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Kent State Epidemiologist Answers Questions About Coronavirus

Picture of Tara Smith, Ph.D.
Tara Smith is a professor in the Kent State University College of Public Health.

Tara Smith, Ph.D.  is a professor of epidemiology at Kent State University where she studies emerging infectious diseases.

Dr. Smith’s research focuses on zoonotic infections, which are diseases that spread to humans from animals, like the novel coronavirus.

She was the first to identify antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus bacteria in livestock, and has authored several books on Streptococcus and Ebola pathogens.

Smith is an active science communicator and is frequently quoted in the New York Times, the Guardian Science, Nature, and Slate.

Tara Smith is a columnist at Self magazine and has been a science blogger for more than a decade.

Smith earned a B.S. in Biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Toledo. She completed post-doctoral work in molecular epidemiology at the University of Michigan and then began teaching in the department of epidemiology at the University of Iowa where she spent nine years. At Iowa she directed the College’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. She joined the faculty in the Kent State University College of Public Health in August 2013. 

A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.