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Nimgaonkar's research sheds light on the risks and causes of schizophrenia

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WKSU-FM - No one knows what causes schizophrenia. It’s a devastating mental disorder that affects more than 3 million Americans. And while most people with schizophrenia can be treated, many don’t respond to medications. New research may find ways to help them. HUGEN’s VISHWAJIT NIMGAONKAR heads a team of researchers that’s looking at the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia. 

Would Americans accept putting health care on a budget?

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NEW YORK TIMES - The intuitive appeal of such a system is growing, and it’s getting a test in Maryland. However, capping hospital spending raises concerns about harming quality and access. Hospital executives and patient advocates might strongly resist spending constraints. A study by HPM's ERIC ROBERTS found inconsistent evidence that changes in hospital use in Maryland could be attributed to global budgeting.  

Goldstein on memories of the EPA’s most tumultuous era. But there’s a key difference now

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THE WASHINGTON POST - Observers of both the Reagan administration and the current one say there are several reasons to think Pruitt may not share Gorsuch’s fate. Reagan appears to have made a calculation that he needed to tack to the political center on the environment later in his first term, and so replaced Gorsuch. But Trump seems more inclined to double down on deregulation, said EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN.  

Parker praises Personal Genetics Education Project

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GENOME - "The project [tries to] present that there's a blending of genetics and environmental factors responsible for most anything we care about," HUGEN'S LISA PARKER says of the fact that the project aims to see a broader picture of how genes and environment can interact.   

Pitt Public Health hosts symposium on mixed legacy of founding dean Thomas Parran

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In late March the school hosted a symposium examining Parran's mixed legacy from multiple perspectives. The panel discussion sought to compliment to the official review committee which is considering whether the name "Parran Hall" is consistent with the University's mission.  

Catov among scientists researching heart disease link to pre-eclampsia

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - While her baby is still a toddler, a woman who had pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy might already be on the path to heart disease and not getting the care she needs. EPI's Janet Catov is among those researchers examining what pregnancy-related signals identify women at the highest risk of future cardiovascular disease. Helping a woman at that early point, with interventions that can reverse or treat risk factors, shou... 

Pitt Public Health partners with PA and the Aetna Foundation on Opioid Data Dashboard

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - "In as near-real time as possible, this dashboard will give health officials, policymakers, law enforcement and the public a more complete, dynamic picture of the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania," Dean Burke said. "This should allow us to maximize limited resources to stem this epidemic, which is disproportionately impacting our state."   

Richard Garland: A few wrong turns

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THE PITT NEWS – Now he's one of the most well-known and respected anti-violence experts in the area, but BCHS’ RICHARD GARLAND is was once just like the at-risk young people he seeks to help. He became involved in gangs while living in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood, landing him in prison from 1979 to 1991. “I’ve been blessed,” he said. “All those years in the penitentiary preserved me a lot.”  

Human Rights Campaign recognizes UPMC's Children's Hospital and WPIC

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TRIB LIVE - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC were once again recognized as "Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Facilities awarded this title meet four criteria: LGBTQ patient-centered care; LGBTQ patient services and support; employee benefits and policies and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.   

In a collaboration with Yale SPH, Brown finds social cohesion to be marijuana use risk factor

YALE DAILY NEWS  – Researchers from Pitt and Yale found that neighborhood problems, from crime to economic distress, were positively associated with marijuana use. It was also found that social cohesion — the connectedness of the neighborhood — was positively associated with marijuana use. That finding was surprising to the researchers, as social cohesion is generally related to positive health behaviors, said BCHS’s ANDRE BROWN.  

Matthews says having friends during childhood can abate health problems

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ECONOMIC TIMES – Researchers, including BCHS's KAREN MATTHEWS, examined data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study, a longitudinal study following cohorts of boys. Specifically, they examined data from the youngest cohort, most of whom were Black (56%) or White (41%). Analyses revealed that boys who spent more time with their friends in childhood and adolescence, had healthier blood pressure and body mass index at age 32.   

