Leigh Hopper is a media relations specialist with USC University Communications. She previously worked in communications for UCLA, in state government at the Texas Medical Board and as a medical reporter at the Houston Chronicle.
Stories by Leigh Hopper:
Five lessons we’ve learned about COVID-19 since the pandemic began
Though COVID-19 is surging in the U.S., researchers have learned a lot about how the virus behaves — and how to thwart it. USC experts share the most important findings thus far.
Does air pollution increase women’s risk of dementia?
High levels of fine particle pollution are associated with brain shrinkage patterns common in Alzheimer’s disease, a USC study finds.
Rapid COVID tests could hold the key to reopening
USC researcher Neeraj Sood leads a new collaborative study with Los Angeles and L.A. County that aims to find out if cheaper, faster antigen tests can help officials reopen the region.
USC collaborates with L.A. city and county to explore use of rapid COVID-19 testing
Researchers are using rapid antigen tests with first responders who volunteered for the study. A second phase will focus on school-aged children, teachers and staff.
What can voters expect from the 2020 debates?
USC experts share what they’ll be watching for when Trump, Biden, Pence and Harris hit the podium in late September and beyond.
Effects of West Coast wildfires go beyond evacuations and air quality
USC experts explain why the worst wildfires in California’s history are just a preview of climate change’s eventual impact on our everyday lives.
Training and diversifying the next generation of Alzheimer’s researchers
The inaugural class of the IMPACT-AD program, which is co-directed by a USC professor, will educate 35 professionals at various career stages on conducting more diverse clinical trials.
Nearly half of teens who vape say they want to quit
A new USC study finds an urgent need for vaping cessation programs similar to those aimed at kids who smoke cigarettes.
A new test may better predict ovarian cancer survival
The tool, developed by USC researchers, could help identify patients with the most to gain from a clinical trial as well as guide therapeutic targets.
Two new studies explore how pollution affects the brain
USC researchers are investigating the impact of fine particle pollution on child brain growth and in older women who aren’t eating enough fish.
When does life end? World Brain Death Project seeks clarity and consensus
When families struggle with the decision to end life support for a loved one, these findings — led by a USC researcher — could provide reassurance.
Living near natural gas flaring poses health risks for pregnant women and babies
USC researchers found that exposure to flaring was associated with 50% higher odds of preterm birth.
Antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis could be surprise treatment for deadly superbug
Through a new screening method, USC researchers have found that the antibiotic rifabutin is effective against life-threatening Acinetobacter baumannii.
Coronavirus infections more widespread than expected in L.A. County
A newly published, USC-led study has confirmed that, though many more L.A. County residents had COVID-19 antibodies than previously thought, most people have not been infected.
Alzheimer’s gene triggers early breakdowns in blood-brain barrier, predicting cognitive decline
Although scientists have long known APOE4 is a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, they were unsure how exactly it drives a decline in memory. USC researchers now believe they have an answer.
Early antibody testing suggests COVID-19 infections in L.A. County greatly exceed documented cases
USC and L.A. County Department of Public Health officials have released the preliminary results of their antibody tests, which show a surprising number of residents have been infected with the coronavirus.
If you have questions about USC COVID-19 antibody testing in L.A. County, he has answers
Neeraj Sood of the USC Price School describes his partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and explains what the tests can teach us about the novel coronavirus.
USC-L.A. County antibody testing may reveal when it’s safe to go back to work
Researchers are testing the blood of 1,000 randomly selected individuals for a study that could help determine a path to post-pandemic life.
Using certain e-cigarette devices can lead to smoking more cigarettes
A USC study finds that teens who vape — especially those who use modifiable e-cigarette devices — end up smoking far more cigarettes than those who don’t.
Do pregnant women face special risks from COVID-19?
Pregnant women and new mothers want to know how the coronavirus will affect their newborns. From breastfeeding safety to viral transmission in the womb, Keck Medicine of USC maternal-fetal medicine specialist Marc Incerpi, answers burning questions about pregnancy during the pandemic.
Repurposed antidepressant could be a new treatment for recurrent prostate cancer
A USC pilot study — the first clinical trial of this drug in cancer patients — reported lower prostate-specific antigen levels in more than half of the participants.
Secondhand smoke may be abetting rise of chronic liver disease in children and adults
Smoke exposure can alter how the liver processes fats, according to lab research, ultimately contributing to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Alzheimer’s study aims to see if drug can block brain plaques linked to disease
Keck School of Medicine of USC is launching a large clinical trial that targets amyloid plaques in the brain. The goal: to see whether a drug can clear or slow this plaque in people who have early Alzheimer’s or who appear clinically normal.
‘Dabbing’ teens more likely to keep using cannabis and increase its use
USC-led study finds that, although the total number of high schoolers who were dabbing was low, those adolescents had nearly six times the likelihood of continuing to use concentrates.