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HPM alumna Inmaculada Hernandez uses genes to determine best anticoagulation

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UNIVERSITY TIMES - A research idea submitted by School of Pharmacy faculty member and Pitt Public Health alumna INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) was one of four selected among 200 submissions for an AHA/PCORI researcher and clinician challenge. Through this challenge, the American Heart Association and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute hopes to generate research ideas that address evidence gaps in the treatment of cardiovascular dise... 

HPM's Mark Roberts presents FRED at international workshop

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TELEGRAFT -- The International Society for Cellular Therapy newsletter cited MARK ROBERTS's "particularly interesting" demonstration of emergent disease modeling using Pitt Public Health's FRED (Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics) at the FDA workshop on "Identification and Characterization of the Infectious Disease Risks of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-based Products." 

HuGen's Finegold discusses rare diseases with ABC News

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ABC NEWS - Pitt Public Health's DAVID FINEGOLD discusses both the research and cost challenges s associated with so-called "rare diseases" with ABC News' chief health/medical editor, Dr. Richard Besservia his TwitterChat @abcDrBchat. Click for a Storify summary of this national #RareDiseaseDay event. 

EPI researchers find ‘Equol’ may determine if soy protects your heart

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Epidemiology faculty AKIRA SEKIKAWA (senior author) and RHOBERT EVANS, with then-students VASUDHA AHUJA (EPI '15) and ABHISHEK VISHNU (EPI '14) clarify in the British Journal of Nutrition why eating soy foods provides a protective benefit only to some people. Japanese men who are able to produce equol—a substance made when certain “good” gut bacteria metabolize isoflavones in soy—have lower levels of a risk factor for... 

EPI's Kriska receives Provost Award for Excellence in Mentoring

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EPI's ANDREA KRISKA has been honored with a 2017 Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring. As a committed and effective advisor, she has served as the primary advisor and committee chair for 14 doctoral students, 22 master’s students, and 11 post-doctoral trainees. 

EPI alumnus Christopher Taylor selected as a finalist in Cathedral Innovation Challenge

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Warhol-inspired "Cathedral Cookies" created by CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR (EPI '10) were selected for the finals of the Cathedral Innovation Challenge, which dares community members to create artistic replicas of Pitt's iconic tower. Inspired by Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol, Taylor's set of four depictions are created on  3 x 5-1/2-inch vanilla shortbread cookies using royal icing and food-color paint, making the piece entirely edible. 

Biostats student Lauren Balmert to present findings in Harrisburg

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Doctoral student LAUREN BALMERT (BIOST '17) has been selected to present her research on accidental poisoning mortality to our elected leaders and alumni at Pitt Day in Harrisburg on March 21, 2017.  

Jarlenski study raises questions about why young mothers are being prescribed opioids

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FORBES - Young mothers are being prescribed opioid painkillers, placing their children—even those less than a year old—at risk for an overdose. A study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology  co-authored by HPM's MARIAN JARLENSKI found that 12% of women filled a prescription for an opioid within five days of their baby’s birth....[Of them] 14% filled a second opioid prescription 6 to 60 days after delivery.    

BCHS leader appointed Philip B. Hallen Endowed Chair in Community Health and Social Justice.

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Professor Steven Albert, Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, is the newly appointed Philip B. Hallen Endowed Chair in Community Health and Social Justice, recognizing the exceptional quality and importance of his career-long commitment to conducting research intended to improve the health and functioning of vulnerable populations, his teaching, service and leadership, and his dedication to health equity. 

CDC appoints BCHS's Bear to national oversight group on behavioral risk factor surveillance

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Assistant professor TODD BEAR has been appointed to the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) national workgroup which provides oversight for the BRFSS through annual reviews and recommendations concerning the content of the survey, sample design modifications, and protocol adjustments. Congratulations, Todd! 

Pitt Public Health teams up with Pitt Business for MHA/MBA joint degree

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POETS & QUANTS - In an uncertain healthcare landscape, the two schools are teaming up to address an overwhelming national need for quality health care managers.  “The synthesis between the two areas is pretty important, because of the increased competitiveness in health care and the uncertainty of federal funding programs,” says WES ROHRER, director of the MHA program. Says department chair Mark Roberts, “From the business school, it’s hard to i... 

HuGen's Nimgaonkar sheds light on shared roots of schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis

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NEWS-MEDICAL - According to an in-depth computational analysis published in the JOURNAL OF SCHIZOPHRENIA and co-authored by VISHWAJIT NIMGAONKAR, professor of psychiatry and human genetics, variants in eight genes implicated in both schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis may explain why susceptibility to one of the disorders could place individuals at lower risk for the other. "We wondered if individual genetic variants may exist that could have ... 

