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First Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Research Strategies Named

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@PITT - Michael Holland has been named Pitt's first-ever vice chancellor for science policy and research strategies. Holland’s responsibilities will include the development and implementation of University research policies and of strategies to support collaborations across the sciences, medicine, engineering, information technology, humanities and creative arts, social sciences and innovation.   

Shankle endorsed for Advisory Neighborhood Commission

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GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON - For Advisory Neighborhood Commission GGW endorses MICHAEL SHANKLE (CHS '96). Shankle writes, “as a resident adjacent to Gallery Place, I understand and sympathize with the frustrations of my neighbors [about amplified noise].” However he feels that the proposed legislation is “vindictive against street performers, which have a rich history in the neighborhood” and wants “a more sensible and holistic approach.”  

Pitt Public Health study identifies modifiable dementia risk factor in older adults

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SCIENCE DAILY - New research from Pitt Public Health found that arterial stiffness is a good proxy for predicting who will go on to develop dementia. Even minor signs of brain disease were not as telling. Since arterial stiffness can be reduced by antihypertensive drugs, and likely also lifestyle interventions, these findings suggest that at-risk patients may have the power to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.  

Bariatric surgery can reduce risks - but King's study finds it depends how much they can keep off after their operation

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FORBES - Bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death in obese people. But those who gained back 20 percent of weight lost were more than one-third more likely to develop diabetes and two-thirds more likely to have high cholesterol, according to a study conducted by a research team including EPI and BIOS professors, WENDY KING, STEVEN BELLE, ABDUS WAHED, MPH student, AMANDA HINERMAN (EPI '19), and other colleagues.  

King finds alcohol disorder tests fail in weight-loss surgery patients

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UPMC - Given the increased risk of alcohol use disorder associated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, it is recommended that clinicians screen for alcohol use disorder before and after surgery, but there is no guidance on how to do that screening, said EPI's WENDY KING. According to a long-term, multicenter analysis, common screening tools fail to work well in this population.  

Religious freedom laws linked to poor health in LGBT people in center study

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EUREKALERT - After Indiana's passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 2015, sexual minorities increasingly reported poor health on a national survey. "Although we can't say for certain what caused this significant increase in unhealthy days for sexual minority people in Indiana, the change coincided with intense public debate over enactment of the RFRA law," said lead author JOHN BLOSNICH from our Center for LGBT Individuals' Hea... 

Are Osteoporosis Drugs Linked With Survival? Cauley weighs in

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MEDSCAPE - A debate took place on whether osteporosis treatment is associated with mortality took place at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2018 Annual Meeting. Most (72%) of the bone doctors agreed with the motion that "osteoporosis treatments are associated with improved mortality [rates]." Although unmeasured confounders may be present, "I believe there is an association," said EPI's JANE CAULEY.   

Pitt wins federal grant to use big data and AI to help solve opioid epidemic

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Pitt Public Health has won a $1.2 million grant from the CDC to bring to bear its computer and algorithmic firepower on the nation's opioid epidemic. The two-year grant builds upon Pitt's modeling system called A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED). "Our hope is it's the tool we can train to help" with the drug epidemic, said DEAN DONALD S. BURKE.  

Kagan, Wenzel, Bayir partner to better understand cell death and ferroptosis

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PITT MED - Cells die—that’s just part of life. But there’s always a reason. Pitt scientists are figuring out how to keep programmed cell death in check. EOH's VALERIAN KAGAN and SALLY WENZEL and other colleagues including EOH's HULYA BAYIR, are partnering to better understand “the reason” for ferroptosis—exactly what biomolecular line is crossed, how that signal is communicated within and between cells, which molecules pull the trigger, and how.... 

Allegheny County gets $1.7M in grants to combat opioid crisis

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TRIB LIVE - The Allegheny County Health Department has received two federal grants totaling nearly $1.7 million that will assist in addressing health inequality and the opioid epidemic across the county. Several Pitt Public Health alumni are a part of this initiative, along with BCHS's TIFFANY GARY-WEB, and EPI's DARA MENDEZ as co-investigators on the research and evaluation of this important work.  

