Dr. Robert Wolff contributes to COVID-19 research


South University would like to congratulate Robert Wolff, Ph.D., Professor at the Columbia campus, for his recent publication in Microbiologia Medica, titled “At “Half Mask” or “Nose Commando:” A Note Demonstrating Nasal Breaths Can Spread Microorganisms When Improperly Wearing a Mask During COVID-19.” His research provides the first report of bacterial growth from contamination during the exhalation of breaths from the nose. Dr. Wolff designated these microbe carrying minute bioaerosols as ‘MicroSnot’ with the hope that this would help encourage the public to wear their face masks appropriately. By wearing this protective device (PPE) at ‘Half-Mask’, it both exposes others to respiratory tract germs and it also creates a higher risk of infection for the person improperly wearing the mask. During the current pandemic, it is critically important to not only wear a face mask, but to wear it fully covering the nose and mouth when in the presence of other people. Click here to access the full article.

Dr. Wolff has been active representing the University and conducting research. Last year, the Governor of South Carolina nominated Dr. Wolff to represent the public on the South Carolina State Board of Nursing. He has taken on additional duties as well, representing the Board to the Recovering Professionals Program for the state and will serve in 2021 as the Secretary for the Board. Along with Hannah Bowser, they published “Book Review:  Does It Fart? The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence, Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti, 2018, Hachette Books,” in American Biology Teacher 81 (1): 58 and also a preprint title “Journals in Aging, Geriatrics, and Gerontology: A Survey,“ in MedRXiv. In addition, Dr. Wolff had an editorial published titled “Experiencing a State Board” in The South Carolina Nurse, a publication which goes to over 85,000 nurses. In 2020, he also had a preprint accepted into the Social Science Research Network titled “No Cover-Up Here: A Descriptive Study of Observations of Coughing on Hands and the Lack of Proper Respiratory Hygiene Behaviors or Cough Etiquette,” which now has a COVID addendum and is being evaluated for peer review.  Dr. Wolff has also made over a dozen presentations recently, including several virtually. Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Wolff for his continued scholarly contributions to South University and the health science community at-large.