Columbia Public Health Now Podcast

Where people live and work, what they eat, how much they exercise (or don't)-- these factors all contribute enormously to the health of populations. So does policy, access to healthcare, and much more. Columbia Public Health Now asks Columbia faculty to weigh in on the public health challenges of today and consider their implications for the health and well-being of populations around the world.

This spring, we are exploring the novel coronavirus. COVID-19's global spread is without historical precedent, touching on all aspects of society. Join us as we attempt to unravel some of the mystery around this virus and its many impacts on individuals and communities both local and global.


Season 1

Listen here, on SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunesBreaker, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, and more platforms to come.


May 18, 2020

As we conclude the first season, we reflect on the original question we asked in Episode 1: So, how did we get here? Epidemiologist Dr. Simon Anthony discusses rumored origins of COVID-19, the risks of virus spillovers from wildlife to our lives, and what we can learn from the military about preparing for pandemics.

Episode 10 Transcript

EPISODE 9: The Dangerous Stories We Tell

April 29, 2020

Infectious disease ecologist, Dr. Michaela Martinez, challenges some of the news coverage around COVID-19, commenting on what is known, and not known, about the seasonality of the virus; potential immunity for survivors; and the limits of comparing COVID-19 to the 1918 epidemic.

Episode 9 Transcript

EPISODE 8: Underestimating Mother Nature

April 22, 2020

Plant physiologist, Dr. Lewis Ziska, explains the intersection of climate change, food systems, and public health - and their relationship to COVID-19.

Episode 8 Transcript

EPISODE 7: The Consequences of Piecemeal Responses

April 13, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey Shaman discusses his team's projections on the impact of social distancing and other strategies in limiting the spread of coronavirus infections. The models offer insights that are informing policy decisions and could point the way to a sound—and safe—COVID-19 exit-strategy.

Episode 7 Transcript 

EPISODE 6: Us vs. them: the danger of blame

April 8, 2020

Dr. Robert Fullilove explores the historical intersection of stigma, blame and pandemics and the public health importance of staying rationally engaged even during this time of information overload.

Episode 6 Transcript 

EPISODE 5: The invisible toll of the PANDEMIC

April 1, 2020

Dr. Diana Hernandez, a keen observer of the burden of health inequity on the poor and working class, explores how those communities are particularly impacted by the pandemic.

Episode 5 Transcript 


March 24, 2020

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a veteran of the HIV, tuberculosis and Ebola epidemics of the past decades, provides some perspective on the lessons learned from previous outbreaks and how knowledge is our greatest defense.

Episode 4 Transcript 


March 19, 2020

Famed “virus hunter” Dr. W. Ian Lipkin answers your questions about what a virus is, where did COVID-19 come from, and what’s on the horizon for potential treatments.

Episode 3 Transcript 


March 17, 2020

Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology and director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program, discusses approaches to control the spread of COVID-19 and contain the virus.

Episode 2 Transcript 


March 13, 2020

Dr. Stephen Morse professor of epidemiology and director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program is a globally recognized infectious disease expert who walks us through what we know so far about the origin of COVID-19.

Episode 1 Transcript 

Our Host 

Maria Andriella O'BrienMaria Andriella O’Brien is deputy chief of staff at Columbia Mailman's School of Public Health. She received both her MBA and MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University.



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