Research and Practice News

Check out some highlights of research and practice under way at Pitt Public Health:

HuGen’s Minster heads to Accra, Ghana for consortium on human heredity and health in Africa  

HuGen’s Minster heads to Accra, Ghana for consortium on human heredity and health in Africa

Assistant Professor Ryan Minster (HUGEN ’11) is attending the 14th Meeting of the H3Africa (Human Heredity and Health in Africa) Consortium in Accra, Ghana. H3Africa facilitates fundamental research into diseases on the African continent while also developing infrastructure, resources, training, an... (10/08/2019)

Donohue paper reviews pros and cons of marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers 

Donohue paper reviews pros and cons of marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers

HPM’s Julie Donohue weighs in on how marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers isn’t new.  In the paper “A History of Drug Advertising”, Donohue outlines the case for and against these advertisements. Proponents tout patient and consumer rights to make informed decisions, while bioethicists a... (10/01/2019)

Burke talks about how to control the river of legal painkillers flowing through Allegheny County 

Burke talks about how to control the river of legal painkillers flowing through Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - There were 76 billion pills prescribed across the country from 2006-2012. In that time, prescriptions in Allegheny county went from 46 pills per person per year to 58. EPI's Donald Burke said that there is still a long way to go in terms of controlling this first step of... (10/01/2019)

Drake: there appears to be a major loophole in background checks for private, online gun sales 

Drake: there appears to be a major loophole in background checks for private, online gun sales

STAR TRIBUNE - Fewer than 10% of sellers appear to require a background check. “We tried to search each listing for evidence suggesting the seller would need a background check," said HPM's Coleman Drake. "The results indicate that this is a potentially large loophole on private sales. The policy i... (09/23/2019)

Health savings accounts linked to care access in cancer survivors; Sabik looks to understanding impacts for specific populations 

Health savings accounts linked to care access in cancer survivors; Sabik looks to understanding impacts for specific populations

CANCERNETWORK - “This was an important study because of the increasing role of high-deductible health plans in our insurance system,” said HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “As [high-deductible health plans] become more widespread, understanding their impacts for different patient populations will be important.... (09/23/2019)

Gellad comments: Four health care questions every 2020 Democratic candidate should answer 

Gellad comments: Four health care questions every 2020 Democratic candidate should answer

VOX - If overhauling the U.S. health care system isn’t on the table in January 2021, drug prices, the opioid crisis, hospital spending, and long-term care are all deeply important problems that a Democratic president will need to turn their attention to if he or she wins. “If [Medicare-for-all] is ... (09/16/2019)

Tyurina finds genetic engineering could open possibilities for Parkinson’s patients 

Tyurina finds genetic engineering could open possibilities for Parkinson’s patients

MEDICIAL LIFE SCIENCES -  A team of researchers including EOH's Yulia Tyurina unveiled the most promising strategies in applying genetic engineering. The noble method can help study the role of cellular processes in the disease progression, develop new treatment methods and drugs, and estimate thei... (09/16/2019)

Kahn finds hospital choice could affect pediatric mortality during emergencies 

Kahn finds hospital choice could affect pediatric mortality during emergencies

HEALIO - A child’s chance of survival in an emergency may depend on the hospital where they receive care. Researchers assessed the pediatric readiness of EDs in five states and found that hospitals with the highest scores had lower mortality rates. “For some time, we’ve known that hospitals vary wi... (08/26/2019)

Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities 

Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities

NEWSWEEK - David Sinclair, a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt's Public Health Dynamics Laboratory and lead author of the study said, "I was surprised at how large measles outbreaks could be in Texas at current vaccination rates, according to our forecasts. The clustering of unvaccinated children in ... (08/25/2019)

Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic 

Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic

Alex Nowalk (BCHS '16), program director at Pitt's Program Evaluation and Research Unit, recently co-authored a chapter in an upcoming book, A Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Epidemic. Nowalk's chapter presents screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment as a public health and... (08/25/2019)

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries 

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause-related symptoms, and new research from EPI's Samar El Khoudary reinforces the importance of tailoring hormone therapy to each patient, based on her individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In a study p... (08/25/2019)

