LSU Experts on COVID-19

From people to labs, LSU has broad research capability to help address and understand COVID-19.

Responding to—and preventing—a global crisis like COVID-19 requires expertise in fundamental research, and just as importantly, the ability to translate that knowledge into effective practice. Across campus, LSU has renowned research expertise in coronavirus, virus transmission, vaccine and antiviral development, respiratory disease, the use of artificial intelligence in designing and developing new antivirals, and a decades-long history of training first responders around the globe in regards to biological threats.

LSU brings the entirety of its knowledge to bear on this public health challenge. Our collaborative goal is to have a human vaccine, antiviral, or therapeutic ready for testing in months.

Our Experts

Jim Richardson, Harris J. and Marie P. Chustz Endowed Professorship, Department of Public Administration, Department of Economics

How COVID-19 is impacting the economy.


Dek Terrell, Economics & Policy Research Group executive director and Department of Economics professor

Economic impacts of the coronavirus and recovery from the pandemic relative to hurricanes such as Hurricane Katrina.

Heather Kirk Ballard, LSU AgCenter and the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences assistant professor

She is a consumer horticulturist and has been fielding requests about the surge of interest in home gardening during the stay at home order.


Sandra May, LSU AgCenter and School of Nutrition and Food Sciences instructor.

She is a registered dietitian and has developed content on emergency food supply, stretching food supply between grocery visits, hypertension and the link to COVID-19


Wenqing Xu, LSU AgCenter and School of Nutrition and Food Sciences assistant professor 

Food safety and microbiology. She has compiled fact sheets on grocery store safety and food takeout, videos on proper disinfecting and has been fielding media requests on those topics.

Anna Long, Department of Psychology assistant professor

Child psychology, mental health and resilience in times of crises as well as in school settings. Wrote the Helping Kids Cope with COVID-19 information sheet for parents, teachers and caregivers.


Raymond Tucker, Department of Psychology assistant professor

Potential impact of COVID-19 on suicide rates; the impact of physical and social distancing on mental health as well as ways to cope given this change; and the impact of uncertainty on mental health and ways to cope with uncertain times.


Don Zhang, Department of Psychology assistant professor

Risk perception and decision making; personality and the effect of social isolation.

Troy Blanchard, College of Humanities & Social Sciences dean and Department of Sociology professor

Social impacts of the pandemic and how it is affecting the trust, social capital and faith garnered from religion and churches in the midst of the stay-at-home orders.


Lori Martin, Department of Sociology and Department of African and African American Studies professor

Persistent racial and economic disparities and how historic inequality has led to Black people being at greater risk of negative impacts during crises such as the pandemic.


Michael Pasquier, Religious Studies and History associate professor and LSU Center for Collaborative Knowledge director

How the pandemic and physical distancing is impacting culture and religion, especially in Louisiana.


Tim Slack, Department of Sociology professor

Impacts of the pandemic on people across the economic spectrum including low-income workers and the service sector as well as differences between how rural, small towns and large, urban cities are being impacted. 

Joel Baines, Dean of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM)

Mechanisms responsible for virus replication, including coronaviruses.


Michal Brylinski, Department of Biological Sciences associate professor, joint position in the LSU Center of Computation & Technology (CCT); member of the LSU DeepDrug team and semifinalist for the IBM AI X-PRIZE

Design and development of novel antimicrobials and antivirals for infectious threats; using machine learning to synthesize new drugs (or repurpose approved drugs) based on predicted efficacy, toxicity, and side effects.


Rebecca Christofferson, Department of Pathobiological Sciences assistant professor 

Transmission biology (how the virus spreads); potential impacts of high rates of silent transmission.


Stephania Cormier, Professor in both the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM); Director of the LSU Superfund Research Center

Impact of age in respiratory tract viral infection severity and respiratory disease.


Samithamby (Jey) Jeyaseelan, Department of Pathobiological Sciences professor; Director, of the NIH-funded Lung Biology Center (a Center for Biomedical Research Excellence, COBRE)

Accelerated pathways to vaccine development, including human and animal coronavirus.


Konstantin (Gus) Kousoulas, Head of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences; Director of the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (BioMMED); Director of the National Institutes of Health, NIH-funded Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research; Director of the NIH-funded Louisiana Biomedical Research Network

Vaccine and antiviral development and testing.


Supratik Mukhopadhyay, Division of Computer Science & Engineering associate professor; member of the LSU DeepDrug team and semifinalist for the IBM AI X-PRIZE

Design and development of novel antimicrobials and antivirals for infectious threats; using machine learning to synthesize new drugs (or repurpose approved drugs) based on predicted efficacy, toxicity, and side effects.

Tracey Rizzuto, School of Leadership and Human Resource Development associate director

Workplace disaster recovery; technology and workplace issues including how working remotely is impacting workers and employers.

Rachel Williamson Smith, Industrial and Organizational Psychology Area Head and Department of Psychology assistant professor

Work-family balance, boundary management between work and non-work, employee well-being including managing stress in situations such as this pandemic.

LSU Links

LSU COVID-19 Updates & Information

LSU Travel Policy

Sponsor Guidance Related to COVID-19

External Resources




US Chamber Small Business Guide

Contact Us

Please contact us at if you have any unanswered questions or have specific research needs relating to COVID-19 and campus closure.