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PHDL helps city prepare for severe air quality incidents using predictive analytics technology

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JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES - “In this scenario, we are using FRED to estimate the clinical impact of heat and smog on different demographics within our population,” said MARK ROBERTS, HPM chair and director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL). “FRED allows us to pinpoint critical conditions and the effect of potential interventions to better educate response efforts. For example, we can use the model to predict how many ins... 

One city in Pennsylvania is poised to crush the 21st century… but it’s not Philadelphia. How Pittsburgh positioned itself as a tech and innovation power player.

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PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE -  As a brave new world of technologies like robotics, autonomous vehicles and genomics begins to take shape, Pittsburgh is one of a few scrappy, first-mover cities poised to lead it. Beyond the robots, rivers, and restaurants, Pittsburgh has community, livability and a distinct Portland-like attraction—except there are jobs and projects attracting companies like Google and Amazon and Uber. “You can either put up red ta... 

Marques looks for clues to Zika damage in twins

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NEW YORK TIMES - Determining why one twin becomes infected in the womb while the other does not may illuminate how Zika crosses the placenta, how it enters the brain, and whether any genetic mutations make a fetus more resistant or susceptible to Zika infection. Perhaps the virus entered through a weak spot in one placenta’s membrane, said ERNESTO MARQUES, an infectious disease expert at Pitt Public Health and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recif... 

EOH's Goldstein and BCHS' Berry on the danger of lead poisoning

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POST-GAZETTE - In this article, EOH professor emeritus BERNARD GOLDSTEIN and BCHS student BELINDA BERRY tell us that increased funding for removing lead sources from both paint and water is needed. Unfunded mandates from politicians to do more with less will not help. Heightened surveillance of children, as requested by KAREN HACKER, HPM faculty and director of the Allegheny County Health Department, is of particular importance to better follow ... 

Younger, contributor to Salk's polio vaccine discoveries, dies at 96

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WTAE - In 1949, Julius S. Youngner was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh to assist Jonas Salk in developing an effective polio vaccine. Salk always credited his dedicated team as crucial to their virology studies and discoveries. "Julius Youngner once told a reporter that he intended to stay at the University of Pittsburgh for only a short time following his work on the Manhattan Project. But he soon fell in love with Pitt and the researc... 

Important news about vaccines for children, with EPI's van Panhuis

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CONSUMER REPORTS - Myth #2: It’s Safer to Space Out Kids' Vaccines. That's unwise, says EPI's WILBERT VAN PANHUIS. The CDC bases the schedule on disease risks and vaccine effectiveness at specific ages, and the way vaccines may interact with each other. “To start mixing this up is really complicated and actually can be dangerous,” he says—in part because putting vaccines off can leave kids vulnerable to infectious diseases. 

Gellad comments on the hype of cancer cure claims

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CNN - Hyping early scientific results based on lab tests or animal studies can attract investors that allow researchers to continue their work. "It's in the interest of almost every stakeholder in the health system to be optimistic about these therapies," said HPM's WALID GELLAD, co-director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Can FRED's predictive analytics help avert Pittsburgh's next disaster?

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GOVTECH - Officials are hoping the technology can tip them off to early warning signs of an event like the deadly smog that took 20 lives in nearby Donora more than a half-century ago. At a Pittsburgh emergency preparedness workshop in mid-April, Pitt Public Health showcased an online tool that uses public health data to simulate the spread of infection across populations within a specific geography. The system, FRED (short for a Framework for Re... 

Tishkoff delivers the 14th Annual C.C. Li Memorial Lecture

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On Friday, April 28, 2017, Sarah A. Tishkoff delivered the 14th annual C.C. Li Memorial Lecture with a talk titled "Evolution and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Health and Disease." Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology in the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. The event was also an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of graduating studen... 

Zimmerman and Nowalk suggest there may still be a place for the nasal flu vaccine

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CONTAGION LIVE - A research team including senior author RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, BCHS, and alumna MARY PATRICIA NOWALK (EPI '93), notes that despite its lower efficacy rates, eliminating the nasal influenza vaccine has resulted in a reduced overall rate of flu vaccine uptake in the United States. Thus, eliminating this form of vaccination may lead to more flu-related illnesses. The study finds that it would take only relatively small changes to tip th... 

Bodnar receives outstanding alumnus award from UNC Chapel Hill

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Vice-chair for research in the Department of Epidmiology, Lisa Bodnar is to receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, April 28, 2017. 

