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Nachega recognized by African Science Institutions

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The African Academy of Sciences elected IDM and EPI's Jean Nachega a fellow in recognition of his efforts to develop patient care, teaching, and research around epidemiology and infectious diseases in Africa. In addition, the Academy of Sciences of South Africa - which aims to provide evidence-based scientific advice on issues of public interest - named him a member-elect.  

Study by Catov and colleagues finds breast-feeding tied to smaller waist size in mother

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NEW YORK TIMES - Breast-feeding for longer than six months may lead to a smaller waist size for the mother. “There are three wins here,” said EPI's Janet Catov. “There are short-term benefits for the mother — weight after pregnancy is something women care about. And there are long-term benefits for the mother’s health. And the third win is that it’s really good for the baby.”  

Fabisiak comments on the region's cancer risk related to air pollution

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - Around one in three Americans gets a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. "If someone chooses to smoke, most of the risk will only impact them," said James Fabisiak. "When we think about air pollution, on the other hand, the risk is smaller than smoking but that risk is now distributed over a much wider segment of the population."  

Travis Lear awarded predoctoral fellowship F31 award

Travis Lear (EOH '20) has been awarded an F31 predoctoral fellowship from the NHLBI. His project will focus on the molecular mechanisms of dysregulated inflammation in the lung, which is the cause of several lung diseases and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in critically-ill patients.   

Contrasting roles of the PD-1 signaling pathway in dendritic cell-mediated induction and regulation of HIV-1-specific effector T cell functions

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JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY - Using samples from participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort study, Garcia-Bates, Palma, Shen, Gambotto, Macatangay, Ferris, Rinaldo, and Mailliard showed that PD-1 activation plays a positive role in initiating the primary T cell response. But later blocking of that pathway can enhance the overall magnitude of the immune system’s ability to remember and respond to HIV.   

Christopher Gessner will be the next president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital

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KDKA RADIO - The University of Colorado Hospital announced Christopher A. Gessner (HPM '91), the current president of UPMC Children's Hospital and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, will be their next president and CEO, overseeing the Anschuntz Medical Campus, Broomfield Hospital, Highlands Ranch Hospital, and other outpatient locations in the Denver area.   

Marroquin is leading a team of data analysts whose work is facilitating intensive efforts around readmissions

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HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS - EPI's Oscar Marroquin, a practicing cardiologist, was interviewed as part of the fourth-quarter 2018 Healthcare Informatics cover story for helping to lead a team of clinical data experts at the vast, 40-hospital UPMC health system in Pittsburgh.  

Buchanich comments on new method to predict heroin overdose

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SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN - Internet searches have emerged as a data source to predict overdose clusters in cities or even specific neighborhoods—information that could aid local interventions that save lives. BIOST's Jeanine Buchanich says that this research “highlights the need for new, innovative approaches to analyzing data related to the opioid epidemic.”  

Talbott interviewed on new study linking air pollution and emergency room visits

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THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - A new study finds that primary pollutants were linked with emergency room visits for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. EPI's Evelyn Talbott says that the study incorporates data from 48 air monitors in the greater Pittsburgh region, and data from the area’s major health care providers.   

Windber the latest chosen to join WalkWorks network

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THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - Steps are being taken to add a state-promoted walking route through Windber Recreation Park, as part of an effort to build healthier communities across PA. Windber and two other western PA communities were chosen to join the WalkWorks network – created by the Department of Health and Pitt Public Health to promote physical activity and encourage communities to create walking groups within their neighborhoods.  

Schulz research on life after bereavement is highlighted in 'Starts at 60'

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STARTS AT 60 - EPI and BCHS's Richard Schulz led a 2008 study on life after bereavement and found that 10 to 15% of carers would experience chronic depression after the death of the person they cared for. Interestingly, this percentage doubled for carers of people affected by dementia. The reason for this is because the more stressful the care-giving experience, the more challenging the recovery after bereavement.  

What’s the only U.S. city on National Geographic Traveler’s global Cool List for 2019? Yup. Pittsburgh.

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NEXT PITTSBURGH - When they scoured the globe in search of “the 19 destinations set to hit the headlines in 2019,” the reporters at National Geographic Traveler magazine chose only one location in all of America. Pittsburgh. “While Pittsburgh is a blue-collar town at heart,” the magazine writes, “it’s much more elegant than many visitors might expect. And there’s plenty for culture vultures, too."  

Hartman and team study tropical mosquito-borne virus linked to miscarriage, stillbirth in animals

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WESA-FM - Research suggests the Rift Valley Fever can affect developing human fetuses. IDM's Amy Hartman, along with first author Cynthia McMillen who is an IDM postdoc, chose to study Rift Valley’s effects on pregnant rats, since humans and rats have similar placental structures. They found that 65 percent of pups born to infected rats died, even when the mother rats appeared healthy.   

Braund on why Allegheny County physicians need to embrace harm reduction

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ALLEGHENY COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN - In a perspective piece, HPM's Wendy Braund writes "Something has to change, because what we’re currently doing to stop the opioid epidemic clearly isn’t enough. It’s time for physicians in Allegheny County to embrace harm reduction." She mentions Naloxone, syringe service programs, opioid substitution therapies, and safe injection facilities as options to help end the opioid epidemic.   

D'Annibale receives travel award from the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders

The SIMD Travel Award is given to trainees and graduate students in the field of metabolic disorders based on submitted abstracts.  HUGEN's Olivia D'Annibale is a recent recipient of the award. Her research shows an increase in protein and enzyme activity of isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenase (IVD) which when deficient results in the inborn error of metabolism, isovaleric acidemia (IVA).   

Aging in Brazil

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THE GERONTOLOGIST - Tramujas Vasconcellos Neumann and Albert give a brief overview of aging in Brazil by presenting some of the demographics and characteristics of the older adult population, the principles and innovative processes used in developing the main legislation for the rights of older people, a bit of the history and current research agenda on aging, and finally some of the key policy issues in the country.  

Frank on why, after more than 30 years, there is still no vaccine for HIV

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KDKA-AM - More than 30 years after HIV was uncovered there is still no AIDS vaccine, but IDM's Linda Frank, who heads the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, says, “People who are uninfected can take anti-retrovirals to prevent them from getting HIV infected. This is so wonderful.” Frank says the new frontier in HIV treatment is in conjunction with diseases like hepatitis, sexually transmitted disease, and substance abuse.  

Vanyukov interprets new study findings and their relationship to the gateway drug theory

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THE ATLANTIC - With adolescent marijuana use stagnant and alcohol and cigarette use delayed and declining among minors, it might be time to leave the popular understanding of the gateway drug in the past. “Gateway theory only relates to initiation of drug use, not progression to abuse," says HUGEN's Michael Vanyukov. Instead, he suggests an alternate theory of substance abuse known as the common-liability theory.   

Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - As part of her master’s thesis work, Stephanie Creasy (BCHS '17) performed a mixed-methods analysis that involved in-depth interviews with transgender women living in Allegheny County who had been previously incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, coupled with geospatial mapping of the county’s trans-inclusive resources, public transportation, probation offices, and mental health services.  

County project tackling AIDS and HIV reports fewer new cases

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POST GAZETTE - Allegheny County health officials are reporting progress in the fight against AIDS by reducing new HIV cases. A key part of this effort is education. The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, led by Linda Frank, has been involved in efforts to fight AIDS for the past 30 years. The World AIDS Day 2018 conference “is about the new treatments and advancements to help us get to zero new cases,” says Frank.  

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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)