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Burke: First COVID-19 vaccine shot just as effective as the second

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Two of the three COVID-19 vaccines being administered to curb the spread of the disease require two shots for full protection, but some experts say one shot may be enough, at least for now. "As soon as I saw the reports on the Moderna and Pfizer applications for emergency use authorization, I saw both had striking effectiveness," said EPI's Donald Burke.   

Pitt Public Health team wins third place at Morningside International Global Health Case Competition

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In collaboration with the Center for Global Health, Pitt held its first-ever Global Health Case Competition last fall. Pitt supported the winning team from that competition to enter Emory University's Morningside International Global Health Case Competition. Emily Crisan (BCHS '24) joined five undergraduate students and faculty mentor HPM's Elizabeth Van Nostrand and won third place out of 53 teams from across the U.S. for their plan and strateg... 

Bodnar receives SER Carol J. Hogue Mid-Career Award

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Congratulations to EPI's Lisa Bodnar for receiving the 2021 Society for Epidemiologic Research Carol J. Rowland Hogue Award recognizing a mid-career scientist who has made an exceptional contribution to the practice of epidemiology. Hear from the 2021 awardees at the SER 2021 Virtual Conference June 23-25.   

Balascio among 25 Under 25: Women of Color to Watch

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MS. MAGAZINE - Phoebe Balascio (EPI '21) is a transracial, transnational, Chinese American adoptee, passionate about racial justice, immigrant justice, disability justice, and the adoption industrial complex. Her current research at Pitt Public Health focuses on gender-based violence.   

Dean Lichtveld looks to make science work for Pittsburgh communities

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U TIMES - "My motto is always 'Making science work for communities," said Dean Maureen Lichtveld. So her top goal for the school is to increase student and faculty connections to the community and its public health concerns. Another priority is precision public health – an interdisciplinary practice to tackling community-based problems with community-based assets. "We will go to the community and address…public health threats."   

Marques among researchers looking for thousands of participants for COVID-19 study

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UPMC - "Excuse me, are you willing to answer a few survey questions about your experience with COVID-19? Will you provide a blood sample and a nasal swab to test for coronavirus?" Pitt is one of 15 sites nationwide involved in the COMPASS study that will survey residents around the Pittsburgh area to learn who has antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.   

Roberts on whether the U.S. is entering a fourth wave of COVID-19

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TIME - Public health experts are worried that the country is headed for a fourth major spike. There's good reason to think this one might be less disastrous than the previous three. HPM's Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Lab, points to the relatively small uptick in deaths as a sign that prioritizing high-risk people for vaccination may be resulting in fewer fatalities even as cases increase.   

Bodnar named president-elect of SPER

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EPI's Lisa Bodnar was recently chosen as president-elect of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research - an organization of individuals from a wide variety of disciplines who share a common interest: the epidemiology of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood.   

Conley receives Provost's Doctoral Mentoring Award

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Congratulations to Yvette Conley (HUGEN '93, '99), one of the 2021 recipients of the Provost's Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring for her work at the School of Nursing, Department of Health Promotion and Development. The award recognizes faculty members who serve as outstanding mentors to graduate stduents seeking a research doctorate degree.   

Landsittel appointed chair at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON - Douglas Landsittel (BIOST '97) has been appointed chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in Indiana. "I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such an enthusiastic and talented group of faculty," he said. "Their research has made critical contributions across infectious disease modeling, genetics and bioinformatics, nutritional and social epidemiology, and statistical methods development. I... 

Gary-Webb, Baumann featured in new book The Science of Health Disparities Research

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NIMHD - The Science of Health Disparities Research is an in-depth volume for comprehensive information on conducting clinical and translational health disparities studies and features EPI's Tiffany Gary-Webb and BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) authored the chapter "Racial/Ethnic, Socioeconomic, and Other Social Determinants."   

Albert says without a ride, many in need have no shot at coronavirus vaccine

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WASHINGTON POST - One of the biggest challenges for state and local officials has been getting vaccines to homebound older adults, said BCHS Chair Steven Albert. "This is an invisible population. They're not like long-term care residents in nursing homes. They are very elderly and frail and they live at home and are an afterthought, in some cases."  

El Khoudary finds abdominal fat gain tied to heart disease risk in menopause

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UPMC - Women who experience an accelerated accumulation of abdominal fat during menopause are at greater risk of heart disease, even if their weight stays steady, according to research published in the journal Menopause. "We need to shift gears on how we think about heart disease risk in women, particularly as they approach and go through menopause," said EPI's Samar El Khoudary, senior author.   

Zika-related adverse outcomes in a cohort of pregnant women with rash in Pernambuco, Brazil

Multiple authors on behalf of the Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group, including IDM's Ernesto Marques, found the frequency of microcephaly in their results is consistent with previous studies. In addition, as children were evaluated at a later age and repeatedly by different groups of specialists our findings provide new insight into the absolute risk of more specific abnormalities, especially those more likely to be persistent, and suggest th... 

Wenzel chosen as American Thoracic Society's Amberson Lecturer

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EOH Chair Sally Wenzel has been chosen to be the American Thoracic Society 2021 Amberson Lecturer at this year's ATS Conference May 14-19. The Amberson Lecture recognizes exemplary professionalism, collegiality, and citizenship through mentorship and leadership in the ATS community and the chosen lecturer is an individual with a career of major lifetime contributions to clinical or basic pulmonary research and/or clinical practice.  

Braund gives current overview of PA State Response to COVID-19

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Wendy Braund, Pennsylvania's acting interim physician general led a conversation about the PA Department of Health resposne to COVID-19, addressing the current situation and containment and mitigation efforts. Braund painted a picture of COVID-19 across the nation in addition to the state itself. She talked about the demographics of the states data, additional virus strains, plus containment and mitgation efforts. Open for full recording.  

Pitt Public Health faculty, staff, and students volunteer for vaccine rollout efforts

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ACHD - Our faculty, staff, and students are volunteering in both clinical and non-clinical roles in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department, community organizations, and other Pitt Health Sciences volunteers as additional points of dispensing are opening and dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines increases.   

Leaf, Sokol, Lamonte present on experiential learning in the time of COVID-19

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Pitt Public Health and the Allegheny County Health Department had to think fast and act quickly to implement its long-standing public health internship safely. Robin Leaf, director of strategic academic initiatives and accreditation, Jamie Sokol (BCHS '07), and Leah Lamonte (IDM '06), both with the health department, recently presented their work at Teaching Prevention 2021.   

Drake on increased federal aid to combat the opioid epidemic

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PGH POST GAZETTE – An increase in federal aid means Pennsylvania has more money to spend on the opioid crisis and with fewer restrictions. HPM's Coleman Drake says easing access to medicine is an important part of continuing to make headway, noting that these benefits have been evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I suspect we’ll find that these changes have some positive effects, and I hope the administration doesn’t close the spigot.”  

Schwarz selected for 2020 Green Award

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Madeline Schwarz (IDM '23) is the latest winner of the William T. Green Award in Public Health Studies for her project entitled "Characterizing Timeline of Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection in Encephalitic and Pregnant Models." Congratulations!   

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Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees 

Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees

PITTWIRE - Among the latest to be added to Pitt's Board of Trustees is alumna Hui (Debra) Cen (IDM '91). Cen is a biologist, biotech entrepreneur, Rotarian and social entrepreneur who did biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, San Francisco and Chiro... (07/12/2021)
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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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Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)