Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology awards during our annual Dean's Day student research competition were given to KELSEY MESSERSCHMIDT (MPH '19), BETHANY FLAGE (MS '18), ROBERTA METTUS (MS '19), and RENEE ANDERKO (PhD '22).
Congratulations to Dean's Day winners in the master's category. Receiving first place is VATSALA RANGACHAR (IDM '18). Second place was awarded to KELSEA LASORDA (EPI '18). Third place was given to HANNAH BITZER (BCHS '21).
On April 28, 2018, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.
NEW YORK TIMES - Researchers created a device that can test a drop of blood to tell, in about half an hour, who's immune to certain infections and who's not. The goal is to find groups of people at risk of outbreaks, especially in impoverished and remote areas, in time to save lives. "We need to develop cheaper and more efficient ways to detect outbreaks earlier," said IDM's ERNESTO MARQUES. “This may be one step in that direction.”
Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which is associated with their inability to pass virus on to other cells.
Faculty and alumni spoke on a panel to highlight the public health impact on global communities, including immigration crises, planetary health, climate change, and the importance of health systems. KELLY SALDANA (BCHS ’01) talked about creating resiliency and figuring out what that means both at the individual level and the systems level to help lessen negative effects of climate change.
Douglas J. Perkins, a former assistant professor in IDM (2001-2007), was invited back to present at the IDM Seminar Series on March 28. His presentation was on "Genomic Approaches for Uncovering the Pathogenesis of Severe Malarial Anemia in African Children."
JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '20) has been selected to participate in Red Tree Study's Academic Summer Program at the Institute of Public Health at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. In this program, students learn from experts while helping to ensure the health of Colombian citizens as the country transitions towards peace.
IDM's GIOVANNA RAPPOCCIOLO presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections on biomarkers and genetics of cell cholesterol dysregulation in HIV non-progressors. Co-authors include IDM faculty J MARTINSON and C RINALDO and recent doctoral graduate DIANA DELUCIA.
University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston has offered KEVIN MELODY (IDM '17) a postdoctoral fellowship in a BSL-4 research group headed by Thomas Geisbert. Due to the security and proficiency needed to perform the work, Kevin will undergo extensive training before beginning high-containment pathogen-related research.