Youk elected to International Statistical Institute

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Congratulations to BIOST's Ada Youk who was recently elected to the International Statistical Institute (ISI). The ISI Mission is to lead, support and promote the understanding, development, and good practice of statistics worldwide, by providing the core global network for statistics.  

Aging Institute leadership marches on

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PITT WIRE - Baby boomers have long been known as one of the largest generations, and now they are living longer and healthier than any generation before, says Epi's ANNE NEWMAN, newly appointed clinical director of the Aging Institute of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. “We’re going through an aging revolution. The 65-year-old today is a healthier person than a 65-year-old was 30 years ago.”  

Burke uses mobile health to track cardiovascular risk factors

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PITTSBURGH COURIER - Around 75 percent of people in the United States use a smartphone, and apps focusing on mobile health (mHealth) can be used to track key and unique health updates for users. The research of EPI's LORA BURKE (EPI '98), has focused on how to use mHealth for one particular risk factor of cardiovascular disease—being overweight. “Research reinforced that the crux of weight loss... is self-monitoring in real time."  

Code4PA comes to Pitt Public Health

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Pitt Public Health was one of the host sites for the Pennsylvania Opioid Code-a-thon. MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13), project coordinator for opioid initiatives, said, "watching the teams in action over the first weekend was fun and encouraging! I have been impressed with their critical thinking, observations, and exploration into the data and systems at work in this crisis."   

Zimmerman explains a myth about the flu shot

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BUSTLE - Though many people do not understand the safety and efficacy of the flu shot, it is the best protection against the dangerous infection. In fact, many of the rumored side effects you've probably heard about the flu vaccine are actually not true at all. Some people claim the flu shot can mess up your muscle. BCHS's RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, explained that the pain in your arm actually means the vaccine is doing its job.  

Gellad on the battle to control drug costs with new patent laws

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KAISER HEALTH NEWS - As congressional action seems increasingly unlikely, two approaches offer another possible path forward. The first is known as “march-in rights.” The second is generally referred to as Section 1498 because of its location in the U.S. Code. They are “already part of a law that is intact. … An option the administration can take now,” said HPM's WALID GELLAD.   

Burke updates Pitt Public Health community on state of the opioid epidemic (VIDEO)

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Dean Donald S. Burke's third annual address to the school on the state of the nation's opioid overdose epidemic looks at one of the most pressing issues facing our region. Burke highlights his team's research recently published in  Science  ( Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016 ), as well as details Pitt Public Health's efforts to confront the crisis and how you can get involved. Click... 

Byrnes, Niemczyk, Mendez appointed to governor’s maternal mortality review committee

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CAROLYN BYRNES (EPI ‘11), NANCY NIEMCZYK (EPI ‘14), and EPI's DARA MENDEZ are to serve in a new effort to collect information to investigate and disseminate findings related to maternal deaths. “With the alarming rate of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania, establishing this committee will help take immediate action in determining the reasons for this phenomenon,” Governor Wolf said.   

Does America have a drinking problem? Mair weighs in.

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PRI'S THE TAKEAWAY - Last week America watched as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ducked and dodged questions about his drinking habits when he was a teenager. It forced many of us to consider our own relationship to alcohol. BCHS's CHRISTINA MAIR said, "There are more deaths attributed to alcohol than any other substance and it's one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in this country."  

Felter, Flatt publish study guide for the CHES exam

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BCHS's ELIZABETH FELTER and JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) recently published a study guide for the Certified Health Education Exam. The 200-page book serves as the primary resource for any student taking the CHES exam and is now available through Springer Publishing Company.   

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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)
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Hernandez among three Pitt students named to Forbes 30 Under 30 

Hernandez among three Pitt students named to Forbes 30 Under 30

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. (01/09/2019)

Pitt's Bike-friendly efforts recognized 

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 d... (01/07/2019)


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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Scientists uncover dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei (video) 

Scientists uncover dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei (video)

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES  - Using super-sensitive microscopic imaging, a team of scientists led by HuGen's Quasar Padiath has made a fundamental biological discovery that explains the structure of the nuclear envelope and gives tantalizing clues as to how cells squish throug... (02/19/2019)
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Pitt Public Health study uncovers why Rift Valley fever is catastrophic to developing fetuses  

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

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... (01/24/2019)
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Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women 

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

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 o... (11/30/2018)
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