Faculty Profiles & Research News

Songer: 2019 Distinguised Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Thomas Songer (EPI ’86, ’90) is an assistant professor and the director of doctoral programs in the Department of Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Consistently one of the most highly rated teachers in the school, he is the primary instructor for graduate courses in injury epidemiology and injury prevention and control as well as the undergraduate Introduction to Research and Introduction to Epidemiology classes. Since 2007, Songer has been th... 

King: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Wendy King (EPI ’04) is associate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Her work is focused on the design, coordination, and analysis of multicenter cohort studies and randomized clinical trials. She is currently the principal investigator of the data coordinating center for three prospective cohort studies.   

Rosano: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Caterina Rosano (EPI ’03) is a physician-scientist and neuroepidemiologist at the forefront internationally of investigating the mechanisms underlying physical and cognitive independence in older adults. Her publication record includes more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers that trace a logical and scientifically solid link between long-term exposure to cardiometabolic/lifestyle factors, integrity of selected brain networks, and maintenance... 

HUGEN's Beth Roman receives 2019 Craig Teaching Award

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Congratulations to HUGEN's Beth Roman on winning this year's award honoring faculty who have excelled in the teaching and mentoring of students. "Dr. Roman creates the best possible learning environment by making her classroom open to all questions, comments, and points of discussion. She actively seeks feedback from students in order to continually make improvements to the courses she teaches and is in charge of," said one nominator.   

New measles outbreak simulator demonstrates the importance of vaccines

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WGCU NEWS - With measles outbreaks on the rise and vaccination rates falling in some places, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts discusses our latest simluator, FRED Measles Florida shows how quickly this preventable disease could spread if vaccination rates were to drop by 15%, highlighting the importance of herd immunity.   

Tseng receives Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring

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Congratulations to BIOST's George Tseng on receiving the 2019 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring which annually recognizes up to four faculty members for outstanding mentoring of graduate students seeking a research doctorate degree. Vital to the University's academic mission, training the next generation of professional scholars is only accomplished by devoted faculty mentors who provide the intellectual and personal leadership to supp... 

Mailliard develops 'Swiss Army Knife' immunotherapy that kicks and kills HIV by exploiting a common virus

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In a first on the quest to cure human immunodeficiency virus, IDM's Robbie Mailliard and colleagues developed an all-in-one immunotherapy approach that not only kicks HIV out of hiding in the immune system, but also kills it. The key lies in immune cells designed to recognize an entirely different virus.   

Albert comments on findings about aid-in-dying drugs

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REUTERS - "This is an important paper, if a state has legislation that allows terminally ill adults to request medication to hasten death, there needs to be a policy from each hospital on how they will respons. This is one of the first studies to address that," said BCHS Chair Steven Albert.   

Wenzel's new drug for people with severe asthma

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel was an investigator in the clinical trial for the new biologic drug dupilumab, marketed as Dupixent and approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration last fall. The drug is part of the effort to help patients with severe asthma who don’t get control by using their regular long-term control medications, such as inhaled corticosteriods and bronchodilator medication, to open up and reduce swel... 

King's findings on how to prevent weight gain after weight loss surgery

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - EPI's Wendy King and colleagues found that eating habits and physical activity have a greater impact on weight-loss surgery's long-term success than measures like counting calories. Limiting sedentary behaviors, self-weighing at least once a week, avoiding fast food, and correcting problematic eating behaviors were all factors associated with a greater chance of limiting weight gain after weight-loss surgery.  

USF latest to use FRED to simulate measles outbreak in Florida

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WUSF NEWS - University of Pittsburgh's Public Health Dynamic Laboratory teamed up with the University of South Florida College of Public Health to create a new online measles simulator that shows how quickly measles can spread from just one measles case over a nine-month period.   

Parker says: It takes a village, privilege and individual effort

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THE CAMPUS - In a lecture at Allegheny College titled Genetic Enhancement: A Game Changer for Sports and Social Justice? HUGEN's Lisa Parker said that many components of individual effort are not in the individual's control but are rather the influenced by unjust social practices that are beyond the individual's control.  

