz coronavirus mental health2Judith Moskowitz, Ph.D.

Studies impact of emotions on health


Judith Moskowitz, professor of medical social sciences at Feinberg, studies how to increase positive emotion. She can discuss strategies to maintain positivity while in isolation.

andrea graham coronavirus isolation mental health2Andrea Graham, Ph.D.

Mobile/online health expert

(312) 503-5266

Andrea Graham, assistant professor of medical social sciences, studies the use of online and mobile technologies for medical treatment. She can discuss strategies to maintain positive mental health while in isolation.

alexandra solomon coronavirus relationships 1Alexandra Solomon

Relationship expert

(773) 805-0543

Alexandra Solomon, assistant clinical professor in Northwestern's Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program and a staff therapist at The Family Institute, teaches the course “Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101” and is the author of “Loving Bravely: Twenty Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want.” She can speak about the complications of working from home and being in constant contact with a spouse.

haase140Claudia Haase

Expert on emotions across the life span

Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of human development and social policy in the School of Education and Social Policy, studies emotions in individuals and couples across the life span. She can discuss ways we can deal with our own and others’ emotions amidst COVID-19. A special focus is on emotion regulation in older adults and educators and what we can and cannot control. 


Jon HaasJon Haas 

Expert on remote teaching for theater and music performance

Jon Haas is an academic advisory and music theatre lecturer at the School of Communication. Haas is available to speak about moving to remote teaching and learning and how remote learning is a good fit for some of the arts. 


Cindy GoldCindy Gold 

Expert on remote teaching for theater performance

Cindy Gold is a theatre professor at the School of Communication. Gold is available to speak on adjustments being made to theatre classes now being taught remotely and how remote learning is a good fit for some classes.


maryann masonMaryann Mason  

Expert on environmental, cultural, institutional and social influences on health

Maryann Mason is an associate professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and leads violence and injury research at Feinberg’s Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at the Institute for Public Health. She is available to speak on the dangers of firearm ownership when combined with social isolation and provide tips on how to minimize risk during this period of coronavirus-related social distancing. 


Thompson Leigh 101716Leigh Thompson 

Expert on virtual business communication

Leigh Thompson is the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations in the Kellogg School of Management and an adjunct professor of psychology. She is available to speak on the common issues that come up with virtual communication between colleagues, peers, bosses and customers. 


Business and economics

phillip braun coronavirus economy stock markets2Phillip Braun

Can address the economic impact on business and stock markets

(847) 467-4563

Phillip Braun, clinical professor of finance at Kellogg, specializes in emerging market economies and financial markets. He can discuss the impact of the epidemic on business, stock markets and the global economy.

Sunil Chopra coronavirus covid19 economic impact2Sunil Chopra

Can discuss the impact on supply chain and distribution networks

(847) 491-8169

Sunil Chopra, the IBM Distinguished Professor of Operations Management at Kellogg, is an expert in operations management, logistics and distribution networks and is able to discuss how coronavirus might impact the global supply chain.

Jorg Spenkuch coronavirus covid19 crisis management business expert2Jorg Spenkuch

Crisis management expert

(847) 467-0921

Jorg Spenkuch, associate professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at Kellogg, is an expert in strategic crisis management for businesses. He helps business leaders develop decision protocols and procedures for crises, including pandemic.

nicholas pearce coronavirus company leadership 2Nicholas Pearce

Expert on values-driven leadership

(847) 467-3468

Nicholas Pearce, clinical associate professor of management and organizations at Kellogg, studies leadership and is the author of "The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life's Work." He can speak about how leaders should balance profits and values as they lead their companies through crisis.

shumate140Michelle Shumate

Expert on interorganizational networks

Michelle Shumate, professor of communications studies in the School of Communication, is a leading researcher on interorganizational networks who can speak to interagency collaboration and response. For 15 years, she’s researched how organizations can work together to respond to social issues.

smilowitz140Karen Smilowitz

Expert on humanitarian logistics


Karen Smilowitz, the James N. and Margie M. Krebs Professor in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, studies how pressure on the food supply chain could impact those who need supplies the most, including public school students and those who rely on food banks.

mcadams dan psychologyDan P. McAdams 

Expert on human development and social policy 

Dan P. McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and professor of human development and social policy at the School of Education and Social Policy and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He is available to speak to media about President Donald Trump's behavior and response in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. 

McCareins Mark 19 0117Mark McCareins  

Expert on business law

Mark McCareins is a clinical professor of business law in the strategy department and co-director of the JD/MBA program at Kellogg. McCareins is available to speak with media on consumer contracts and care.   


University response

jon yates coronavirus university response2Jon Yates

Primary contact on Northwestern University's on-campus response

(847) 491-4892

Jon Yates, director of media relations at Northwestern University, will handle any questions about the university's response and preparations. University coronavirus statements and response plans also are available online.