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Arthur Levine: 20 years of impact

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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 Pitt community, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher reflects on the unparalleled success Levine has had and his plans to continue advancing research and medi... 

Hernandez's research adds to pharmaceutical industry's growing pressure over high price of drugs

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FOX NEWS - "It's not about innovation, it's about inflation in existing products," explains Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "They are the same companies that operate in other countries and they don't show this behavior and that's because in other countries they are lucky to have this regulatory environment that prevents them from doing this."   

Pitt Public Health study uncovers why Rift Valley fever is catastrophic to developing fetuses

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Like Zika, infection with Rift Valley fever virus can go unnoticed during pregnancy, all the while doing irreparable - often lethal - harm to the fetus. The results of a new study underscore the importance of disease prevention for pregnant woment and set the stage for vaccine development.   

Pitt Biostatistics to co-host conference on Lifetime Data Science

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Sponsored by the American Statistical Association's Section on Lifetime Data Science (LiDS) with support from Pitt's Department of BIostatistics, this conference will explore the foundations and frontiers of the field, featuring renowned speakers from around the globe in  3 workshops, 3 plenary talks, and 45+ invited sessions on a broad range of topics in lifetime data science. A poster session, student paper competition, and reception will be h... 

Gellad on Memorial Sloan Kettering curbing executives' ties to industry after COI scandals

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NEW YORK TIMES - HPM's Walid Gellad calls the policy changes a "watershed moment" and went on to say, "This is highly significant, especially at such a high-profile academic center. Leadership matters, and the institution has decided that their leaders should not also be concurrently leading for-profit health companies."   

Albert on program that helps seniors continue to live independently

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REUTERS - "You really want to see people be independent and able to manage without help from their families or from paid services," said BCHS's Steve Albert. "Presumably if you can improve function with the activities of daily life, you reduce the risk of nursing home placement."   

Biost joins Hugen in Staff Volunteer and Team Building Day

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HUGEN staff joined BIOST for their Staff Volunteer and Team Building Day, visiting Global Links to sort medical supplies for distribution in resource-poor communities. Afterwards, they switched gears at Lumberjaxes in Mount Lebanon, where they showed off their axe-throwing skills (Joe Germanoski was the winner!). Staff were glad to work together and unwind before the start of a new term.   

Sevco named COO of UPMC Pinnacle

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Congratulations to Mark Sevco (HPM '91) who will be the COO of UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg. Sevco was formerly president of UPMC McKeesport in McKeesport, PA and UPMC East in Monroeville, PA.  Read the announcement from Becker's Hospital Review.    

Garcia-Bates says timing of immunotherapy crucial to outcomes

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MEDICAL RESEARCH - "HIV infection is a manageable disease with the advent and availability of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). But, when ART is interrupted, the virus quickly rebounds to high levels and again targets the immune system. Therefore, new immunotherapeutic treatments are sought to re-program the immune system to control the virus after ART interruption," said IDM's Tatiana Garcia-Bates.   

Hernandez's research says prescription drug costs driven by manufacturer price hikes, not innovation

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WESA - The skyrocketing cost of many prescription drugs in the U.S. can be blamed primarily on price increases, not expensive new therapies or improvements in existing medications as drug companies frequently claim, says a new study published in Health Affairs by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16).   

Hartman Researches Virus Even More Dangerous than Zika to Pregnant Women

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - The mosquito-borne virus that causes Rift Valley fever may severely injure human fetuses if contracted by mothers during pregnancy, according to new research by IDM's Amy Hartman. "Zika caught everybody by surprise," said Hartman. "If doctors had known about Zika's birth effects, they could have done a lot more to protect pregnant women and babies. With Rift Valley fever, we're trying to get ahead of the curve."  

EPA recognizes Pitt for efforts to reduce what ends up in landfills

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In a partnership between students, staff, and the administration, a number of small improvements have added up to a significant reduction in food waste over recent years. By 2025 the plan is to expand composting by 50 percent; serve half of to-go meals in reusable containers; and cut the amount of animal-derived products served by 25 percent.  

Hernandez among three Pitt students named to Forbes 30 Under 30

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PITT WIRE - Congratulations to Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16)! The list features 600 business and entrepreneurial leaders from 20 industries, including health care, energy, art and education, among others.  

Ask FRED for a better opioid response

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PITT MED - The Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), is being adapted to a more general tool for modeling population dynamics. "Drugs aren't infectious organisms," says Dean Don Burke. "But they do have transmitting properties to them. If we could take the same simulation methods that we've developed for contagious epidemics and start using them with the opioid epidemic, we might make some headway."  

Dougherty named deputy commissioner of alcohol and drug abuse programs in Vermont

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VERMONT BUSINESS MAGAZINE - "I am eager to join the health department in its work to strengthen prevention efforts and to ensure that every Vermonter has access to effective treatment and recovery services," said Kelly Dougherty (BCHS '00).  

Pitt's Bike-friendly efforts recognized

PITT WIRE - The league of American Bicyclists recognizes colleges and unversities that support bicycling with its Bicycle Friendly University status, scoring across five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. This year, Pitt earned the status with a bronze distinction, recongizing institutions that have taken notable steps in supporting bicycling for recreation and transportation.   

Breastfeeding linked to less belly fat and smaller waist size

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MEDICALRESEARCH.COM  - Work by Gabrielle Snyder (EPI '15) tests the association between breastfeeding duration and maternal waist circumference while controlling for race, socioeconomic status, and behavioral factors like better diet and more physical activity. The study found that women who breastfed more than 6 months had smaller waists and lower body mass index one decade after delivery compared to women who breastfed less than 6 months.  

EPI graduate shares her experience of overcoming polio (video)

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CONSULATE GENERAL OF INDIA IN NEW YORK -- In observance of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disability, Sunita Dodani (EPI ’06) shares her story of overcoming polio and thriving in life. After experiencing paralysis in all four limbs, Dodani met the challenges of growing up as a woman with a disability to become a two-time Fulbright scholar, completing both her MD and a PhD from Pitt Public Health.  

Maseru co-writes Birth Equity Consensus Statement

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MARCH OF DIMES - BCHS's Noble Maseru co-authored "Birth Equity for Moms and Babies Concensus Statement" to advance social determinants pathways for research, policy, and practice. Among the recommendations: improve maternal death surveillance, expand research, engage in health system reform, empower communities through inclusion, and change social and economic conditions.  

To reduce falls and fracture risk, improve sleep quality and length, Cauley says

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PT PRODUCTS - "Even though falls are caused by a number of factors, our paper focuses on a novel risk factor: sleep. Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls." says EPI's Jane Cauley.   

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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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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)
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Mailliard develops 'Swiss Army Knife' immunotherapy that kicks and kills HIV by exploiting a common virus 

Mailliard develops 'Swiss Army Knife' immunotherapy that kicks and kills HIV by exploiting a common virus

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In a first on the quest to cure human immunodeficiency virus, IDM's Robbie Mailliard and colleagues developed an all-in-one immunotherapy approach that not only kicks HIV out of hiding in the immune system, but also kills it. The key lies in immune cells designed to recognize ... (04/15/2019)
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USF latest to use FRED to simulate measles outbreak in Florida 

USF latest to use FRED to simulate measles outbreak in Florida

WUSF NEWS - University of Pittsburgh's Public Health Dynamic Laboratory teamed up with the University of South Florida College of Public Health to create a new online measles simulator that shows how quickly measles can spread from just one measles case over a nine-month period.  (04/05/2019)