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University of Iowa medical anthropologists study the lived experiences of COVID-19 vaccine recipients
March 19, 2021
IOWA CITY—The public has learned much in the early months of 2021 about the medical efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. But what about how individual patients feel about their experiences receiving a vaccination, and how they talk about it with others?
Two University of Iowa medical anthropologists set out to study this humanistic side of the question, and the results may help public health advocates refine their approach to encouraging people to get vaccinated.
Dr. Emily Wentzell, associate professor of anthropology, and Dr. Ana-Monica Racila, a postdoctoral fellow in the UI Carver College of Medicine, have published their study in Vaccine. The journal is unique in publishing the highest quality science across all disciplines relevant to the field of vaccinology.
The paper, titled "The social experience of participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial: Subjects’ motivations, others’ concerns, and insights for vaccine promotion," reports on a study of 31 participants in the Iowa City site of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 clinical trial, led by Dr. Patricia Winkour at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. By focusing on the experiences of trial participants, the paper offers an early view of people’s lived experiences of potentially receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, Wentzell noted another important benefit of the project.
“This research demonstrates how productive collaboration between the liberal arts and medical sides of a university can be,” she said.
Wentzell’s and Racila’s research was funded by a grant from the UI’s Arts and Humanities Initiative. Wentzell joined the UI Department of Anthropology faculty in 2010, and is faculty director of the International Studies Program. Racila earned the PhD in medical anthropology from the UI in 2020.
About the article
"The social experience of participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial: Subjects’ motivations, others’ concerns, and insights for vaccine promotion," by Emily Wentzell, PhD, Ana-Monica Racila, PhD. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.03.036. It will be published in Vaccine, Volume XX (2021), published by Elsevier.
Where to get the article
Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's Newsroom at email@example.com or +31 20 485 2719.
Vaccine is the pre-eminent journal for those interested in vaccines and vaccination. It is the official journal of The Edward Jenner Society and The Japanese Society for Vaccinology and is published by Elsevier.
Nic Arp, CLAS Communications firstname.lastname@example.org[field_pillars]
NPR reviews "Elegy for Mary Turner: An Illustrated Account of a Lynching" by Rachel Marie-Crane Williams
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March 15, 2021
The National Science Foundation announced that two University of Iowa professors of computer science have been named recipients of CAREER grants, the NSF’s most prestigious research award for early-career faculty in the sciences. The highly competitive awards are given to scientists who show exceptional promise for a productive and innovative academic career that integrates education and research while advancing their discipline.
Garrett Morris and Kyle Rector, both assistant professors in the Department of Computer Science, will use their CAREER funding to advance projects that expand the boundaries of thought and possibility in their field.
Sara Sanders, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the awards are a sign of the UI’s strengths in computer science, as well as a harbinger of exciting times to come.
“Professor Morris and Professor Rector are outstanding researchers and educators, and the NSF's recognition of their work and of our computer science program is well deserved,” Sanders said. “Our younger faculty will one day be national and international leaders in their disciplines, and Dr. Morris’s and Dr. Rector’s CAREER awards show Iowa’s promise as a destination university in the years ahead.”
Morris’s and Rector’s projects—improving software and virtual reality, respectively—and the funding for them are vital. However, the NSF CAREER awards are about more than one project, recognizing Morris’s and Rector’s potential for academic excellence and leadership as their careers develop.
The NSF describes CAREER recipients as “junior faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.” Receiving the NSF CAREER award makes Morris and Rector eligible for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), awarded by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Garrett Morris joined the Iowa faculty in the fall of 2020. He focuses his research on the foundations of programming, or “how we construct programs and how we reason about them,” as he writes on his personal website. A co-director of the Computational Logic Center, Morris earned his PhD at Portland State University and completed a post-doctoral program at the University of Edinburgh before his appointment at Iowa.
Morris’s funded CAREER project is titled, “CAREER: Extensibility in Theory and Practice,” for which he has been awarded $524,616 over a five-year period. The study will investigate modularity and reuse in both high-level functional programs and low-level and systems programs.
Kyle Rector joined the faculty in 2016, after completing her PhD at the University of Washington. Her research specialty is human-computer interaction (HCI) and accessibility, with the goal of using computing technology to enhance quality of life for people with disabilities.
Rector’s study is titled, “CAREER: Supporting Interaction with Dynamic Virtual Reality Experiences for People with Visual Impairments.” The project will look at ways to help people with visual impairments understand and act on virtual reality environments that have moving targets, so that they can utilize VR in education, training, rehabilitation, tourism, and other domains. Rector was awarded $550,000 over five years for the study.
The Department of Computer Science is a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.[field_pillars]
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