General construction update

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The North Parran renovation project is on schedule, and should be completed in November 2017. Framing of office walls is well underway on the upper floors, and demolition is almost complete on the lower floors. Student work and collaboration spaces in North Parran are in the design phase.  Due to change in the construction scheduling, the coffee shop will not open until sometime this summer.   

EPI's King reports that standing is a good start for very obese people

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KNOWRIDGE - “Adults with severe obesity often have difficultly following national guidelines to participate in at least 30 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for health benefits,” says lead author WENDY C. KING, associate professor of epidemiology.  

Fourth annual Alumni-Students Networking Breakfast

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On February 24, 2017, the Pitt Public Health Commons buzzed as 56 students practiced networking skills and 32 alumni shared career experiences, all to equip the next generation of public health professionals. 

EPI's Fabio finds TV habits may be sending you to the ER

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PASTE - “TV programs that show more high-risk behavior—whether it’s risk taking, violence, or using alcohol or drugs—seem to increase risk of injury in people predisposed to hostility,” according to a 15-year study of television viewing and hostile personality traits led by the EPI Data Center's ANTHONY FABIO. “We think it desensitizes folks to these behaviors, so the notion [of engaging in dangerous behaviors] becomes less high-risk.” 

HPM's Roberts encourages medical career choices that suit your personality

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U.S.NEWS - Speaking from experience, HPM Chair MARK ROBERTS says there are lots of things doctors can do beside taking care of patients. A nonclinical route as medical researcher allows those with a passion for innovation to have enormous influence on the future by discovering a drug or increasing understanding of a disease. 

AJPH focuses on academic public health and the firearm crisis

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH -  In its March 2017 edition, AJPH takes a closer look at academic public health and the firearm crisis. Click to view featured articles and plan to attend the Food for Thought screening and discussion of Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA   on Thursday, 2/23. 

EPI and BIOST researchers find wearable fitness devices don't make you more fit

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NY TIMES / JAMA - Epidemiology and biostatistics researchers WENDY KING, ABDUS WAHED, and STEVEN BELLE contributed to a two-year Pitt-led study which found that people who used wearable fitness devices for 18 months lost significantly less weight than those who didn’t. At the end of the IDEA Trial, study participants "without access to the wearable technology lost an average of 13 pounds. Those with the wearable tech lost an average of 7.7 pound... 

Arsenic work by EOH's Barchowsky cited as top paper of 2016

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ENVIRONMENTAL FACTOR - The NIEHS journal signaled out work by AARON BARCHOWSKY and co-authors as one of the top 25 "Papers of the Year" among 2,700 research papers funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The research, published in Stem Cells, found that chronic exposure to arsenic might alter the ability of muscles to regenerate after injury, and that NF kappa B, a protein involved in tissue repair, might play a role. 

A short history of humans and germs: Episode 3 (video)

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NPR - For most of human history, we had a lot of bad ideas about how we were getting sick and how to prevent it. Things started changing only about 200 years ago when an English doctor invented vaccination, our first safe and effective way to fight disease. So what did that do for us? Consider that in 1900, the average person lived only about 30 years. Today, most of us live to seventy. Have we closed the book on infectious disease? If only! 

Zimmerman’s CDC report: Flu shot is 48 percent effective

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TRIB LIVE - This year's flu vaccine cut infection risk by less than half, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention co-authored by RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, associate professor in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and professor of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Zimmerman runs the Pittsburgh arm of a group that studies flu vaccine effectiveness for the CDC.  

BCHS's Ron Stall named a 2017 chancellor award winner for research

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UNIVERSITY TIMES - Selected for this award in recognition of his “pioneering efforts in the field of HIV pre-vention and LGBT health,” RON STALL is praised as a leader in the development of behavioral risk reduction interventions because he has “directed the field to look at HIV from a new angle, setting today’s standard.” The highly competitive Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award is given to Pitt faculty with an outstanding and continuin... 

New moms may be getting opioid painkillers they don't need, says HPM's Marian Jarlenski

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - "There are many guidelines for managing acute or chronic pain, but not for maternity care," said lead author MARIAN JARLENSKI, a Pitt health-policy researcher. "We have a public health crisis with opioid addiction. We were surprised to see more than 1 in 10 women were going home with an opioid prescription." 

EOH's Bernard Goldstein receives 2017 Society of Toxicology Public Communications Award

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Congratulations to Dr. Bernard D. Goldstein, dean emeritus, on receiving the Society of Toxicology's 2017 Public Communications Award! 

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