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Opresko study finds direct evidence that oxidative stress damage shortens telomeres

"If we can understand what causes telomere shortening and how cells compensate for that," EOH's Patricia Opresko said, "then we'll be in a better position to design intervention strategies that protect telomeres in healthy cells and target telomeres in cancer cells."   

Beyond Clairton: Are we ready to really improve Pittsburgh's air? Wenzel comments.

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NEXT PITTSBURGH - While U.S. Steel has recently completed repairs and pledged to spend $1 billion to upgrade facilities, public outrage over violations hasn't been quieted. "I think the economic factors have outweighed the health factors," says EOH's Sally Wenzel. "I think that has been an issue with the Pittsburgh area for a while."   

Cheyenne Annarumo awarded 2018-19 Bob Yee Scholarship

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Cheyenne Annarumo (IDM '20) was awarded a 2019 Bob Yee Public Health Scholarship. A native of Ellwood City, PA, Annarumo is pursuing an MPH with a concentration in infectious disease management, intervention, and community practice (MPH-MIC). She studied biology and was pre-med at Gannon University.   

Kelsey Simon awarded 2018-19 Bob Yee Scholarship

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Kelsey Simon (IDM '20) was awarded a 2019 Bob Yee Public Health Scholarship in recognition of academic excellence. A native of Buffalo, NY, Simon is pursuing an MPH in infectious disease pathogenesis, eradication, and laboratory practice (MPH-PEL). She holds an undergraduate biology degree from the University of Pittsburgh.   

Subramanian Thothathri awarded 2018-19 Bob Yee Scholarship

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Subramanian Thothathri (IDM '20) was awarded a 2019 Bob Yee Public Health Scholarship. A native of Chennai, India, Thothathri is pursuing an MS in infectious diseases and microbiology. He holds an undergraduate bioengineering degree from Sastra University.   

Dean Burke gives six precepts for success in 2019 Convocation Address

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As the 2019 Convocation speaker, outgoing dean Donald S. Burke explained that the world would be looking to the class of 2019 for answers to things like the opioid epidemic, gun violence, and other challenges to the public's health. Dean Burke dispensed wisdom personally gathered during his career, encouraging graduates to use six "90 percent precepts" to help make the most of their incredible potential.  

Garland to participate as lawmakers review clean slate law

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WESA - BCHS's Richard Garland said that by expanding access to jobs, the clean slate law plays a crucial role in preventing low-level ex-convicts from committing future crimes. Before the law, he said, those individuals too often were defined by their criminal records when seeking work.   

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center strengthens the current and future public health workforce

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The Center for Public Health Practice's latest training center works to strengthen the public health workforce through collaboration with schools and agencies across a five-state region. The center meets workforce training needs on topics from project management and data analytics to the opioid epidemic. "Our ultimate goal is to improve the public's health by working even better   together," says Center Director Elizabeth Van Nostrand.   

Roberts talks to the LA Times about the measles outbreak

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LA TIMES - Los Angeles County officials dealing with a measles outbreak say they expect that more people will be diagnosed with the illness in the coming weeks, while the nation stares down what will like be its worst measles year in decades. As they search for outbreak's start, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts reminds us, "What matters is not the case that started it, what matters is how many people that one case infects."   

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

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On April 27, 2019, 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.   

Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video)

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WPXI - Antivaxxers left negative business reviews for Kids First Pediatrics after they posted a social media video encouraging HPV vaccination. So, they teamed up with researchers at Pitt including Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) who found that we have to "...start thinking about how to deliver tailored messages that really get at all of these concerns we're seeing."   

Pitt Medicine shows plans for their part of health sciences expansion

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PITT MED - the education addition and renovation is part of the University's master plan that includes many improvements throughout the health sciences and includes a rennovation of the Falk Library of the Health Sciences, a cafe, and common areas accommodating a variety of study styles.   

Finegold talks about the importance of handling WES properly

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MD ALERT via REUTERS - Whole exome sequencing (WES) may identify genetic causes of idiopathic liver disease after an unrevealing conventional workup, researchers say. "WES is now broadly available in a wide range of genomics laboratories, both hospital-based and commercial. The interpretation of this data is profoundly challenging and absolutely requires special expertise within the laboratory."   

Yuan comments; State says no cancer cluster in Washington County school district

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THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - The Pennsylvania department of health has determined that there is no cancer cluster in a Washington County school district. The agency conducted the study after several cases of a rare bone cancer were reported there. EPI's Jian-Min Yuan told the Allegheny Front agreed that the state used appropriate methods.   