Perkins invited back to present at IDM Seminar Series

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Douglas J. Perkins, a former assistant professor in IDM (2001-2007), was invited back to present at the IDM Seminar Series on March 28. His presentation was on "Genomic Approaches for Uncovering the Pathogenesis of Severe Malarial Anemia in African Children."  

Salerno selected for summer program in Colombia

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JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '20) has been selected to participate in Red Tree Study's Academic Summer Program at the Institute of Public Health at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. In this program, students learn from experts while helping to ensure the health of Colombian citizens as the country transitions towards peace.   

SisterFriend and BCHS host "Periods Gone Public Pittsburgh" discussion (video)

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SisterFriend and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences hosted an event to encourage discussions about menstrual hygiene in the region and to raise awareness about it as a critical public health issue. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the author of Periods Gone Public , gave a talk about her first-hand account in the fight for menstrual equity.  

Pitt announces new director of the Center for Vaccine Research

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W. Paul Duprex, a distinguished molecular virologist and vaccine designer, will lead the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research (CVR). “I’m excited to be joining an institution with such a proud history of vaccine development and a top-notch group of scientists doing incredibly innovative infectious disease research,” said Duprex. He will also hold the Jonas Salk Chair for Vaccine Research at Pitt.   

PA aims to fight drug addiction with data, partnering with Pitt and Aetna

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WITF - The state has partnered with Pitt Public Health and the Aetna Foundation to combat the crisis. Aetna Chief Medical Officer Harold Paz says the goal of the partnership is to make sense of data more quickly so the state can give the right resources to each community. Pitt's role is to help interpret that data, while Aetna is providing a one-million dollar grant.  

State to use PHDL lab for data-driven approach to opioid crisis

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - "This is an area where the approach of data-driven analytics and modeling expertise can make a significant difference," said Dean DONALD BURKE. "The ultimate goal is to allow officials to target the best resources to save as many lives as possible. A lot of data is there already but siloed, hidden, and unused."   

Biostatistic's ZHU wins distinguished student paper award at 2018 ENAR Spring Meeting

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Biostatistics student LI ZHU's paper, entitled “Bayesian indicator variable selection model to incorporate multi-layer overlapping group structure in multi-omits application ,” was recognized with one of the distinguished student paper awards at the spring meeting of the International Biometric Society's Eastern North American Region. One of the US' largest professional gatherings of biostatisticians, the 2018 ENAR Spring Meeting takes place th... 

Pitt Public Health study finds that death rates rise for white, middle-class Virginians

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THE ROANOKE TIMES - A team including Virginia Commonwealth University Pitt Public Health researchers looked at 20 years of deaths for each of Virginia’s cities and counties and found that overall, in the white population, death rates decreased by 16 percent. However, death rates rose dramatically among young and middle-aged whites.  

Traveling to Brazil? Get a yellow fever vaccination first says Marques

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WASHINGTON POST - Travelers headed to Brazil should make an appointment for a yellow fever vaccination. “If you are going for tourism, you should definitely get the vaccine,” said EPI’s ERNESTO MARQUES. The CDC recently raised the level of concern in response to a yellow fever outbreak. The agency expanded its warning to travelers unvaccinated tourists contracted the mosquito-borne virus in newly identified hot spots. 

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YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals? 

YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals?

PITTWIRE -   Pitt alum Brian Burley (BUS ’13G) continues to highlight young black leaders and create community ties through his www.YngBlkPgh.com site. This social enterprise started with his book “YNGBLKPGH” (Young Black Pittsburgh) which features more than 140 African-American professionals und... (07/23/2018)
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BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use 

BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use

PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding B... (07/19/2018)
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Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education 

Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVA... (07/02/2018)


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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Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported 

Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid e... (07/19/2018)
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Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use 

Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients. "Having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose,” says HPM... (07/02/2018)
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Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women 

Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' “The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still us... (06/25/2018)
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