Epi Alumni Stories

Department of Epidemiology alumni have crafted interesting career paths and are applying their wealth of professional and academic experiences in a variety of roles.

Allegheny County Health Department prizes alliance with Pitt Public Health alumni

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You don’t have to look far to find a School of Public Health (SPH) graduate among the people working within the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to ensure the well-being of western Pennsylvanians. "The school really is a feeder institution," says LuAnn Brink (EPI '99), PhD, a 12-year ACHD veteran and chief epidemiologist since 2014. Brink supervises the county's Bureau of Data Reporting and Disease Control and oversees surveillance... 

Christian Garcia-Calavaro (EPI '19) appointed head of Department of Epidemiology Chilean Ministry of Health

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With a warm and inviting smile – and a colorful tattoo of the Andy Warhol bridge on his forearm – Epidemiology alum Christian Garcia-Calavaro is eager to share his public health journey from his native Chile to Pittsburgh and back again. As he reflects on his experiences at Pitt Public Health he shares, “Through knowledge and example, I learned what made me the public health professional I am today and the foundations of the virtuous person who ... 

A Broken System: Health Care Inequity

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WQED - EPI’s Dara Mendez, BCHS’s Patricia Documet, and Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH ’00) are featured in a 30-minute documentary showcasing widespread and troubling health disparities. Lack of access to affordable care, racism, marginalization and other factors have led to increased rates of cancer, diabetes, asthma, and fetal and maternal death in Pittsburgh’s African American, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ and disabilities communities.  

Singh: 2021 Early Career Excellence Award

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Tushar Singh (EPI '14) awarded 2021 Early Career Excellence Award in recognition of significant achievements early in an alumnus or alumna's career.   

Sundermann discusses collaborative paper on artificial intelligence and disease prediction

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KDKA RADIO – Alex Sundermann (IDM ‘14, EPI ‘22) explains that one in thirty patients gets at least one health care-associated infection – one acquired while in the hospital. “Typical tests see what type of organism it is but that test doesn’t tell you, was it transmitted from a patient or from somewhere in the environment? [Genome surveillance is] like fingerprinting for that test – who has that same organism and who is transmitting to who when ... 

Ganguli op-ed: Masking still makes sense for vaccinated individuals

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - In a recent Op-Ed from Mary Ganguli (EPI '87) says, "We all know there’s just too much information out there: some of it changing over time, some of it well-intended but misguided and some of it deliberate misinformation. It can be confusing and overwhelming. As a medical doctor and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, I’d like to try to cut through that confusion."   

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Epi Alumni Awards and Profiles

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Singh: 2021 Early Career Excellence Award 

Singh: 2021 Early Career Excellence Award

Tushar Singh (EPI '14) awarded 2021 Early Career Excellence Award in recognition of significant achievements early in an alumnus or alumna's career.  (11/30/2021)
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BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers... (02/24/2021)
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Newman awarded AHA Clinical Research Prize (video) 

Newman awarded AHA Clinical Research Prize (video)

EPI's Anne Newman received the American Heart Association's 2020 Clinical Research Prize based on her extensive research career focused on aging, including the determinants of physical and cognitive function, as well as successful aging and longevity. She is an expert in the study of cardiovascular... (12/02/2020)
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Wei: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research 

Wei: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

"I entered the doctoral program without an MPH and Pitt Public Health cultivated my deep appreciation for the field of public health, in particular its principle of social justice. I was fortunate enough to have some of the best advisors and mentors, who helped me establish a vision for my research... (11/17/2020)
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King: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for Service 

King: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for Service

Since 2011, King and her family have raised over $65,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF) as part of their annual fundraising campaign, the “Take Steps” walk. Although the in-person walk was replaced by an online event this past June, King and her daughter, Madeline, raised $8,533 with ... (11/17/2020)
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Taylor: 2020 Early Career Excellence Award 

Taylor: 2020 Early Career Excellence Award

"Like anyone in academia, I wear a lot of hats with my job between teaching, research and administrative duties but I still get excited about writing papers and publishing my research. I have always enjoyed the writing process and without hesitation that is my favorite part of the job. The only thi... (11/17/2020)
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Blaney: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate  

Blaney: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate

Kayleigh Blaney attended the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 2013 with a BS in biology and history and in 2014 with a Master of Public Health in epidemiology. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health at the University of South Florida. After working with the University of Pitt... (11/17/2020)
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Crall: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate 

Crall: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate

"My favorite part of my current role is using my education to create a safer environment for staff and patients. During the COVID-19 crisis this has been a difficult task, but I couldn't be prouder of the way my fellow infection prevention team has come together to ensure the safety of all." (11/17/2020)
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