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Join us for Biostatistics Research Day 2020

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On Thursday, February 27, our annual Biostatistics Research Day will showcase students' posters and oral presentations. This is a fantastic opportunity for graduate students to present their research on statistical methods or applications, receive feedback, and build connections with faculty and alumni judges. Some of this student work will be presented at ENAR later this spring. We will also hear from invited speaker, James Dignam (BIOST '94), ... 

Faculty Spotlight: Jiebiao Wang, assistant professor of biostatistics

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Over the last year, we are lucky to have recruited three outstanding junior faculty members: Lu Tang, Jenna Carlson (BIOST '17), and Jiebiao Wang. The newest addition, Wang received his PhD from the University of Chicago and was most recently a post-doctoral fellow at CMU. His expertise and research interests include high dimensional data, genomics, and causal inference. Wang is currently teaching BIOST 2025: Biostatistics Seminar.   

Bandos and Ding recently promoted

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Congratulations to Andriy Bandos (left) and Ying Ding (right), who were recently promoted to associate professor. Both have made outstanding contributions to the department's graduate teaching and research programs. Congratulations!   

‘Alarming’ one-in-five deaths due to sepsis

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BBC - One in five deaths around the world is caused by sepsis, also known as blood poisoning. Derek Angus (’92 BCHS), now distinguished professor and Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair of Critical Care Medicine at Pitt School of Medicine, has contributed to a groundbreaking study finding that sepsis is twice as common as health officials have long believed, about 20 percent of all deaths worldwide.  

Students share practical advice on practica

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A panel of six current students highlighted last week’s sixth annual Practicum and Internship Symposium, sharing their own experiences and tips on how to secure an internship. Perspectives were provided by faculty, staff, and administrators engaged in internship/practicum sites and advised students on how to apply at the county health department, community-based organizations, and to opportunities throughout the region.  

Miller finds coaches can help prevent dating violence in young men

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KDKA  -  Imagine locker room talk about respect and stopping violence against women. Studies by BCHS’s Elizabeth Miller, who also directs adolescent and young adult medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital, found that coaches can reduce abusive behavior toward girls among male athletes, even at the middle school level. Earlier studies had shown that high school coaches could have a significant impact. Pittsburgh Action Against Rape runs the Coaching... 

Pittsburgh named one of the world’s smartest cities

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NEWSWEEK - Pittsburgh has been named one of the world’s smartest cities, as part of Newsweek’s 2019 Momentum Awards. Pittsburgh has undergone a dramatic environmental and technological transformation over recent years, earning its reputation as one of America's "most livable" cities, ranks among the top U.S. cities for green-certified building space, is named a top "NextTech" city, and has implemented numerous successful smart city projects incl... 

James study on how a ‘care system’ must change to adequately support caregivers

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In a March 2018 Journal of Palliative Medicine article addressing improvements for dementia and senior caregiving, Everette James, interim dean and director of the Health Policy Institute, and other researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the RAND Corp. stated that “fundamental changes are needed in the way we identify, assess, and support caregivers. Educational and workforce development reforms are needed to enhance the competencies ... 

Anantha Shekhar named Pitt’s named senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of Pitt Medicine

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Following a comprehensive national search, Anantha Shekhar has been named Pitt's senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine. Anantha will oversee the academic and research trajectory of all six schools within Pitt's health sciences division, integrating these schools with the broader University and with our clinical partner, UPMC. He is expected to chair our dean selection process... 

WalkWorks expands to improve community health throughout the state

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MYCHESCO - “Having access to activity-friendly walking routes is essential in helping to keep Pennsylvanians healthy,” said Secretary of Health Rachel Levine. Director of WalkWorks, Carol Reichbaum, adds that the partner communities “have demonstrated their commitment to expanding opportunities for physical activity in the built environment. Each will engage community members to assist with the identification of a 1- to 2-mile walking route, whi... 

Saluting the service of faculty and staff retirees

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The start of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on the many Pitt Public Health faculty and staff who retired in the last year, many after decades of service to the school. Thanks and best wishes to all!  

Life Before Childhood Vaccines

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PITT MEDCAST - In this episode, hear from people who grew up in the shadow of a crippling disease - amog them "polio pioneers," schoolkids from the clinical trials of Jonas Salk's killed-virus vaccine. Their accounts tell the stor of how ordinary people helped win the struggle against one of the most crippling diseases in history.   

