Harvard Chan experts featured in year’s top stories in Harvard Magazine, Harvard Gazette

Experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health were featured in some of the top stories of 2020 in both Harvard Magazine and the Harvard Gazette.

Harvard Magazine listed its top stories in a December 10, 2020, article. Those featuring Harvard Chan School experts included:

Cooperating to Combat Coronavirus. Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics (CCDD), was among researchers quoted about a collaboration between Harvard University scientists and Chinese researchers to learn more about the biology of the coronavirus and to develop new diagnostics and therapies.

Failing the Coronavirus-Testing Test. Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology and a CCDD faculty member, told Harvard Magazine that America’s system for coronavirus testing “is flailing, with raging outbreaks occurring.” He said the country needs rapid tests that are widely deployed so that infectious individuals can self-identify, isolate, and break the chain of transmission.

Healthy Plate, Healthy Planet. In this profile, Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition, discussed how climate change is affecting the nutritional value of food and contributes to epidemics of obesity and undernutrition. The article also highlighted Hu’s work on the Healthy Eating Plate and his research on how genetic and environmental factors relate to obesity.

COVID-19 May Be Much More Contagious Than We Thought. Three Harvard Chan School epidemiologists—Mina, Lipsitch, and Caroline Buckee, associate professor of epidemiology and CCDD associate director—discussed an indicator called R nought (R0) that shows how many other people one person with COVID-19 can infect.

A December 18, 2020, article listed the Harvard Gazette’s top articles of the year. Two featured the Chan School’s Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology:

Feeling more anxious and stressed? You’re not alone. Koenen discussed rising mental health concerns in the coronavirus era.

What will the new post-pandemic normal look like? Commenting on the pandemic’s mental health impacts, Koenen said that disruptions to regular milestones such as graduations and marriages, as well as the loss of jobs, created ongoing uncertainty that “takes a big toll.” She expressed concern that anxiety, depression, and homelessness could rise among younger Americans.

Read the Harvard Magazine article: At Home with Harvard: Our Most Popular Stories of 2020

Read the Harvard Gazette article: Top Gazette stories of 2020