The webinar series “Humanity and Health” serves as a focus for research and reflection about the social, economic, psychological, educational, and public health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These webinar events, which are free and open to the public, are hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and are co-sponsored with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Hudson College of Public Health, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OU Health Sciences), and the OU Arts and Humanities Forum.
The University of Oklahoma Sewage Surveillance Team emerged as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide an early warning system to disease surges at OU dorms, and swiftly expanded to neighborhoods and communities across the state of Oklahoma. Recipients of OU’s Vice President for Research and Partnerships Award for Excellence in Transdisciplinary, Convergent Research (2022), as well as significant funding from e.g., the Rockefeller Foundation, the team includes researchers from both OU Norman and OU-HSC in engineering, microbiology, public health, epidemiology, and urban planning. Together they have developed cutting-edge innovations in sampling, laboratory methods, epidemiological analysis, and public-health communication. Their research is able to provide a 5-10 day lead time for COVID-19 cases, and has recently expanded to include SARS-CoV-2 variant and subvariant detection, along with surveillance of seven additional infectious diseases, and most recently illicit drugs, in wastewater.