Faculty Profiles & Research News

Gun owners, onlookers split on what gun control proposals could accomplish

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TRIB LIVE - Reaction to proposed gun control laws shows that even some local gun owners appear just as divided about the effectiveness of such measures as the politicians debating them. Although many people seem to agree the country has to find a way to stem gun violence on American streets and in schools, there is little agreement on how best to do that. "Much of the gun regulation debate is based on speculation," says EPI's Anthony Fabio. "The... 

COVID-19 deadlier during pregnancy, African study says

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VOICE OF AMERICA - Pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe medical complications or death from COVID-19, according to a new study of more than 1,300 women in sub-Saharan Africa. "Africa is not Europe, is not the U.S.A.," said IDM and EPI's Jean Nachega, lead author of the new study. "We should not just rely on data coming from the U.S., Europe or China to try to understand COVID on the continent."   In the study , published in the jou... 

Meet the anti violence expert advocates want on jail oversight board

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Pittsburgh City Paper - BCHS' Richard Garland has been recommended by the Pennsylvania Prison Society, Let's Get Free: the Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, and Book 'Em, to serve on the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board (JOB). Garland has gained respect and notoriety for his steadfast commitment to violence prevention, trauma-informed care, and re-entry, to the extent that he has received support from Mayor Ed Gainey to fill the o... 

Gary-Webb participates in White House listening session on health equity issues

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On May 25, Tiffany Gary-Webb, associate professor of Epidemiology, participated in a White House listening session on health equity issues across the Commonwealth.  Experts from a range of disciplines – medicine, nursing, public health and social work – participated in the session.  Attendees were asked to share their views on health equity and its impact on clinical care.  “While our clinical advancements have been amazing and pivotal, pre... 

Valerian Kagan, pioneer of "redox biology," graces academic journal cover

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Dr. Valerian Kagan, professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, was honored as the “Cover Scientist” of Anti-Oxidants and Redox Signaling , for his pioneering work in the field of redox biology. In addition to gracing the cover of the premier journal’s May issue, Dr. Kagan’s life and scientific achievements are the subject of a biographical article in the journal. “Professor... 

More evidence links asthma severity to age of onset

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MEDSCAPE - EOH's Sally Wenzel talks to Medscape about asthma study, which is unique in how it delineates groups by age of onset. The study is the largest of its kind and is also multinational, making it very unique.  “In addition to this concept that there’s a difference in asthma by the age that you got diagnosed with it, I think it’s also important to just remember that when any physician, be they a specialist or nonspecialist, sees a patien... 

What women can do to protect their hearts at every age

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NHLBI News - EPI's Samar El Khoudary shares what healthcare providers and the public should know about reproductive events, such as pregnancy complications or early menopause, that can influence women's cardiovascular disease risks. "We want to make sure that women are aware that heart disease is their number one killer," she says. Knowing about the risks can be the first step to prevention.   

Diabetes in the offspring of exceptional survivors

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FRONTIERS SCIENCE NEWS - New study within the US Long Life Family Study identifies biomarkers characteristic for people born in – or married into – families with exceptionally long-lived members. Both groups also have a reduced risk of developing type II diabetes. Sharing the household and lifestyle of children of long-lived parents might lead to these marked health benefits for spouses, but it’s also possible that people tend to pick their part... 

Two public health leaders on COVID-19 and what's next

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PITTWIRE - Dean Lichtveld and Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, sat down to discuss lessons learned from the U.S. response to the pandemic and the future of the nation's health. As the United States settles into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, mask mandates are few and far between, hospitalizations have plummeted and more than three-quarters of Americans have received at least one COVID-19 vacc... 

Doctors devise safer alternative to opioids during, after surgeries

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - EPI's Wendy King weighs in on opioid use during and after bariatric surgery care. States that many weight-loss centers are indeed developing their own opioid-sparing protocols. The majority of patients seem to be on board with these protocols.   

Black Equity Coalition and Tiffany Gary-Webb use data driven approach to addressing health disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic

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PITT MED - Concerned about the COVID-19 death rate for Black Pittsburghers, Tiffany Gary-Webb and a group of scholars in her sphere reached out to public health officials. When they asked about the rates in the Pittsburgh area, the data were not available to the public at the time. In the ensuing weeks and months, Gary-Webb was part of a collegial huddle working together to put pressure on public health officials. Ultimately, that pressure resul... 

Barchowsky and colleagues awarded Scaling grant

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PITTWIRE - EOH's Aaron Barchowsky and colleagues at the Pittsburgh Center for Healthy Environments and Equity Research were awarded a Scaling grant from the 2022 Momentum Funds. A total of 32 research projects were recognized. These awards are aimed at supporting high-quality research, scholarship and creative endeavors. Scaling Grants support the detailed project planning, gathering of results, and reduction of technical risk so that teams can ... 

