Rollins Faculty Author Two COVID-Related Commentaries in High-Impact Journal

March 18, 2022

By Kelly Jordan

The March 10 issue of Science features two separate commentaries authored by Rollins faculty on topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both commentaries add to a growing body of literature authored by Rollins faculty during the pandemic (many of which can be accessed here and here).  

Rollins faculty Ben Lopman, PhD, and Natalie Dean, PhD, were authors on, “The changing epidemiology of SARS-COV-2,” which takes a retrospective look at the global response to and growing understanding of SARS-COV-2 over the course of the pandemic. The authors looked specifically at the critical role that mathematical modeling and quantitative analyses of empirical data have played—and continue to play—in the understanding and containment of this virus and its various mutations. Katia Koelle, PhD, with Emory University’s Department of Biology was corresponding author on the article. Michael A. Martin, PhD, and Rustom Antia, PhD, both with Emory’s Department of Biology were also authors on the piece.

Dean was also lead author on a perspective article published in the same issue titled, “Protecting the herd with vaccination,” which examines the findings of two recent studies published in Science and their implications regarding vaccination’s role in protecting unvaccinated and immunocompromised populations. The authors describe how the level of indirect protection vaccines confer is a moving target, reflecting new variants, waning boosters, and our evolving daily lives. M. Elizabeth Halloran, MD, DSc, with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was co-author on the article.

The authors write, “Notably, indirect protection is not all or nothing but rather incrementally increases with each newly immunized person. Ensuring our communities are well vaccinated is a major priority as SARS-CoV-2 becomes endemic.”