Researchers share new insights and opportunities for collaboration at October’s COVID Information Commons Webinar

Eight scientists spoke with an enthusiastic community at the second COVID-19 Research Webinar organized by the COVID Information Commons on October 16, 2020. Presenters who shared their latest research findings regarding the current pandemic included Rachel Wu (University of California-Riverside), Sara Rampazzi (University of Michigan), Sarah Bowman (Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute), Samantha Penta (University at Albany), Murat Kantarcioglu (University of Texas at Dallas), Ali Rahnavard (George Washington University), Jeff Grann (Credential Engine), and Praveen Rao (University of Missouri-Columbia). The speakers covered a diverse scope of topics, including bridging the cognitive decline amongst older adults, developing wireless sensor technology to decontaminate n95 masks, defining data utility at the intersection of necessary COVID-19 information and data privacy, and leveraging molecular biology and genomics to understand the microscopic determinants and variable effects of COVID-19. 

Spanning from societal to molecular, each research topic addressed different aspects of the pandemic that have impacted communities in different ways. As each investigator articulated their set of goals for their research, they all shared a common goal to not only advance common knowledge on the pandemic but also to pose practical and deployable solutions for vulnerable populations, like the elderly and low-funded health facilities. Presenters invited attendees to collaborate on data analysis strategies and research advancements beyond the webinar. Samantha Penta, Assistant Professor at University at Albany and PI on RAPID Award “A Multi-Wave Study of Risk Perception, Information Seeking, and Protective Action in COVID-19,” specifically mentioned, “We are planning to publish all of the data (media and survey) long term using DesignSafe. In the near term, we have a big tent philosophy for the data analysis. We welcome collaborations with others on analysis of any of the data.” 

A recording of the October 16 event is available at the Northeast Big Data Hub’s YouTube channel as well as at The COVID Information Commons is an NSF-funded project brought to you by the Big Data Innovation Hubs, led by the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University. Our next COVID-19 Research Webinar will take place on Friday, November 13, 2020, from 1:00-2:00 pm ET. Learn more and register for the November webinar, sign up for the CIC mailing list, and join the CIC Slack channel to get notified on future events and opportunities to engage with the COVID Information Commons community.