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Dean Burke forecasts future opioid death rates based on MoIRA system

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DEAN BURKE led a session at today's ASPPH Annual Meeting on "Forecasting and Deflecting the Opioid Epidemic Curve" with a projection of likely opioid overdose deaths based on biostatistical data gathered by JEANINE BUCHANICH and the Mortality Information and Research Analytics (MOIRA) system, a repository and retrieval system for detailed death data from the National Center for Health Statistics developed here (named for the Fates of Greek myth). 

Health reform proposal could threaten long-term care, HPM researchers say

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TRIBLIVE.COM - HPM's EVERETTE JAMES and WALID GELLAD, along with graduate student researcher MEREDITH HUGHES, posted an analysis of the issues on a blog for the journal Health Affairs. Said Hughes, “I don't think it's something that people think of as something that they might need,” Hughes said of long-term care. “A lot of people are aware of health insurance and the issue of going to the doctor, but for most people this is not something that's ... 

Work by Cura Zika's Sadovsky leads to confirmation that the human placenta is most vulnerable to Zika in first trimester

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MEDICALRESEARCH.COM - Work by collaborator YOEL SADOVSKY, scientific board advisor for our CURA ZIKA initiative, finds that the mature placenta was likely to be resistant to infection. His work led to recent research confirmation that the greatest vulnerability to Zika is in the first trimester. 

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... 

Zhang shows Medicare Part D drug savings under ACA

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - "We found that Medicare beneficiaries with Part D prescription coverage with six or more chronic conditions who were aligned to an ACO had the highest savings on medical costs—$966 per patient in 2012, compared to their peers not assigned to an ACO," said lead author YUTING ZHANG,   associate professor of health policy and management at Pitt Public Health. "This is encouraging because it demonstrates that ACO provid... 

Pitt Public Health - Fighting for a Future Free of Cancer (video)

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DIETRICH STEPHAN and SUSANNE GOLLIN of our Department of Human Genetics are featured in a video about their work to connect genetic technologies to address development and growth of breast cancer tumors. Hear about their personal motivations and their strategies for attacking cancer today and into the future.  

Cura Zika initiative helps Brazilians coping with complications of the disease

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NEW YORK TIMES - To help families impacted by the devastating consequences of the Zika virus, consider donating to Pitt Public Health's CuraZika initiative, which collaborates with several clinics in Brazil, including the Altino Ventura Foundation and the Association for the Assistance of Disabled Children, supporting efforts like treatment, therapy, and legal assistance. 

IDM's Ernesto Marques knows Brazil's Zika families suffer a life of struggle and scares

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NEW YORK TIMES - In the impoverished northeast, devoted parents live around the needs of children whose grave disabilities are only beginning to be understood. “These babies, most of them or all of them, they’re going to live very long lives, you can keep them alive a long time, and they will need assistance from someone 24 hours a day,” said ERNESTO MARQUES, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh and the Oswaldo Cruz Founda... 

Krafty introduces biostatistical methods to uncover what happens when we sleep

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JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN STATISTICAL ASSOCIATION - Associate professor ROBERT KRAFTY and coauthors including Pitt's Sleep and Chronobiology Center introduce a new method to unlock information collected by devices that monitor activity during sleep. The study uncovered new connections between heart rate patterns of older adults serving as primary caregivers for their spouse and the amount of time they are able to spend in bed during the night. 

Hacker on how Black girls pay higher price when sex education isn't taught

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PUBLIC SOURCE - Sex education curriculum is approved by district school boards, and the topic can become controversial. Allegheny County Health Department director and HPM/BCHS faculty member  KAREN HACKER says she supports comprehensive sex education. “There’s been very little evidence to show that abstinence-only programs have been successful."  

HUGEN's Feingold studies how genes influence facial appearance

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INSIDEUPMC - Senior associate dean, geneticist, and biostatistician ELEANOR FEINGOLD contributed to this interdisciplinary research team's findings: measures of eye, nose, and facial breadth could be associated with genetic variants in certain regions of the genome. In several of these regions, genes known to contribute to facial development or implicated in birth defects where the face is affected were found. However, because many genes affect f... 

BCHS's Miller helps NYC look to teens to prevent domestic violence

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HUFFINGTON POST -  “When you ask adult survivors of domestic violence when they experienced their first abusive relationship, the majority will tell you it was during adolescence. That really speaks to the importance of prevention work in those middle and high school years,” says  BCHS' ELIZABETH MILLER.  “It’s really complicated for parents to monitor what is going on."  

IDM's Mellors finds latent HIV may exist in both resting and non-resting CD4 T cells

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INFECTIOUS DISEASE ADVISOR - Work of study co-author and IDM professor JOHN MELLORS reported that different clonal virus populations can be recovered from the two cell types. The findings suggest that inducible virus production may be a good marker of the latent infectious reservoir in both cell types. Identifying the sources of latent HIV and developing tools to measure improvements in therapies are essential for clinicians and their patients. 

BCHS' Miller explores why time on social media may make you feel lonely

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BBC - "We do not yet know which came first - the social media use or the perceived social isolation," said co-author and BCHS associate professor ELIZABETH MILLER. "It's possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world." 

HPM alumna Inmaculada Hernandez uses genes to determine best anticoagulation

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UNIVERSITY TIMES - A research idea submitted by School of Pharmacy faculty member and Pitt Public Health alumna INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) was one of four selected among 200 submissions for an AHA/PCORI researcher and clinician challenge. Through this challenge, the American Heart Association and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute hopes to generate research ideas that address evidence gaps in the treatment of cardiovascular dise... 

HPM's Mark Roberts presents FRED at international workshop

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TELEGRAFT -- The International Society for Cellular Therapy newsletter cited MARK ROBERTS's "particularly interesting" demonstration of emergent disease modeling using Pitt Public Health's FRED (Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics) at the FDA workshop on "Identification and Characterization of the Infectious Disease Risks of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-based Products." 

HuGen's Finegold discusses rare diseases with ABC News

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ABC NEWS - Pitt Public Health's DAVID FINEGOLD discusses both the research and cost challenges s associated with so-called "rare diseases" with ABC News' chief health/medical editor, Dr. Richard Besservia his TwitterChat @abcDrBchat. Click for a Storify summary of this national #RareDiseaseDay event. 

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. 

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Online Service Aiming to Match Moms-to-Be With Doulas Wins Student Pitch Competition 

Online Service Aiming to Match Moms-to-Be With Doulas Wins Student Pitch Competition

PITTWIRE - Finding a suitable doula — a professional who gives physical and educational support before, during and after childbirth — can be difficult, said Pitt Graduate School of Public Health Student ALYSIA TUCKER of BCHS. Her prize-winning idea could make the process easier. (07/07/2017)
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Toward Curing HIV: Test Finds Hidden Virus 

Toward Curing HIV: Test Finds Hidden Virus

PITTWIRE - A team of Pitt scientists led by IDM's PHALGUNI GUPTA developed a test to detect "hidden" HIV that is faster, less labor-intensive and less expensive than the current "gold standard" test. (05/31/2017)
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