Mailliard and Rinaldo on the quest to cure HIV using immunotherapy

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INFECTION CONTROL TODAY - IDM's Robbie Mailliard and Charles Rinaldo are on the quest to cure HIV using an all-in-one immunotherapy approach that not only kicks HIV out of hiding in the immune system but also kills it. The key lies in immune cells designed to recognize an entirely different virus.   

Goldstein: If I were still working at the EPA, I would resign

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THE WASHINGTON POST - A powerful op-ed from Bernard Goldstein, dean emeritus and former head of the EPA's Office of Research and Development under Ronald Reagan. "I would have resigned either position had the agency’s overall advisory processes been subject to its current destructive alterations."   

Analyzing a Facebook-fueled anti-vaccination attack: 'It's not all about autism'

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Research led by Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) finds that anti-vaccination arguments on social media aren't all about autism, but instead center on four distinct themes that can appeal to diverse audiences, offering a framework that pediatricians can use to open a conversation with parents who are hesitant to immunize their children.   

Fabisiak explains how sulfur dioxide affects the human body

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WESA FM - It’s been more than three months since a fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works significantly increased emissions of sulfur dioxide, and Mon Valley residents say it's still affecting their quality of life.  On the debut of a new occasional series, "Moment of Science," 90.5 WESA’s Liz Reid talked with EOH's Jim Fabisiak about how sulfur dioxide affects the human body.  

Kuller receives 2019 Peter J. Safar Pulse of Pittsburgh award

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EPI’s Lewis Kuller was honored at the Pittsburgh Heart Ball for his groundbreaking contributions to the study of cardiovascular disease. When presenting the award, Anne Newman, chair of the department, said that Kuller "always challenged current public health knowledge through research and interventions designed to stimulate major advances in public health and prevention."   

Celedón comments on asthma taking a harder toll on african-americans.

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Pittwire - Epi’s Dr. Juan Celedón comments on research that shows that a set of genetic mutations found mostly in people of African ancestry may make them less likely to respond to albuterol, the most-prescribed asthma drug in the world. Asthma hits African-Americans particularly hard, and the health care system often fails them. CDC estimates 15.3 percent of black children have the disease compared with 7.1 percent of white children.  

Costacou finds menarche heightens overt nephropathy risk in type 1 diabetes

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HEALIO – "A major question of concern in type 1 diabetes is the association of age at menarche with glycemic control; however, studies evaluating the impact of glycemic control on the age at menarche in young women with type 1 diabetes have provided conflicting results," said EPI’s Tina Costacou, finding that nephropathy is more likely to develop in women with type 1 diabetes who are older at age of menarche compared with those who are younger. ... 

Peddada attends meeting for BRuSH in Norway

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BIOST's Shyamal Peddada attended the kick-off meeting for the Oral Bacteria as determinants for ReSpiratory Health (BRuSH) in March at the Solstrand Hotel in Norway. The meeting was organized by Randi Jacobsen Bertelsen in the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Norway.   

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Research Videos

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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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BCHS team tries new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (video) 

BCHS team tries new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (video)

Post-doctoral researcher Robert Coulter (BCHS '17), BCHS's Jessica Burke, and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) tried using a video approach to share highlights of Coulter's recent research on how welcoming school environments reduce drinking among both LGBT+ -identified students and their heterosexual count... (11/24/2018)
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Burke updates Pitt Public Health community on state of the opioid epidemic (VIDEO) 

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

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 t... (10/04/2018)
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Newman and colleagues' new study uses local participants to look at aspirin use in older adults (video) 

Newman and colleagues' new study uses local participants to look at aspirin use in older adults (video)

WPXI - TV - We've long heard that an aspirin a day can help lower the risk of heart disease. A new study using participants from Pittsburgh suggests that isn't always the case. The study looked at 19,000 people worldwide, including 178 people from Pittsburgh. "People who took aspirin and people who... (09/19/2018)
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