Professor Published in Prestigious British Medical Journal

Isaac Chun Hai Fung, Ph.D.

Georgia Southern University Professor of Epidemiology Isaac Chun Hai Fung, Ph.D., in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) has been published in The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, for his 250-word collaborative correspondence titled “Ebola and the Social Media.”

The Lancet
 publishes a weekly journal and nine monthly specialty journals in the fields of global health, diabetes and endocrinology, oncology, hematology, neurology, psychiatry, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases and HIV. Published in the Dec. 20-27, 2014 edition, Volume 384, the correspondence shows how worldwide traffic on Twitter and Google about Ebola increased as news spread about the cases in the U.S. and how they compare with influenza-related searches and tweets.

“This is the first time in Georgia Southern’s 108 years of history that someone from our University has had a manuscript published in The Lancet,” said Fung. “This accomplishment reflects that the research direction my collaborators and I are taking is attracting attention from top medical journals.”

Fung credits his collaborators as well as his students with being instrumental to the success of the project. He worked with University of Hong Kong Social Media Research Expert King-Wa Fu, Ph.D, and Zion Tsz Ho Tse, Ph.D., faculty member at the University of Georgia, on the project. In addition, his collaborators from Emory University include Chi-Ngai Cheung and Adriana S. Miu, both psychology majors in the doctorate program there. “They provided excellent input in the psychology components of the manuscript,” said Fung.

Fung says his students are excited about the accomplishment. Since joining the JPHCOPH last fall, he has involved them in a variety of social media research. “These projects provide JPHCOPH students with hands-on research experience while they are here, and exciting opportunities to network with practitioners and researchers in the Centers for Disease Control and other universities. These, in turn, will help provide them with a better chance of getting a good job when they graduate,” he said.