MICHAEL TALKOWSKI (HUGEN ’08) is associate professor of neurology (genetics) at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate member of the Broad Institute of the Massachusettes Institute of Technology and Harvard where he directs the Broad Structural Variation and Assembly Group. His research has led to paradigm-shifting discoveries that have left a mark on the field of genetics.
In 2012, a year before completing her MPH, CHRISTINA FARMARTINO (IDM ’13) was hired as executive director of The Open Door, which provides supportive housing and representative payee services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS—including active injection drug users—to improve their health and housing stability. Among other duties, Farmartino has raised more than $250,000 over three years in additional, diversified funding.
BERNADINE PETER (EPI ’88) is population health coordinator and registered dietitian at Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas. She previously served at Franklin Primary Health Center Inc. in Mobile, Ala., where she educated patients with diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, in addition to securing nutrition and wellness grants for the underserved.
FREDRICK MURPHY (MSHyg ’77) is executive director of Atlanta, Ga.-based Lifelong Health Inc., a nonprofit serving inner-city communities around public health and social justice issues. He served for more than 28 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), active and inactive, and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine.
JILL NORRIS (EPI ’88, ’90) is professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research focuses on the relationship of environment in the development of autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus in genetically susceptible individuals.
A two-time breast cancer survivor, RUTH MODZELEWSKI (HUGEN ’96) has served as mission coordinator for Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh since 2009, when she went from researching cancer at the University of Pittsburgh to practicing and promoting cancer prevention and treatment throughout Western Pennsylvania. She oversees the Komen Pittsburgh community-based health grants program which annually gives close to $1 million back to the community.
GEN NEWS – Scientists say they have identified fifteen genes that determine our facial features. HUGEN’s SETH WEINBERG describes the process before he and his team took on a new approach. “We're basically looking for needles in a haystack… This [approach] has already led to the identification of a number of genes but, of course, the results are limited because only a small set of features are selected and tested."
JENNIFER BOWLING (IDM '21) attended the Chemical & Biological Defense Science & Technology Conference to present her paper on “Influence of Sex on Protection Conferred by Vaccination with Attenuated Strains of Francisella tularensis in the Rabbit Model.”
MCSILVER INSTITUTE – This podcast series brings together thought leaders from the public and private sectors to analyze stereotypes and dispel myths concerning Black boys and men, while providing facts and best practices for those working with these often marginalized populations. MIKE LINDSEY (HPM ’01) says, “with increased media and attention, more folks are attuned to racial issues and the long lasting impact of discrimination.”
The Department of HUGEN is pleased to announce the promotion of QUASAR PADIATH to associate professor with tenure. His primary research interest is molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders, especially myelin formation and maintenance, using data on humans and mouse and fruit fly models.
VINCENT ARENA was awarded emeritus status after retiring from the Department of Biostatistics as associate professor. He was on the faculty for 31 years. His primary research focuses on the understanding of the epidemiology and etiology of juvenile onset diabetes, the evaluation of health risk effects from outdoor air pollution, and the characterization of lifestyle risk factors and their effect on physical activity levels.
HSTODAY - NIJ and the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence are hosting a moderated webinar on Monday, February 26, at 1:00 PM to discuss interventions to reduce TDV across multiple settings with potentially high-risk populations, including within adolescent health care settings. BCHS’ LIZ MILLER will talk about universal screening, warm transfers, and reasons patients do not seek or accept assistance.
MEDPAGE TODAY - A recent study by HPM's ERIC ROBERTS showed that Medicare's Value-based Payment Modifier program inadvertently shifted money away from physicians who treated sicker, poorer patients to pay for bonuses that rewarded practices treating richer, healthier populations. "Risk adjustment is usually
inadequate in these programs, in part, because it is difficult to measure the differences in complexity of patients across providers."
IDM's NICOLE GRANT has been nominated to serve as the student representative for the department. Grant will attend faculty meetings to provide a student perspective and bring student concerns to the table. Congratulations, Nicole!
"The [meeting] was a tremendous opportunity for me to network and learn from other scientists in my field," said JENNA MALINAUSKAS (IDM). "I learned tips and tricks to sequencing during the hands on training portion, what resources are available to me as a researcher, and how to improve my science. The opportunity to become more involved in the scientific community will benefit me throughout my career and I'm excited to attend more conferences i...
PITTSBURGH TODAY - Southwestern Pennsylvania remains more affordable overall than the average U.S. region, scoring particularly well in the areas of housing and health care.
NEW YORK TIMES - Among 30 experts who were recently asked to think big, but realistically, about solutions to the nation's opioid crisis, Dean DONALD BURKE emphasized community development and preventing addiction by reducing demand. "A good start would be to systematically link long-term data from treatment providers to death records to generate long-term outcomes of different types of treatments."
Dean Donald Burke shares his recent letter to the chancellor's office asking for an official University review of the naming of Parran Hall, "I write to request that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion form a review committee to consider whether the name "Parran Hall" is consistent with the University's mission to create a diverse and inclusive environment. Concerns have been raised both locally and nationally about Thomas Parran's legacy."
JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY - Wonderlich, Swan, Bissel, Hartman, Carney, O'Malley, Obadan, Santos, Walker, Sturgeon, Frye, Maiello, Scanga, Bowling, Duangkhae, Wiley, Flynn, Wang, Cole, Reed, Barratt-Boyes establish a new nonhuman primate disease model for evaluation of vaccine and therapeutic approaches to prevent and treat infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.
ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Faculty, students, and staff are paying particularly close attention to cancer and working to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations to fight the disease. Each of Pitt Public Health's seven departments employs its own critical lens for exploring how to prevent disease and promote population health.