Skip to main content
Outside of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center. Photo by Joseph Spencer.
Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

Government and health officials having to make impactful decisions related to combating the COVID-19 virus have on-demand resources from an interdisciplinary research team anchored by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

UT researchers in public health, economics, public policy, agriculture, and veterinary medicine have created Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) to provide evidence-based information in response to questions from policy makers, industry leaders, and the public in Tennessee.

“Our goal is to fill the growing need for timely evidence-based policy recommendations in Tennessee,” said Matthew Murray, director of the Baker Center and associate director of UT’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research. “We hope to be able to respond quickly and in practical language to address specific questions and issues confronting public health departments, elected officials, and business organizations.”

Along with Murray, the CORE-19 steering committee includes Kathleen Brown, associate professor of practice in public health; Katie Cahill, associate director of the Baker Center; Kristina Kintziger, assistant professor of public health; Agricola Odoi, professor of epidemiology; and Marcy Souza, associate professor of veterinary public health.

“The university community wants to support efforts to respond to the outbreak. We’ve convened a diverse team of experts from across disciplines to serve as a resource,” Brown said. “As a land-grant institution for Tennessee, part of our role is to serve our communities and the residents of our state.”

The network of experts contributing to the policy briefs includes the fields of nursing, social work, law, veterinary medicine, genomics, epidemiology, and economics, among others.

Research questions for the team will be compiled, reviewed, and prioritized daily. Questions that are specific to Tennessee and have the greatest value for public health and safety will be given highest priority.

Submit a question to the group.


Katie Cahill (865-974-8681,

UT 225th anniversaryThis story is part of the University of Tennessee’s 225th anniversary year. Volunteers light the way for others across Tennessee and throughout the world.

Learn more about UT’s 225th anniversary