Albert’s research leads to evidence-based approval for Pennsylvania's Healthy Steps in Motion Falls Prevention Program

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Research by BCHS's Steven Albert put the HSIM falls-prevention program on the pre-approved list for future federal funding.  The study showed a significantly lower incidence of falls in older adults who completed program workshops than in a comparison group at the same sites. HSIM participation reduced falls by about 28 percent.  

Online simulation FRED developed by Pitt researchers used to simulate measles outbreak in Florida

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - FRED Measles Florida is just the latest simulator to shows how quickly measles can spread when vaccination rates dip too low. It models the state’s actual population and considers how people move about the region and interact. Beginning with a single case, it shows how the virus would spread over a nine month period.  

Angus’ Early Sepsis Indicator Receives 510(k) Clearance from FDA

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MANAGED CARE - HPM's Derek Angus contributed to a first-of-its-kind, hematology-based cellular biomarker that is designed to help emergency department physicians identify patients with sepsis or who are at increased risk of developing sepsis. Compared to the traditional method of reviewing white blood cell count alone, the Early Sepsis Indicator strengthens a clinician’s suspicion of sepsis by 43%.  

Gibb: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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Now president of Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, Herman Gibb (EOH ’74) has more than 35 years of experience in health risk assessment and has provided expert consultation to a variety of international and national clients. He chairs the World Health Organization (WHO) Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group Chemical Task Force and was a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries and Presidential Advisor... 

Kip: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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Kevin Kip (EPI ’98) is a Distinguished Health Professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health as well as an epidemiologist with 18 years of research experience on federally funded and industry-sponsored studies. He is a methodologist with expertise in a wide range of health disciplines, including interventional cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, complementary and... 

Songer: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Thomas Songer (EPI ’86, ’90) is an assistant professor and the director of doctoral programs in the Department of Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Consistently one of the most highly rated teachers in the school, he is the primary instructor for graduate courses in injury epidemiology and injury prevention and control as well as the undergraduate Introduction to Research and Introduction to Epidemiology classes. Since 2007, Songer has been th... 

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Mendez among those discussing maternal mortality rate in Pitt Med's podcast 

Mendez among those discussing maternal mortality rate in Pitt Med's podcast

PITT WIRE - As estimated 700 to 900 U.S. women die of complications related to childbirth each year, and at least 60,000 women nearly die of pregnancy-related complications. And African American mothers are four times more likely to die or nearly die. Hear perspectives from EPI's Dara Mendez and th... (03/25/2019)
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Hernandez study investigates rising drug prices 

Hernandez study investigates rising drug prices

PITT WIRE - A recent study led by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16), assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, found that new drugs entering the market drive up prices, but drug companies are also hiking prices on older drugs.  (01/30/2019)
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Arthur Levine: 20 years of impact 

Arthur Levine: 20 years of impact

PITT WIRE - After more than two decades of transformative service to the University of Pittsburgh, Arthur S. Levine has announced his intent to exit his position as senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean in the School of Medicine. In a message to the ... (01/24/2019)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Albert’s research leads to evidence-based approval for Pennsylvania's Healthy Steps in Motion Falls Prevention Program 

Albert’s research leads to evidence-based approval for Pennsylvania's Healthy Steps in Motion Falls Prevention Program

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Research by BCHS's Steven Albert put the HSIM falls-prevention program on the pre-approved list for future federal funding.  The study showed a significantly lower incidence of falls in older adults who completed program workshops than in a comparison group at the same sites. ... (04/23/2019)
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Online simulation FRED developed by Pitt researchers used to simulate measles outbreak in Florida 

Online simulation FRED developed by Pitt researchers used to simulate measles outbreak in Florida

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - FRED Measles Florida is just the latest simulator to shows how quickly measles can spread when vaccination rates dip too low. It models the state’s actual population and considers how people move about the region and interact. Beginning with a single case, it shows how the vir... (04/23/2019)
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Analysis by King identifies patients most at risk for weight regain after bariatric surgery 

Analysis by King identifies patients most at risk for weight regain after bariatric surgery

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the years following bariatric surgery, a person's overall eating behaviors and the amount of time spent watching television, playing video games, and using a computer for recreation are a better indication of long-term weight loss success than specific weight control practi... (04/15/2019)