COVID-19 lab promotes research collaboration


Ahmed A. Alobaydullah, MS, presenting at 2021 Research!LouisvilleA team of public health students have been investigating how people respond to vaccination and other COVID-19 protective measures since Spring 2020. This COVID-19 Lab, led by Scott LaJoie, PhD, MSPH, associate professor, Dept. of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences (HPBS), has created a supportive academic environment for HPBS doctoral students Ahmed Alobaydullah, MS, Denise Thomas, M.Ed., MA, and Chandre Chaney, MPH, doctoral candidate Raphael Fumey, and undergraduate student Anna Simpson.

The Lab’s primary focus was on COVID-19 behavioral decision making; however, each study examined different populations, behaviors, and theoretical frameworks. Describing their research, Denise said, “During the past two years I have worked with a team of mentors and peers on a series of research studies to identify knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that are predictors of [COVID-19] vaccine uptake in populations in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.”

Ahmed explained how the COVID-19 Lab has aided his research: “Since day one, I have worked with my lab mates and Dr. LaJoie to refine my research design and implementation. I also was involved with my lab mates’ interesting research projects, which added to my researcher toolbox... and broadened my perspective on pandemic behavior.”

“Ahmed, Denise, Raphael, Anna, and Chandre bring so much energy and enthusiasm to researching the social, cultural and behavioral responses to the pandemic. While Covid-19 has brought sadness and anxiety, it’s also given us an opportunity to do important work and gain valuable experiences. I’m thrilled with the efforts by all of these great people,” said Dr. LaJoie.

Lab members have presented at a variety of conferences, including the American Public Health Association annual meeting, Research!Louisville, the University of Louisville Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting. Denise and Ahmed were featured as part of the SPHIS SGA Public Health Seminar Series. In April, they will present in Baltimore during the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions

Learn more about their research:

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