Collage of New York Tech faculty


Experts Available to Discuss Coronavirus Impact

March 17, 2020

Pictured: Top row, from left: Brian Harper, Liat Jarkon, Carl Abraham. Bottom row, from left: Bryan Gibb, Rajendram Rajnarayanan, and Colleen Kirk.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has altered global health care and daily living unlike any other infectious disease seen in our lifetime. It’s also brought an outbreak of misinformation. New York Institute of Technology’s medical experts, scientists, and researchers can serve as objective sources on the evolving situation.

The following New York Tech physicians, scientists, and researchers are available for comment.

For media inquiries related to the university’s coronavirus response, please visit or contact

Medical Experts:

  • Public health expert Brian Harper, M.D., chief medical officer at New York Tech’s Academic Health Care Centers, recently shared his expertise in Newsday’s coverage of COVID-19. In articles that appeared on February 24 and March 4 (a subscription is required to view stories), Harper, a former Suffolk County Health Commissioner, addresses common COVID-19 concerns and misconceptions, including insight on remaining healthy, testing, and surgical masks.
  • Psychiatrist Liat Jarkon, D.O., director of the Center for Behavioral Health and associate professor of family medicine at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, has sparked efforts to speak more openly about mental health, increase awareness for mental health conditions, decrease stigma, and advocacy for improved mental health insurance coverage. As anxiety rises due to coronavirus concerns, cancellations, and a temporary “new normal,” Jarkon may provide guidance to promote mental health well-being.
  • Infectious disease expert Carl Abraham, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at NYITCOM-Arkansas, published an op-ed in Arkansas Business on the importance of social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In his commentary, Abraham explains the need to respond to this coronavirus and why all Americans play a role in mitigating its transmission.

Biology Experts:

  • Microbiology expert Bryan Gibb, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological and chemical sciences, recently gave a lecture to the campus community on SARS-CoV-2: the virus responsible for COVID-19. In his powerful discussion, Gibb shared global and U.S.-based epidemiological trends, compared the disease to other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS), discussed progress towards treatment and a vaccine, and shared projections on fatality rate.
  • Computational biology expert Rajendram Rajnarayanan, Ph.D., assistant dean of research and associate professor of basic sciences at NYITCOM-Arkansas, has completed virtual drug discovery research on the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of the early 2000s. Through computational modeling, his 2004 study centered on the potential for old drugs to target the coronavirus’s main enzyme responsible for breaking proteins down into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids, an essential process for the spread of the SARS coronavirus.

Behavioral Experts:

  • Consumer behavior expert Colleen Kirk, M.B.A., D.P.S., associate professor of marketing, has published research and commented widely on territorial shopping behaviors and psychological ownership of products, including an op-ed that appeared in Harvard Business Review. As shoppers clear grocery store shelves and incite national toilet paper shortages, Kirk’s expertise is available to lend rational insight on consumer psychology.

Managing Remote Employees:

  • Human resources expert Rakesh Mittal, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Resource Studies, specializes in the field of management. Mittal has researched and published findings on work-life balance and is available to explain how working from home, a situation millions of Americans are now faced with, can impact employee productivity.

Supply Chain Experts:

  • Temporary shortages of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and protective gear have made the headlines in recent weeks, demonstrating COVID-19’s impact on both national and regional supply chains.Supply chain and business analytics expert Purushottam Meena, Ph.D., associate professor of operations management, recently shared his insight with City & State New York.