Faculty Profiles & Research News

Burke among Women of Impact selected for Your Indelible Mark training

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BCHS's Jessie Burke was among 25 exceptional women leaders in health who met in Pittsburgh this month to explore their career and life goals and learn to address organizational and cultural barriers and meet life-stage challenges. The training was sponsored by Women of Impact, a group of women representing various sectors of the health care industry.   

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service providers, users, and experts via a content-mapping research methodology to isolate what matters most and to establish metrics for monitoring this vit... 

Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it

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INSIDE UPMC - Rural Pennsylvania Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with opioid use disorder are driving an average of four times as far as their nearest prescriber to receive medication-assisted treatment, according to an analysis led by HPM's Evan Cole. The study, published in the  Journal of General Internal Medicine , also found that the farther people have to travel, the less likely they are to adhere to medication-assisted treatment to relieve o... 

MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center receives $14.2 million to extend efforts into 2024

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INSIDE UPMC - Public health alumnae & RPCVs Marilyn Blasingame (IDM '16) and Ingrid Godfrey (IDM '18), and IDM professor Linda Rose Frank discuss their work on the prevention and treatment  of HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities through the MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center (MAAETC), which recently was awarded $14.2 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue the center’s work for the next five years  

Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance teams up with Amazon Web Services

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UPMC — The PHDA announced a new machine-learning research sponsorship with Amazon Web Services to advance innovation and transform the way that diseases are treated and prevented. This alliance of Pitt, UPMC, and UMPC works to use the “big data” generated in health care, such as electronic health records, diagnostic imaging, prescriptions, genomic profiles, and insurance records.  

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

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PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rather than days. And time is of the essence:  The sooner we detect airborne disease-causing particles, the better the mines can protect their workers' he... 

Inequity Remains Pittsburgh's Biggest Health Risk, Hacker Says

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THE CONFLUENCE (WESA) -- Outgoing director of the Allegheny County Health Department, adjunct professor in HPM and BCHS, and Pitt Public Health board of visitors member, Dr. Karen Hacker discusses the population health issues of this region as well as her plans to head the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  

Kahn finds regulations that mandate sepsis care appear to have worked in New York

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NPR - A New York regulation that dictates how doctors treat sepsis appears to be paying off, according to a study in JAMA. Amidst concerns about an unorthodox requirement of a specific set of practices that a doctor might otherwise deviate from based on the patient, HPM's Jeremy Kahn found that the rules reduced mortality, an important finding as other states consider and even the nation considers additional regulation.   

Fiesta del Sol raises sparks, celebrates #immigrantappreciation

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - BCHS's Patricia Documet, director of Latinx researh and outreach at the Center for Health Equity, is chair of the board for Casa San Jose, a Latino community resource center that held a major party last week benefiting the efforts of Casa San Jose's mission to create a welcoming community for Latino immmigrants through civic and social engagement.   

Stacy finds correlation between obesity in mothers, childhood cancer risk in children

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SPECIALTY PHARMACY TIMES - A new studying has found a correlation between children born to pre-pregnancy body-mass index (BMI) and the likelihood of developing childhood cancer, even after correcting for known risk factors, such as newborn size and maternal age. "My hope is that this study can be, in a way, empowering and also motivating for weight loss," said lead author Shaina Stacy (EOH '15 '12).   

Baumann Investigates Illegal Practice Against Women in Nepal

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INSIDE UPMC - Sarah Baumann (BCHS '19) spent the past nine months in Nepal, in part conducting qualitative research and data collection on  chhaupadi , an illegal cultural tradition that isolates menstruating women – who are considered “unclean” – to huts, basements or livestock sheds. Baumann has long researched the practice, most recently with a study published in the journal Global Public Health that assessed the role of caste (a cultural and... 

Zika and travel: Marques tells you what you need to know

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - The virus has been out of the headlines, but that doesn't mean it is gone. The World Health Organization just updated guideines for travelling to the Zika zone. "Summer in the north is winter in the south and vice versa, so you have to consider that," said IDM's Ernesto Marques. The virus is still circulating, but it's less prevalent in colder months than in the summer.   

As Washington Co. parents want deeper look at fracking and cancer, Talbot calls for study of historical pesticide use

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WESA - Epidemiologists say it is rare to prove an environmental cause for a cancer cluster. EPI's Evelyn Talbot says there's some evidence linking pesticide exposure with Ewing sarcoma and suggests conducting a case control study of historical pesticide use in the areas agricultural fields.   

Pitt Public Health dean steps down at a time when the region is losing other top leaders in the field (video)

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The departure of EPI's Donald S. Burke, dean emeritus, from his position as dean comes at a time when the region is losing two other top public health officials - Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor of the health sciences, and Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department. "This is a time of transition - of the health department, myself, Dr. Levine - this presents an opportunity for the community an... 

The Zika virus is still a threat. Here's what Marques, other experts know

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - Remember Zika? With measles and Ebola grabbing headlines, it is easy to forget the health panic of 2016, when Zika was linked to severe birth defects in thousands of Brazilian newborns whose mothers were infected while pregnant, striking fear across the country and much of the Americas. "The next outbreak is not a matter of if, but when," said IDM's Ernesto Marques.   

Hill, Fabisiak talk to KDKA radio about asthma and the Clairton Coke Works

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KDKA RADIO – The Clairton Coke Works is one of the biggest emitters of air pollutants in the area and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence about poor health in that area. EOH’s Jim Fabisiak and Brandy Hill (EOH ‘21) talk about their work and the importance of scientific investigation learning about asthma patients in the county, following hot spots of asthma, and preliminarily finding about the Mon Valley’s lung health.   

Personalities of Pittsburgh: Dr. Donald Burke becomes dean emeritus, continues as professor (subscriber content)

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Donald Burke is retiring from his role as dean but he’ll remain active with the University. He reflected on his career, including time in the military and international work in two dozen countries and shared concerns about scientific denialism. "As a scientific community, it's our job to continue to point out that the best decisions are based on evidence, and that without science, you can't make policies."   

Braund says public health research and practice should coexist in ASHTO blog post

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ASTHOEXPERTS BLOG - HPM's Wendy Braund, director of the Center for Public Health Practice, wrote a blog for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials that says that both practice-based research and implementation science are vital but that neither receives adequate effort and gives us ideas to address this challenge.   

Drake analyzes unintended consequences of pulling health policy levers

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UPMC - A move by the White House in 2017 - decried by many as an attempt to undercut the ACA - improved the affordability of health insurance for Marketplace enrollees. "...In terms of affordability, monopoly insurance markets are resulting in low- to no-cost premiums for Marketplace enrollees. On the other hand, this is a really inefficient way to spend federal tax dollars to create affordable health insurance," said HPM's Coleman Drake.   

Does the overdose plunge mean the epidemic is over? Burke says no.

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "What I'm worried about is that, if in fact it is a statistical aberration or an epidemic anomaly, that we psychologically, in public health, take credit for it and presume that we're doing enough," said Dean Donald Burke. "The response still has not been proportionate to the problem."   

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Research Videos

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As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate 

As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate

WDAM - U.S. health officials have reported 971 measles cases so far this year, the highest tally in 27 years, and experts say it's not clear when the wave of illnesses will stop. "What's causing these outbreaks is lack of vaccination," said HPM Chair Mark Roberts.  (05/31/2019)
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Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video) 

Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video)

WPXI - Antivaxxers left negative business reviews for Kids First Pediatrics after they posted a social media video encouraging HPV vaccination. So, they teamed up with researchers at Pitt including Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) who found that we have to "...start thinking about how to deliver tailor... (04/29/2019)
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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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