2017 IDM grad Noah Salama heading to Rochester for MD/PhD

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Congratulations to NOAH SALAMA (IDM '17) on his recent acceptance into University of Rochester's 8-year MD/PhD program. As a Pitt MS student, Salama worked with Dr. Amy Hartman on research into viral immune response. His thesis was entitled "Analysis of Peripheral Immune Responses for the Development of an NHP Animal Model for Encephalitic Alphaviruses EEEV, VEEV, and WEEV." 

MMPH alumna “Nellie” Jafari named Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow

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NILOFAR “Nellie” JAFARI (MMPH '16) has been named the ACCP-ASHSP-VCU Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow for 2017-18. Pharmacists selected for the position have the opportunity to gain real-world insight into health care policy analysis and development via immersion in the congressional environment. Fellows are actively mentored in legislative evaluation, policy development, research and writing while integrating practical experience with theo... 

Hear HPM's Gellad interview about President Trump's actual power when it comes to drug pricing

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MPR NEWS - Before he was elected, Donald Trump promised to take on big pharma lobbyists and the prescription drug price-fixing he claimed consumers were paying the price for. But what — if anything — can he do now that he's president? Minnesota Public Radio News host Kerri Miller talked with HPM's WALID GELLAD, co-director of Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing about drug pricing and what changes we may see to rising drug cost... 

Beaver County residents learn how Shell's ethane cracker may affect air quality

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BEAVER COUNTY TIMES - On the heels of a report released last week that again ranked western PA's air as some of the worst in the country, EOH's JAMES BAFISIAK spoke to a crowd of about 50 Beaver County residents on Monday night. We're committed to sharing our scientific expertise with neighbors concerned about the issues. 

Cura Zika's Turchi named to Time's 100 Most Influential People

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TIME - An infectious-disease specialist in Recife, Brazil—the epicenter of the first major outbreak of Zika-associated microcephaly—CELINA TURCHI understood that local infections presented a crisis requiring global collaboration. Collaborating with the Brazilian Ministry of Health, IDM's ERNESTO MARQUES, and experts from around the world, she facilitated their work and openly shared what they were finding. Turchi is passionate, driven, and a mode... 

Chaudhry's faith and excellence persists despite political actions and rhetoric

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PUBLIC SOURCE - In the time that she's spent at Pitt, BCHS' AMBER CHAUDHRY says she' has witnessed many demonstrations of Muslim Girl excellence — friends who work to bring the greater Pittsburgh community together. Within her own program at the Pit Public Health, she's seen a swell of young Muslim women moving forward in researching health equity, infectious disease, and community health. She's seen her sisters take leadership positions in profe... 

Coulter invited to share expertise during Pittsburgh's 4/22 March for Science

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Predoctoral fellow ROBERT COULTER (BCHS '17) was one of the featured speakers at the Pittsburgh March for Science on Saturday, April 22. He was invited to share concerns addressed in his research about interpersonal and structural factors to improve health for LGBT youth. We're proud of the expertise our students bring to address community needs. 

The Environmentalist Papers make the case for conservation in this age

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FAST COMPANY - There are massive economic benefits in our environmental regulations. A paper by EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN and team members from across the country explores the science of environmental protection, noting that the 1963 Clean Air Act has cut key air pollutants by 70%, even as the U.S. population has grown by more than 50% and the economy (GDP) has expanded by 250%. It explains that Americans largely support environmental protection (j... 

Study by IDM's Mellors provides new understanding of HIV infections

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A new study represents an important advance toward better treatments and even a cure. “The immune system stays activated, angry, upset and inflamed despite current treatments, and that’s not good,” said study leader JOHN MELLORS of infectious diseases and microbiology. The research, involving various research centers including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, counters the idea “that inflammation and immune-cell activati... 

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Thurston finds link between traumatic events and future heart disease risk in women 

Thurston finds link between traumatic events and future heart disease risk in women

PITT WIRE - When we consider the determinants of women’s cardiovascular health, we need to think beyond biology alone,” said epidemiologist Rebecca Thurston. She recently led a study that demonstrates how traumatic experiences in life are linked to later vascular health issues that place women at ri... (12/12/2017)
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Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment 

Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment

PITTWIRE - New research led by Pitt Public Health affiliates and published in the  American Journal of Human Genetics  reveals that an interplay of at least 49 genes contributes to earlobe attachment inheritance. “Sometimes the genetics of a fairly simple trait are actually quite complex,” said ... (12/06/2017)
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Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil 

Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil

PITTWIRE - When a mysterious illness suddenly emerged in his Brazilian hometown, IDM researcher ERNESTO MARQUES mobilized with colleagues to decode its unknowns. The work may help infectious-disease researchers stop or stall new epidemics. His story begins on page 18. (10/24/2017)
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