EOH Faculty & Research News

Wenzel's new drug for people with severe asthma

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel was an investigator in the clinical trial for the new biologic drug dupilumab, marketed as Dupixent and approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration last fall. The drug is part of the effort to help patients with severe asthma who don’t get control by using their regular long-term control medications, such as inhaled corticosteriods and bronchodilator medication, to open up and reduce swel... 

Goldstein: If I were still working at the EPA, I would resign

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THE WASHINGTON POST - A powerful op-ed from Bernard Goldstein, dean emeritus and former head of the EPA's Office of Research and Development under Ronald Reagan. "I would have resigned either position had the agency’s overall advisory processes been subject to its current destructive alterations."   

Fabisiak explains how sulfur dioxide affects the human body

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It’s been more than three months since a fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works significantly increased emissions of sulfur dioxide, and Mon Valley residents say it's still affecting their quality of life.  On the debut of a new occasional series, "Moment of Science," 90.5 WESA’s Liz Reid talked with EOH's Jim Fabisiak about how sulfur dioxide affects the human body.  

Wenzel identifies corticosteroid response phenotypes for severe asthma

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MEDPAGE TODAY - With the aid of a computational tool, Wenzel says they have identified key phenotypes among patients with severe asthma that can help predict who may benefit and not benefit from treatment with systemic corticosteroids (CS). Aware of the possible side effects, EOH's Sally Wenzel said, “physicians would like to prescribe them only to patients they know will benefit from them.”  

Wenzel's new method identifies which asthma patients respond to system corticosteroids

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While important in the treatment of the common and often life-long respiratory disease, corticosteroids aren't without side effects and for some patients, the treatment just isn't as effective. EOH Chair Sally Wenzel and colleagues used a machine learning algorithm and identified variables that allowed them to cluster patients based on response.   

Goldstein on report that EPA leadership stalled testing for chemical health risks

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EARTH.COM NEWS - EOH's Bernard Goldstein told the Wall Street Journal that the report shows that the Trump administration is challenging the EPA's long-held standard approaches to science.   

Fabisiak comments on the region's cancer risk related to air pollution

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - Around one in three Americans gets a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. "If someone chooses to smoke, most of the risk will only impact them," said James Fabisiak. "When we think about air pollution, on the other hand, the risk is smaller than smoking but that risk is now distributed over a much wider segment of the population."  

Sahu and Ambrosio find longevity protein rejuvenates muscle healing in old mice

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UPMC - New research, developed largely from Amrita Sahu's (EOH) thesis work, implicates the so-called “longevity protein” Klotho, both as culprit and therapeutic target to the inability for skeletal muscle to hear after injury as we get older. “We found that we were able to rescue, at least in part, the regenerative defect of aged skeletal muscle,” said lead author, EOH's Fabrisia Ambrosio.   

Kagan, Wenzel, Bayir partner to better understand cell death and ferroptosis

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PITT MED - Cells die—that’s just part of life. But there’s always a reason. Pitt scientists are figuring out how to keep programmed cell death in check. EOH's VALERIAN KAGAN and SALLY WENZEL and other colleagues including EOH's HULYA BAYIR, are partnering to better understand “the reason” for ferroptosis—exactly what biomolecular line is crossed, how that signal is communicated within and between cells, which molecules pull the trigger, and how.... 

Goldstein profiled in Risk Analysis

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RISK ANALYSIS - Before joining Pitt Public Health in 2001, BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor and former dean, obtained his medical degree from NYU. In 1980, he was recruited by Rutgers Medical School to help with the increase in public and political concerns about environmental pollution. Later, he left New Jersey to head the Office of Research and Development under President Ronald Reagan.  

Sally Wenzel receives 2018 Trailblazer award from Carnegie Science Center

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The Carnege Science Center held their Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala last week. EOH chair SALLY WENZEL and 5 other doctors were honored with the 2018 Trailblazer award for advancing the cause of medicine in their fields. Each of them were surprised with $20,000 to help further their research.  

Indiana steel mill emits 18,000 pounds of lead a year, Fabisiak comments

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The ArcelorMittal steel mill at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor emitted 173,000 pounds of benzene during 2016, making it the nation’s largest industrial source of a volatile chemical known to cause leukemia. More could be on the way but regulators can't explain where the steel mill's pollution ends up. “It’s a constant fight,” said EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.   

Is there a connection between Pittsburgh's high rates of asthma and autoimmune disorders?

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Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh would be an ideal place for further study on the links between air pollution, asthma, and autoimmune disease, says EOH chair SALLY WENZEL. "There's a lot of evidence now that what you breathe may impact your lungs in many ways, and could actually start an autoimmune process. That's a link we haven't fully explored in this region yet."  

Wenzel says biologic improves severe asthma outcomes

MEDPAGE - Two trials showed that dupilumab was associated with reduced exacerbations, better lung function and improved asthma control in patients with moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma. EOH professor SALLY WENZEL says, “for patients who have a lot of comorbidities, and are missing a lot of work or school, it has the potential to be cost effective.” 

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