New program funds research on climate change and precision public health

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PITTWIRE - Congratulations to the recipients of the CTSI Pitt Public Health Trans-Disciplinary Collaboration Pilot Awards! Five teams of Co-Investigators from Pitt Public Health and School of Medicine begin research on climate change and precision public health. The collaborative pilot investigations are focused on addressing public health under the threat of climate change through precision public health, an emerging field that employs data sci... 

Researchers seek answers on how structural racism could impact dementia

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WESA - EPI's Andrea Rosso and Tiffany Gary-Webb, Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity, are part of a research study intent on learning how structural racism has affected the cognitive health of Pittsburgh residents in two of the city's historically Black communities: Homewood and Hill District. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, epidemiologists from Pitt and the Rand Corporation will follow 1,100 research particip... 

El Khoudary weighs in on study of menopausal weight gain

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EVERYDAY HEALTH - Authors of a study on menopausal weight gain found that exercise and diet during perimenopause may be the best strategy to avoid excess weight. "The results suggest that there are differences in metabolism that are related to exercise according to menopause status," says EPI’s Samar R. El Khoudary. Adding that “findings are in agreement with data from longitudinal studies showing perimenopause as a critical window for body comp... 

Congratulations to Jennifer Adibi as an inaugural Social Justice Faculty Fellow

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PITTWIRE - EPI's Jennifer Adibi was selected as an inaugural Social Justice Faculty Fellow! The fellowship supports faculty who are committed to social justice and equity, and is one of several initiatives at Pitt seeking to address structural racism and inequity. Fellows receive a $10,000 award, funded jointly by their respective schools and community partnerships, and are paired with a community organization for an 11-month project that addres... 

Dean Lichtveld collaborates on newest edition of Environmental Policy and Public Health

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After more than a year of research, Dean Maureen Lichtveld has published the third edition of Environmental Policy and Public Health. This newly released edition, co-authored by Barry L. Johnson of Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, comprises two volumes addressing key environmental factors that impact public health. The first volume, Principal Health Hazards and Mitigation, is complemented by the second volume, Emerging Health H... 

BCHS' Richard Garland receives Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award

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Congratulations to assistant professor Richard Garland who has been selected to receive the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award for his exceptional work to reduce gun violence. Dr. Garland was one of 15 faculty members across Pitt recognized by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and will be honored at the Faculty Honors Convocation on April 1 at 3 p.m. in Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.   

Vockley among fellows selected by AAAS

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Hugen’s Jerry Vockley named as a 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. Election as a Fellow honors members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues. Vockley directs an active research program on inherited disorders of energy and protein metabolism, focused on both understanding the genetic causes of these dis... 

Hello Neighbor, Meet FRED: Laboratory at Pitt Public Health strives to make a world of difference

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Just like Pittsburgh’s beloved neighbor Fred Rogers, who inspired and educated generations of children, a computer modeling software system named after him is teaching us how to use scientific data to improve health and save lives. FRED – the Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics – has been used for more than a decade to predict the spread of influenza throughout communities. Originally developed to simulate infectious disea... 

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Research Videos

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Garland Examines Rise in Young People's Involvement in Local Violence on Hayes-Freeland show (video) 

Garland Examines Rise in Young People's Involvement in Local Violence on Hayes-Freeland show (video)

KDKA - BCHS' Richard Garland spoke with KDKA's Lynne Hayes-Freeland about the factors that are contributing to a rise in violence among youth in Pittsburgh. (08/03/2021)
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Baumann's talk during TEDxUniversity: Leaders, Innovators, and Neighbors (video) 

Baumann's talk during TEDxUniversity: Leaders, Innovators, and Neighbors (video)

BCHS' Sara Baumann is a mixed-methods researcher harnessing participatory, arts-based tools to study mental health and reproductive health issues. She was living in Nepal in 2015 when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck, killing close to 9,000 people and displacing half a million. Watch the recording... (07/26/2021)
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Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods 

Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods

"The Hill District and Homewood are similar and different in various ways. They're similar in the sense that they've been relatively stable over time and they have predominantly Black populations but they have very different histories overtime," explains EPI's TIffany Gary-Webb, assocaite dean for ... (07/23/2021)
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Hill and colleagues find that coke works fire made asthma worse for sufferers nearby 

Hill and colleagues find that coke works fire made asthma worse for sufferers nearby

WTAE - Brandy Bywra-Hill (EOH '22) was lead author on a recent study in collaboration with ACHD that recounts the impact of the Christmas Eve 2018 fire that destroyed the pollution controls of the U.S. Clairton Coke Works. "This is the type of data that helps shape policy about air emissions, facto... (05/06/2021)
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