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Epidemiology Department News

Texas Woman’s University selects EPI alum Alan C. Utter as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs

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DENTON — After an extensive national search, Texas Woman’s University on March 21, 2017 announced it has tapped Alan C. Utter (EPI '95) as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, effective July 1. Utter currently serves as the interim VP for Research and a professor in the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University (ASU) in North Carolina where he previously directed ASU’s Health Promotion academic degree pro... 

King, Wahed, and Belle find wearable fitness devices lack functionality

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LOS ANGELES TIMES - Participants without physical activity trackers showed nearly twice the weight loss benefits at the end of the 24 months. Participants who used wearable devices reported an average weight loss of 7.7 pounds, while those who partook only in health counseling reported an average loss of 13 pounds, according to researchers WENDY KING, ABDUS WAHED, and STEVEN BELLE. 

MPH students Cox and Feathers represent the health department at Sci Tech Days

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MPH students ERIN COX (EPI) and ALISON FEATHERS (IDM), along with members of the National Health Corps Pittsburgh, represented the Allegheny County Health Department at the Carnegie Science Center’s annual Sci Tech Days. They presented information about Lyme disease to middle and high school student participants. 

EPI student Kathleen Creppage's fentanyl discovery recognized by commonwealth

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We're proud that Epi's KATHLEEN CREPPAGE's #opioidepidemic discovery of illicit fentanyl in Allegheny County caught the attention of PA Physician General Rachel Levine and the PA Department of Health. Very timely research.  

EPI's Bodnar urges more exercise for pregnant women

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WASHINGTON POST - An active lifestyle during pregnancy is safe and beneficial. Last week, epidemiology’s LISA BODNAR published a new report in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that investigated the diets of 7,500 pregnant women. The study revealed alarmingly high percentages of added sugars and solid fats in the women’s diets. “Many women gain too much weight during pregnancy, and this has become a major public health concern... 

Women in the U.S. lack proper nutrition before pregnancy, according to EPI's Lisa Bodnar

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NEW YORK MAGAZINE - Research by LISA BODNAR, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, highlights the need for more nutritional guidance for women of reproductive age. Her team found that women in the U.S. aren’t achieving the dietary recommendations, noting that healthy maternal diets have been linked to reduced risks of preeclampsia, preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and maternal obesity. 

DC alumni reception brings together friends and colleagues

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Dozens of Pitt Public Health grads from the capital area gathered at Penn Social during the 2017 ASPPH annual meeting, joining Dean Burke and host faculty for hearty conversations and refreshments. If the forecast of snow scared you away, we missed you! Access our photo albums anytime at www.publichealth.pitt.edu/flickr. 

Osteoporosis treatment is in crisis with lower drug usage, says EPI's Jane Cauley

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The crisis in osteoporosis is an acute one, and in the last several years it has gotten to a crisis level because of the significant decline in treatment. As president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, JANE CAULEY, distinguished professor of epidemiology and associate dean for research, said plans are underway for a “Call to Action” to reverse the troublesome trend. Her review of osteoporosis researc... 

EPI researchers find ‘Equol’ may determine if soy protects your heart

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Epidemiology faculty AKIRA SEKIKAWA (senior author) and RHOBERT EVANS, with then-students VASUDHA AHUJA (EPI '15) and ABHISHEK VISHNU (EPI '14) clarify in the British Journal of Nutrition why eating soy foods provides a protective benefit only to some people. Japanese men who are able to produce equol—a substance made when certain “good” gut bacteria metabolize isoflavones in soy—have lower levels of a risk factor for... 

EPI's Kriska receives Provost Award for Excellence in Mentoring

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EPI's ANDREA KRISKA has been honored with a 2017 Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring. As a committed and effective advisor, she has served as the primary advisor and committee chair for 14 doctoral students, 22 master’s students, and 11 post-doctoral trainees. 

EPI alumnus Christopher Taylor selected as a finalist in Cathedral Innovation Challenge

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Warhol-inspired "Cathedral Cookies" created by CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR (EPI '10) were selected for the finals of the Cathedral Innovation Challenge, which dares community members to create artistic replicas of Pitt's iconic tower. Inspired by Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol, Taylor's set of four depictions are created on  3 x 5-1/2-inch vanilla shortbread cookies using royal icing and food-color paint, making the piece entirely edible. 

EPI's King reports that standing is a good start for very obese people

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KNOWRIDGE - “Adults with severe obesity often have difficultly following national guidelines to participate in at least 30 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for health benefits,” says lead author WENDY C. KING, associate professor of epidemiology.  

EPI and BIOST researchers find wearable fitness devices don't make you more fit

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NY TIMES / JAMA - Epidemiology and biostatistics researchers WENDY KING, ABDUS WAHED, and STEVEN BELLE contributed to a two-year Pitt-led study which found that people who used wearable fitness devices for 18 months lost significantly less weight than those who didn’t. At the end of the IDEA Trial, study participants "without access to the wearable technology lost an average of 13 pounds. Those with the wearable tech lost an average of 7.7 pound... 

Epidemiology's Jane Cauley shows testosterone treatment can benefit old men

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KNOWRIDGE SCIENCE REPORT - “We showed that testosterone improved men’s impression that their sexual function and walking ability had improved, suggesting that these effects are clinically important.” said JANE A. CAULEY, coauthor and chair of the TTrials recruitment committee, and principal investigator at the study’s Pittsburgh site. 

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