OBOC 2017-18


Each year since 2009, Pitt Public Health invites students, faculty, alumni, and friends to share the experience of reading and discussing our annual selection for the One Book, One Community (OBOC) program. This year's OBOC selection is The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. 

About the Book

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

(Excerpted and condensed from Amazon.com)

Maximize Selecting this Year’s Book: From the Dean

Maximize Community Service

Maximize Completed OBOC Events (2017–18)

Maximize Resources

facebook icon obocLike OBOC on Facebook for news, tools, discussions and more. 

What Should We Read Next?

OBOC book stack

Have ideas for our 10th year?

Suggest a book

Read-Along Program

Alumni, families, and friends are invited to sign up below and read along with the school’s students and faculty by participating in the second read-along program. Read The Emperor of All Maladies and participate in live and virtual events and discussions. Read more...

WHERE TO GET THE BOOK

Get 10 percent off at the University Store on Fifth (with Pitt ID). Pitt’s Hillman Library, Health Science’s Library, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh may also have copies.

Questions?

With questions about OBOC, or to suggest an event, contact Robin Leaf, educational programs and practicum coordinator.

OBOC and Cancer News

image

Why heat waves are a growing risk for pregnant women 

Why heat waves are a growing risk for pregnant women

NPR - With extreme heat waves on the rise in a changing climate, doctors are finding that pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. Heat waves increase the chances of going into labor early, having a stillbirth, or having a baby with low birthweight.The risk is even greater for women of color, es... (10/18/2021)
image

We need to talk about your gas stove, your health and climate change 

We need to talk about your gas stove, your health and climate change

NPR - Americans love their gas stoves. It's a romance fueled by a decades-old "cooking with gas" campaign from utilities. The details have changed over time, but the message is the same: Using a gas stove makes you a better cook. But the beloved gas stove has become a focal point in a fight over wh... (10/18/2021)
image

Then and now: Pandemic clears the air  

Then and now: Pandemic clears the air

BBC NEWS - In a monthly feature, the BBC reveals some of the ways that planet Earth has been changing against the backdrop of the warming world. Air pollution has long been one of the biggest killers, claiming an estimated seven million victims annually. However, the Covid-19 global pandemic showed... (10/18/2021)
image

COP26: What is the Glasgow climate conference and why is it important? 

COP26: What is the Glasgow climate conference and why is it important?

BBC NEWS - The UK is hosting a summit that is seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control. The meeting in Glasgow this fall could lead to major changes to our everyday lives. The world is warming because of fossil fuel emissions caused by humans. Extreme weather events linked t... (10/18/2021)
image

Sustainable grains for breaking bread — and fighting climate change 

Sustainable grains for breaking bread — and fighting climate change

THE WASHINGTON POST - Most commercial crops are annual. They provide only one harvest and must be replanted every year. Growing these foods on an industrial scale usually takes huge amounts of water, fertilizer and energy, making agriculture a major source of carbon and other pollutants. But Kernza... (10/18/2021)
image

These Black Moms Gave Birth Early. They Don't Want Their Experiences to Be Normal 

These Black Moms Gave Birth Early. They Don't Want Their Experiences to Be Normal

NPR - Like many Black women, Shantay Davies-Balch and Sabrina Beavers delivered their babies earlier than they'd hoped. The two friends went to StoryCorps in 2019 to speak about the challenges they each faced during pregnancy. (07/02/2021)
image

Isiguzo receives Karen S. Peterson award for training in longitudinal data analysis 

Isiguzo receives Karen S. Peterson award for training in longitudinal data analysis

Congrats to Chinwoke Isiguzo (BCHS '22) on her award from the BCHS Karen S. Peterson Memorial Research Award for Women's Health for training in longitudinal data analysis. The award will support her dissertation research on stress as a mediator of discrimination shortening breastfeeding among Black... (05/13/2021)
image

Mendez talks Black Maternal Health in Adagio Health's Better Health Outcomes Speakers Series 

Mendez talks Black Maternal Health in Adagio Health's Better Health Outcomes Speakers Series

In observance of Black Maternal Health week, EPI's Dara Mendez presented Black Maternal Health in Pennsylvania and the U.S., presenting data, discussing the implcations of racism and next steps. Open for the full recording.  (05/06/2021)