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BCHS student and faculty receive Hyperion Research Award on HPC Innovation Excellence

HPC WIRE - Alum JONATHAN RAVIOTTA (BCHS '18) and BCHS's RICHARD ZIMMERMAN are members of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center that received the Hyperion Research Award on High Performance Computing (HPC) Innovation Excellence for their papers using agent-based modeling to examine the effect of choice of influenza vaccine types on vaccine uptake.  

BIOST students earn ENAR award for distinguished student paper

LI ZHU (BIOST) was first author on the paper "Bayesian indicator variable selection to incorporate multi-layer overlapping group structure in multi-omics applications" that received one of the International Biometric Society Eastern North American Region’s (ENAR) Distinguished Student Paper Awards. Zhu will present the paper in the 2018 ENAR Spring Meeting in Atlanta, GA on March 27. BIOST student TIANZHOU MA, and BIOST faculty, GEORGE TSENG, ar... 

Monyei awarded 2017 Dr. Edgar and Lauraine Duncan Endowed Scholarship

ABIGAIL MONYEI (HPM) received this year's Dr. Edgar and Lauraine Duncan Scholarship which helps provide support for resources such as books, fees, stipends, or travel.  

EPI student receives the James W. Knox Memorial Scholarship to research HIV in South Africa

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KELSEA LASORDA (EPI) received the James W. Knox Memorial Scholarship, Nationality Room Scholarship, to participate in research on preventing mother to child transmission of HIV in Cape Town, South Africa in summer 2017. The purpose of Nationality Room Scholarship awards is to enable Pitt students to have an in-depth immersion in another culture for at least five weeks. Lasorda will receive $3,500 to supplement her trip to South Africa.  

Kelsey receives alumnae Achievement Award from Mount Holyoke College

EPI's SHERYL KELSEY was recognized for being a role model for women pursuing public health careers in statistics and epidemiology. Kelsey dedicated her career to the research and design of clinical trials and registries in the field of cardiology, diabetes, women’s health, neurology, and ophthalmology, demonstrating the highest standards of scientific inquiry in a truly collaborative spirit.  

Pittsburgh is first stop for memorial for opioid overdose victims

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WESA-FM – “Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis” has arrived at the University of Pittsburgh in the William Pitt Student Union. A machine carves a new pill on site every 24 minutes to represent the frequency of fatal overdoses. The wall will include up to 22,000 pills—each engraved with the face of someone who died of an opioid overdose. It will be open to the public on Tuesday 2/6.  

Gellad speaks on Trumps abandonment of promise to lower drug prices during the state of the union address

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VOX – In his first State of the Union address, Donald Trump abandoned his pledges to bring down the cost of America’s medicines. Lowering the out-of-pocket costs that normal people feel is worthwhile but that won’t bring down the gross costs of prescription drugs. “They’re just going to raise premiums, or try to offset it another way,” HPM’s WALID GELLAD said of insurance plans. “Someone’s gonna pay the price if the price doesn’t come down.”  

Goldstein on the EU's distortion of public health and effects on US agricultural produce

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THE HILL - The European Union's unclear definitions of the Precautionary Principles allows them to ban trade of goods such as beef previously treated with growth hormones and GMO grains without demonstration that such goods cause any health risks. EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN says, "The US is not without unfair trade practices. But, in contrast to the EU, we do not rely on distorting public health science as a means to wrap greed in a green flag."  

Roberts analyzes Maryland's global budget program

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THE COMMONWEALTH FUND - HPM'S ERIC ROBERTS examined changes in hospital and primary care utilization among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland and control counties outside the state. The researchers aimed to pinpoint utilization changes linked solely to the global budget intervention and not related to prior trends. To this end, the authors compared utilization before Maryland launched the program and during the first two years of... 

Amid opioid crisis, Frank addresses Titusville community

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TITUSVILLE HERALD - Community members and students from Pitt's Titusville campus gathered to hear IDM's LINDA FRANK discuss drug misuse versus drug abuse, the opioid epidemic's relation to to the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, available prevention and treatment strategies, and the implications for health professionals, families, community members, and local organizations.   