According to Sullivan, depression in older Pittsburghers is dropping 

According to Sullivan, depression in older Pittsburghers is dropping

People in the Mon Valley ages 65 and older are experiencing fewer depression symptoms than previously reported. A new study authored in part by EPI postdoc Kevin Sullivan, looked at how over 3,000 older people in communities across Southwestern Pennsylvanians are aging physically and mentally. The ... (08/24/2019)

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline 

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service ... (08/13/2019)

Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it 

Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it

INSIDE UPMC - Rural Pennsylvania Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with opioid use disorder are driving an average of four times as far as their nearest prescriber to receive medication-assisted treatment, according to an analysis led by HPM's Evan Cole. The study, published in the  Journal of General I... (08/10/2019)

MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center receives $14.2 million to extend efforts into 2024 

MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center receives $14.2 million to extend efforts into 2024

INSIDE UPMC - Public health alumnae & RPCVs Marilyn Blasingame (IDM '16) and Ingrid Godfrey (IDM '18), and IDM professor Linda Rose Frank discuss their work on the prevention and treatment  of HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities through the MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center (MAAETC), which r... (08/10/2019)

Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance teams up with Amazon Web Services  

Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance teams up with Amazon Web Services

UPMC — The PHDA announced a new machine-learning research sponsorship with Amazon Web Services to advance innovation and transform the way that diseases are treated and prevented. This alliance of Pitt, UPMC, and UMPC works to use the “big data” generated in health care, such as electronic health r... (08/07/2019)

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe. 

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rath... (08/05/2019)

Kahn finds regulations that mandate sepsis care appear to have worked in New York 

Kahn finds regulations that mandate sepsis care appear to have worked in New York

NPR - A New York regulation that dictates how doctors treat sepsis appears to be paying off, according to a study in JAMA. Amidst concerns about an unorthodox requirement of a specific set of practices that a doctor might otherwise deviate from based on the patient, HPM's Jeremy Kahn found that the... (07/23/2019)

Stacy finds correlation between obesity in mothers, childhood cancer risk in children 

Stacy finds correlation between obesity in mothers, childhood cancer risk in children

SPECIALTY PHARMACY TIMES - A new studying has found a correlation between children born to pre-pregnancy body-mass index (BMI) and the likelihood of developing childhood cancer, even after correcting for known risk factors, such as newborn size and maternal age. "My hope is that this study can be, ... (07/23/2019)

Baumann Investigates Illegal Practice Against Women in Nepal 

Baumann Investigates Illegal Practice Against Women in Nepal

INSIDE UPMC - Sarah Baumann (BCHS '19) spent the past nine months in Nepal, in part conducting qualitative research and data collection on  chhaupadi , an illegal cultural tradition that isolates menstruating women – who are considered “unclean” – to huts, basements or livestock sheds. Baumann has ... (07/19/2019)

Research Videos

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Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities 

Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities

NEWSWEEK - David Sinclair, a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt's Public Health Dynamics Laboratory and lead author of the study said, "I was surprised at how large measles outbreaks could be in Texas at current vaccination rates, according to our forecasts. The clustering of unvaccinated children in ... (08/25/2019)
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As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate 

As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate

WDAM - U.S. health officials have reported 971 measles cases so far this year, the highest tally in 27 years, and experts say it's not clear when the wave of illnesses will stop. "What's causing these outbreaks is lack of vaccination," said HPM Chair Mark Roberts.  (05/31/2019)
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Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video) 

Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video)

WPXI - Antivaxxers left negative business reviews for Kids First Pediatrics after they posted a social media video encouraging HPV vaccination. So, they teamed up with researchers at Pitt including Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) who found that we have to "...start thinking about how to deliver tailor... (04/29/2019)
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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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Hartman among researchers trying to prevent virus more dangerous than Zika (video) 

Hartman among researchers trying to prevent virus more dangerous than Zika (video)

WPXI - Pitt researchers are looking to lessons learned about Zika when preparing for the possibility of Rift Valley Fever virus, noting that it's important to develop therapies and vaccines now. "We saw the ffects of Zika when it got into a larger population and so our work highlights the need to r... (02/11/2019)
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Hernandez's research adds to pharmaceutical industry's growing pressure over high price of drugs 

Hernandez's research adds to pharmaceutical industry's growing pressure over high price of drugs

FOX NEWS - "It's not about innovation, it's about inflation in existing products," explains Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "They are the same companies that operate in other countries and they don't show this behavior and that's because in other countries they are lucky to have this regulatory env... (01/24/2019)
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