Seminar Series
May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global public health crisis and poses unprecedented challenges to the national health and lives of our residents. This week, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics held a seminar series on the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and the State of Maryland. The seminar series featured presentations delivered by frontline public health experts and epidemiologists.

Double Jeopardy: COVID-19 in the US and Latino Communities

First in the series was a presentation from Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras. 

Epidemiology Professor Carter-Pokras has been a health disparities researcher for three decades. She has published 74 peer-reviewed journal articles (cited over 5100 times), and her research has played a critical role in national recognition of health disparities experienced by Latinos.

Carter-Pokras lectures on infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, epidemiologic methods, cultural competency and health disparities to public health students and health professionals. 

Watch a recording of the seminar below.


Building a Rapid Response: Lessons Learned from an Ongoing Pandemic of COVID-19

Second in the epidemiology seminar series was a presentation from Dr. Travis Gayles and Dr. Chunfu Liu. 

Dr. Travis Gayles is the health officer and chief of public health services for Montgomery County, Maryland. He is the former chief medical officer of the DC Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA) and Chief for the Division of STD-TB Control.

Dr. Liu is a senior epidemiologist with more than two decades of experience in public health and currently the chief epidemiologist with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. He leads a team of researchers, epidemiologists and biostatisticians to support public health functions. 


Modeling the Epidemic of COVID-19 in Maryland: Does Social Distancing Work?

Third in the series was a presentation from Dr. Hongjie Liu, professor and chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics. 

Dr. Liu’s research focuses on social and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS and research methodology. In the past five years, his research projects mainly covered social and risk networks for HIV infection, stigma, text messaging in intervention delivery, survey methodology and advanced analytical techniques.