Busko awarded NRHA 2020 Rural Health Fellowship

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Jonnathan Busko (CHS '98) was selected as one of the NRHA's 2020 Rural Health Fellows. This year-long, intensive program is aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America. Since 2018 he's been working with the Jackman, Maine region to develop a locally controlled and community-supported urgent and emergency health care access plan based on Informed Community Self Determination principles using Expa... 

Gellad on how availability of biosimilars may impact drug pricing

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MANAGED HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE –  With prices estimated to be 15-16% lower than originator products, biosimilars hold promise for reducing spending, but it is unclear how list prices, discounts, and net prices for the originator products change with such competition. HPM’s Walid Gellad is co-author on this JAMA Network Open publication. Results show that some prices increased annually by up to 6.1% until the introduction of a biosimilar after whic... 

Rinaldo remembers unsung heroes: Pittsburgh men, decades-long study impact HIV/AIDS research

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - For more than three decades, Pitt Men’s Study leaders have gathered with Pittsburgh men and women to remember those who have died and give thanks for the 1,743 men who have participated in the nation’s longest-running HIV/AIDS research project. IDM's Charles Rinaldo has led the effort since the virus surfaced here in 1981. “We are still searching for a true vaccine to prevent HIV,” Rinaldo says. “But we are dedicated t... 

Newman on why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Maintains Busy Public Life

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U.S. NEWS - It's reasonable for Ginsburg's fans to wonder if she should be taking it easy if her goal is to outlast the current administration? EPI's Anne Newman says, "She's definitely from the use-it-or-lose-it school," adding that research evidence suggests that “periods of rest, stopping, or temporarily slowing down make it a lot harder to gear up. So it's a lot better to keep going."  

Mendez on addressing Pittsburgh's public health crisis: racism

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90.5 WESA - The report brought attention to issues that already existed, says EPI's Dara Mendez. She made recommendations to Pittsburgh City Council at a hearing earlier this month about how to frame legislation passed Tuesday. To address these inequalities correctly, Mendez says that the women who are currently working on racism as a public health crisis need to be centered in the reporting of the issues and in finding the solutions. She adds t... 

Washington to speak in Philly

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Raynard Washington (EPI '09, '12) is the chief epidemiologist at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In this role, Washington is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data that provides actionable information on the health status of Philadelphia residents. He coordinates and provides guidance across the department and works internally and externally to enhance existing and establish new health surveillance systems. He... 

Clemons awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship

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Arvon Clemons (BIOST '21) was awarded the Commonwealth Equity Scholarship for academic year 2019-20.   

DiSanto awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship

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Dominic DiSanto (BIOST '20) was awarded the Commonwealth Equity Scholarship for the academic year of 2019-20.   

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O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role 

O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role

PITTWIRE - Pitt Public Health staff member Scott O'Neal recently took center stage to sing the title role in the world premiere of "Satan's Fall," composed by Steward Copeland, founder of the iconic New Wave band The Police. The metal opera, based on "Paradise Lost", was co-commissioned by the Mend... (02/24/2020)
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Parker elected Hastings Center fellow 

Parker elected Hastings Center fellow

PITTWIRE - HUGEN's Lisa Parker was recently elected fellow to The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of research scholars studying ethical questions in medicine, science and technology that help inform policy, practice and public understanding. Parker, along with Robert Arnold o... (02/05/2020)
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Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law 

Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law

PITT WIRE - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “Colorec... (01/28/2020)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause 

El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - A marker for heart disease risk considerably worsens as women transition through menopause. Black women experience this accelerated decline earlier in menopause than their white counterparts. According EPI's Samar El Khoudary, the findings add to growing evidence that menopaus... (02/10/2020)
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Sabik finds decline in advanced stage cancer diagnoses following health reform law 

Sabik finds decline in advanced stage cancer diagnoses following health reform law

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik... (02/04/2020)
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Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students 

Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Coaching Boys Into Men, a program that seeks to prevent dating violence and sexual assault, reduces abusive behaviors among middle school male athletes toward their female peers, according to clinical trial results published in JAMA Pediatrics. The trial, examining the short- ... (01/28/2020)