Stevens researchers are tackling a few of the many challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of their efforts are detailed below.

Research Awards 

  • Dr. Chihoon Lee received a sub-award from the University of North Carolina for a National Institute of Health (NIH) R15 #PAR-18-714 award titled, “Novel Epidemiological Models for COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics.”

COVID-19 Inspired Research & Innovation

  • Dr. Dilhan Kalyon has developed a method for the fabrication of functionally-graded membrane layers or “nanobursa meshes” for novel respirators that would provide more effective protection against SARS-CoV-2. The novel membrane “nanobursa meshes” potentially contains different and complementary anti-viral modalities for more effective protection against virus transmission. The novel manufacturing technique is an industrially-relevant hybrid twin screw extrusion and electrospinning process that has been already demonstrated in the areas of fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds and catalytic meshes at Stevens. Read more.
  • Dr. Carrie Perlman is working on two projects. The first is a lower-cost ventilator system that would allow one or more patients to utilize a single ventilator while maintaining individualized patient settings. Dr. Perlman is also developing a method to reduce the impact of ventilators on creating stress to the lungs, known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The second innovation utilizes a non-toxic red dye to lower surface-tension in the lungs to protect lung tissues from over-stretching and breaking during ventilator treatment. Read more.
  • Dr. Jinho Kim has been working on lung regeneration research for the past 10 years. His work uses tissue engineering on donor lungs that have been rejected for use in transplants to improve the quality of the lung and to increase the number of available donor lungs. Read more.
  • The Stevens Venture Center held Covid-19 Healthhack I and II, a pair of hackathons  drawing more than 200 participants. Healthhack I had over 100 participants representing 40 universities and corporations, producing four winners, one in the category of Community Health, one in Drug Discovery and two in Healthcare Oriented. Healthhack II focused on solutions to help people safely return to the new normal. The hackathons were  covered by national media, including INC. Read more.
  • Drs. Jose Ramirez-Marquez and Carlo Lipizzi are working with UNICEF to study the effects of stay-at-home policies on child violence. They co-published new research findings with the organization in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect in September.
  • Dr. Mehmet Gunes is using his expertise in computer networks and privacy-preserving contact tracing to curate Covid-19 data and employ mathematical models to estimate the projections of infection spread at the state and country level. Previously, he modeled the 2014 Ebola outbreak and provided forecasts of infection spread to the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, which were used to determine hot spots in three countries and guide intervention efforts to stop the outbreak.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Nickerson is evaluating how work during a pandemic is different; quarantine, social distancing, transportation changes and supply chain shocks change current job descriptions and generate new ones. This research also contemplates more generally how the dislocating effects of pandemics may change the nature of work and what kinds of jobs may be important during and after this pandemic.
  • Dr. Gary Lynn is evaluating the impact on hospitals as they face the challenges and opportunities resulting from the pandemic. His recent research involves identifying best-in-innovation hospitals when implementing various programs, with a focus on telemedicine, hospital equipment, drug and blood inventory tracking, population health and reducing hospital-acquired infections. The aim is to offer a roadmap for hospitals wondering if these innovations are appropriate for them.The research helps hospitals quantify the implementation and maintenance costs of these innovations and estimate the return on investment payoff and it outlines the workflow leadership implications.
  • Dr. Wei Zheng is studying how leaders demonstrate inclusiveness during a crisis.  An individual’s adaptive responses in disruptive times can be significantly influenced by their work environment, especially by their direct supervisors. Inclusiveness demonstrated by one’s direct supervisors can be an important source of support for individual’s well-being and workplace outcomes.
  • School of Business Dean Gregory Prastacos and business professor Peter Dominick examine how corporate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are shaped by an organization’s espoused values. This research addresses the questions a) To what extent do GPW companies emphasize their core values in COVID-19 related crisis communication and in what ways? and b) What kinds of values do GPW companies stress in their COVID-19-related crisis communication?
  • Dr. Woo Lee is currently utilizing a lung organoid co-culture model to study infection and response (including immune cell interactions). If they pursue this study, they will need to collaborate with an external high-level containment lab.
  • A group of undergraduate students in the School of Systems & Enterprises is looking at the evolution of communication from the mayors of Hoboken and New York City and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Publications

Pandemic-Inspired Community Service by Stevens