Pittsburgh forges a new future, remaking iconic steel town into a modern innovation factory

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“It’s a different world. UPMC, CMU, and University of Pittsburgh changed everything,” said Mark Cuban, referring to Pittsburgh’s marquee institutions like a native. “It went from Rust Belt to AI and Med Belt. I’m so proud of what has happened. Now it’s a young vibrant city that has an amazing workforce.”    

Special Coverage: GeekWire HQ2 in Pittsburgh

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GEEKWIRE - is putting it's own HQ2 in Pittsburgh for the month of February - reporting on the people, technologies, and ideas transforming the industrial city into an innovation powerhouse. Pittsburgh is poised to become a global tech hub in one of the country's most livable metropolitan areas.  

Gellad on why drug prices haven't lowered yet

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STAT - Congressional efforts to lower drug prices are at a standstill. Powerful health industry players disagree about how to move forward. Every group pushes it's own agenda and strategies, making it unlikely that crushing drug prices will change any time soon. "It is correct that one of the reasons patients are feeling such high prices is because they have to pay coinsurance and deductibles, says HPM's WALID GELLAD. "And it's true that pharma ... 

Lee looks to genes to develop more targeted breast cancer therapies

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HEALTH NEWS DIGEST - The current movement in breast cancer research is matching DNA with targeted therapies and HUGEN's ADRIAN LEE is at the forefront. "We know now that no two cancers are alike...the concept is, with our ability to more comprehensively understand the genetic basis of the disease, we can more precisely understand the disease, and then treat the disease and/or predict risk."   

Gellad on Trump’s failure to attack drug prices as promised

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CNBC - “The administration has not lived up to the hype I think people expected around drug prices,” said HPM’s WALID GELLAD of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. “They’ve done a few things, but it hasn’t lived up to the hype.” 

EPI's Adibi addresses 2018 One Health One Community Symposium at Phipps

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EPI's JENNIFER ADIBI was a featured speaker for the 2018 One Health One Community Symposium at Phipps Conservatory.  The event centered on the theme "Health Impacts: Chemicals of Concern in the Environment," with a special focus on endocrine disruptors.   

Gellad on formation of hospital generic drug maker to manage capricious pricing practices

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STAT - “The market has spoken,” said WALID GELLAD of HPM and Pitt’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing. “The key issue for success and sustainability will be how the generic manufacturers and trade groups respond, and also how other hospital groups might respond. It’s a new world. Insurers become hospitals. Hospitals become pharmaceutical manufacturers. At some point, manufacturers will become insurers and providers.” 

Swasey finds long-term adherence to LDL targets lacking in type 1 diabetes

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HELIO - Research from epidemiologist KRYSTAL K. SWASEY and colleagues has found that high rates of cardiovascular disease for those managing type1 diabetes with childhood onset may indicate that current recommendations for blood pressure and triglyceride levels may be too lax. 

Roberts shows Maryland meets goals of cutting health care costs without achieving changes in care delivery

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BALTIMORE SUN - “The takeaway so far may be that when hospitals change the way the health care delivery system works, you don’t necessarily get a broader transformation that people had hoped for,” said lead author, HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS. There may be several reasons, including that doctors are not yet widely provided incentives to participate in Maryland’s program. 

Newman contributes to discussion on whether Trump’s physical should include a cognitive screen

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MEDPAGE TODAY - Epidemiology chair ANNE NEWMAN says, "“It is reasonable to test anyone with concerns about change in cognitive ability, especially after age 80. There are numerous screening tests that tap the main cognitive abilities such as the mini-mental status exam, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and informant questionnaires. These tests focus on short-term memory and language.” 

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YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals? 

YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals?

PITTWIRE -   Pitt alum Brian Burley (BUS ’13G) continues to highlight young black leaders and create community ties through his www.YngBlkPgh.com site. This social enterprise started with his book “YNGBLKPGH” (Young Black Pittsburgh) which features more than 140 African-American professionals und... (07/23/2018)
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BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use 

BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use

PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding B... (07/19/2018)
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Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education 

Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVA... (07/02/2018)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported 

Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid e... (07/19/2018)
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Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use 

Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients. "Having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose,” says HPM... (07/02/2018)
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Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women 

Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' “The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still us... (06/25/2018)
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