Students gain the skills to respond to disease threats

Published on February 27, 2020

CPH Prof. Matt Nonnenmann poses with a student dressed in a hazmat suit.
Professor Matthew Nonnenmann with a student in his “Finding Patient Zero” class.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak grabs headlines around the globe, the University of Iowa College of Public Health is training students to investigate and prevent diseases and pandemic threats.

Students at Iowa are part of one of the nation’s leading public health research universities. They have access to dedicated faculty who are leading experts in their field, as well as cutting-edge technology and resources.

College of Public Health students also are examining the emergence of COVID-19 through their podcast From the Front Row. A special series on coronavirus includes student-led interviews with:

  • Tara C. Smith, professor of epidemiology at Kent State University, discussing background on the virus, facts about the outbreak, and the spread of fake science and misinformation that can commonly occur during outbreaks. Listen here.
  • Matthew Nonnenmann, assistant professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa, discussing exposure to the respiratory virus and steps people can take to reduce risk of exposure. Listen here.
  • Robert Niezgoda, a former local public health director and emergency manager and current PhD student at the University of Iowa, discussing outbreaks and epidemic preparedness and how to best combat misinformation from an agency’s perspective. Listen here.
  • John Drake, a research professor and population ecologist from the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, discussing modeling disease outbreaks and how to share scientific information in a fast moving outbreak. Listen here.

From studying diseases to educating communities and everywhere in between, Public Health is having an impact on our world. Our undergraduate public health program offers students the exciting opportunity to pursue a degree that prepares them for a rewarding career in keeping communities healthy and safe.

Germs growing on an agar plate in laboratoryLearn more about how Iowa students gain skills to make an impact in public health.