At this year's Code4PA event, two teams of Pitt Public Health students won prizes in the regional competition and advanced to the final round. A team of four, including HUANG LIN (BIOS '20), QING YIN (BIOS '21), AND LINGYUN LYU (BIOS '22), won best use of a case/visualization. The other team, including GARRY SMYDA (BIOS '22), won best use of Esri Technology.
JENNA CARLSON (BIOST '17) is a familiar face to the Department of Biostatistics since receiving her PhD with us a few years ago. After finishing her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Human Genetics for a year before joining Biostats as an assistant professor in August. Carlson is an outstanding educator and researcher with expertise in both statistical education and in population genetics.
SHUMEI SUN (BIOS '83) currently serves as the chair of the Department of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University. As chair, she has played a vital role in transforming the department by doubling the size of its faculty, and initiating new courses in mathematical genetics, omics and informatics over the past decade.
JOHN SCOTT (BIOST '08) was recently appointed as the director of the Division of Biostatistics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. In this role, Scott leads a group of 35 biostatisticians responsible for statistical aspects of the regulatory evaluation and oversight of vaccines, allergenic extracts, blood components, cellular therapies, gene therapies, etc.
FORBES - Bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death in obese people. But those who gained back 20 percent of weight lost were more than one-third more likely to develop diabetes and two-thirds more likely to have high cholesterol, according to a study conducted by a research team including EPI and BIOS professors, WENDY KING, STEVEN BELLE, ABDUS WAHED, MPH student, AMANDA HINERMAN (EPI '19), and other colleagues.
Congratulations to BIOST's Ada Youk who was recently elected to the International Statistical Institute (ISI). The ISI Mission is to lead, support and promote the understanding, development, and good practice of statistics worldwide, by providing the core global network for statistics.
Pitt's departments of biostatistics and biomedical informatics held a half-day joint faculty retreat to share respective areas of work, identify common interests, and foster collaborations in research and education.
SCIENCE - In an effort to understand the epidemic dynamics and perhaps predict its future course, Pitt Public Health researchers analyzed records of nearly 600,000 overdose deaths. Dean DONALD BURKE, HPM's HAWRE JALAL, and colleagues concluded that the U.S. drug overdose epidemic has been inexorably tracking along an exponential growth curve since at least 1979.
LU TANG joined the Department of BIOSTATISTICS as an assistant professor on August 1. He received his PhD in biostatistics from the University of Michigan. He is developing an outstanding research program in statistical machine learning and methods for modern high dimensional data. These are extremely important areas for the department as we build for the future.
ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid epidemic depends on understanding the magnitude of the problem,” said lead author, BIOST's JEANINE BUCHANICH.