IDM Alumni Stories

Alumni of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are profiles of a few of our notable alumni.

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... 

Henning breaks down the risks associated with ticks

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THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - In the past century, Pennsylvania has become very favorable for the ecology of tick-borne diseases. The region's woodlands, rivers, growing white tailed-deer population, plentiful population of white-footed mouse, and the expansion of human populations into the black-legged tick's habitat create ideal conditions for the transmission of Lyme disease to humans. Jill Henning (IDM '08) breaks down the risks.    

Smith talks in-depth immunotherapy for lung cancer

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HOPE WITH ANSWERS - Discover in-depth information about immunotherapy for lung cancer through this conversation between Kellie Smith (IDM '13) of Johns Hopkins and patient advocate Lysa Buonanno, part of a video series providing the next level of information for patients to understand treatment options, particularly if they've experienced resistances or if their lung cancer has progressed.   

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  

Nagy: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

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Annie Nagy (IDM ’10) is the maternal and child health program administrator at the Allegheny County Health Department where she uses current public health science and evidence-based practices to manage the weC.A.R.E. and Healthy Families Allegheny programs. Nagy analyzes health information to assist in program implementation and establishes community relationships to promote and support the MCH Program’s strategic plan.  

Rister opens book store, continues making the public healthier

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - On the surface, Adriene Rister (IDM) may seem to have made a dramatic career change, from dealing with infectious diseases for the state of Maine to running a children's book store. She sees the mission of both as bettering the community. "In a way, I like to think of this as part of public health...A bookstore should be a community hub, a place to gather around literacy and education, and a place to teach our kids abou... 

Obituary: Robert B. Yee, 'godfather' of Pitt Public Health

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Robert Yee was as brilliant as he was modest. "One of the godfathers" of Pitt Public Health, Yee mentored hundreds of students and played a pivotal role as a researcher who made several "breakthrough" discoveries about bacteria.   

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Alumni Awards and Profiles

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Nagy: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award 

Nagy: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

Annie Nagy (IDM ’10) is the maternal and child health program administrator at the Allegheny County Health Department where she uses current public health science and evidence-based practices to manage the weC.A.R.E. and Healthy Families Allegheny programs. Nagy analyzes health information to assis... (04/22/2019)
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Sundermann keeps asking 'why?' 

Sundermann keeps asking 'why?'

ALEX SUNDERMANN (IDM) is the featured MPH profile in the fall issue of Prevention Strategist, a magazine issued by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. When asked about the best advice he ever received, he said, 'keep asking 'why?'" (10/02/2018)
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Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO)

Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which i... (04/19/2018)
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Poston receives San-Pin Wang Award from the Chlamydia Basic Research Society 

Poston receives San-Pin Wang Award from the Chlamydia Basic Research Society

The San-Pin Wang Award for the best graduate student oral presentation at the Chlamydia Basic Research Society 2017 conference was given to TAYLOR POSTON (IDM '17). This award was established in honor of the memory of Dr. San-Pin Wang and a cash prize was generously donated by the San-Pin Wang Endo... (03/14/2018)
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Farmartino: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award 

Farmartino: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

In 2012, a year before completing her MPH, CHRISTINA FARMARTINO (IDM ’13) was hired as executive director of The Open Door, which provides supportive housing and representative payee services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS—including active injection drug users—to improve their health and housi... (02/23/2018)
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2017 faculty and staff Delta Omega initiates 

2017 faculty and staff Delta Omega initiates

The following four individuals will be inducted into the Omicron chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society at the Graduate School of Public Health, recognizing merit and encouraging further excellence in, and devotion to, public health work: Nancy W. Glynn (EPI '94), faculty and alumna; Leah M. ... (05/18/2017)
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Debra Cen (IDM '91) 

Debra Cen (IDM '91)

A passion for science, business, and American culture has propelled Hui “Debra” Cen (ScDHy ’91) to a sweet spot. Having sold one successful biotech start-up and handed off another, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur is now turning her attention to a high-tech way to promote the cultural strength of the... (05/29/2013)
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IDM Alumni Videos

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Smith talks in-depth immunotherapy for lung cancer 

Smith talks in-depth immunotherapy for lung cancer

HOPE WITH ANSWERS - Discover in-depth information about immunotherapy for lung cancer through this conversation between Kellie Smith (IDM '13) of Johns Hopkins and patient advocate Lysa Buonanno, part of a video series providing the next level of information for patients to understand treatment opt... (08/12/2019)
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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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Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO)

Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which i... (04/19/2018)
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