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Researchers awarded $1.7 million to study the genetics of human facial features

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JOHN SHAFFER, assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics at Pitt Public Health, and Seth Weinberg, an associate professor in the Department of Oral Biology at the School of Dental Medicine, received a grant award of $1.7 million from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) for their project, “The Genetic Architecture of Human Facial Morphology.” 

Albert lectures as new Philip Hallen Endowed Chair in Community Health and Social Justice

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To mark his installation as the Philip Hallen Endowed Chair in Community Health and Social Justice, BCHS’s STEVEN ALBERT will revisit Rousseau’s 1754 Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men , or “Second Discourse.” We have moved beyond early philosophical speculation to an emerging science of inequality, where the emergence of hierarchy can be explored experimentally. Health disparities can be viewed through this same len... 

Alumni staff the PERU project, employing a new method to track opioid overdose victims

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A new way to collect and organize data could be the answer to tackling the years-long opioid overdose epidemic. The University of Pittsburgh’s Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) is working with Pennsylvania officials to standardize death data from overdose victims. The purpose of the project is to provide more detailed reporting in real-time that could help show where the problem areas are. A large number of staffers are Pitt Public Heal... 

Meet HPM's Lauren Borrelli, Korean Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Winner

HPM's LAUREN BORRELLI plans to utilize her fellowship to build industry-specific knowledge of the Korean health care market. As a Korean-American, she is excited to be able to connect her cultural heritage to her professional career.   

Pitt Public Health annual faculty retreat

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Every year our school faculty members gather for continuing education and updates on pertinent policies. They work hard all year, and students regularly tell us that it is these are the people that make their degree years so positive. 

Gellad tells Nightly Business Report about impact of new California bill (Video)

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CNBC - New California legislation prompts Nightly Business Report ’s Meg Tirrell to ask HPM’s WALLID GELLAD about California Governor Brown’s bill requiring pharma to announce 60 days before a rise of more than 16 percent over two years, and to provide justification for the hike. Locate Gellad’s comments at 17:37–18:05. 

The 10 Coolest Neighborhoods in America Right Now

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TIME MAGAZINE -  Granting top honors to Pittsburgh's East Liberty & Lawrenceville neighborhoods, Time's MONEY rankings cite the steel town's reinvigorated cool factor and  influx of new bars, restaurants, and hotels. They signal out the Ace Hotel (and cool bar), housed in a former YMCA where guests can play cornhole, ping pong, and video games in the old-school gym.  

Gellad interviewed on Cigna's new OxyContin Rx policy

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CNN - Despite any advantages Xtampza may have (harder to crush and abuse), “people still get addicted to oral pills. They can still take too much. They can still overdose,” said HPM’s WALLID GELLAD, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing. Gellad believes that there'’s more to Cigna’s new policies than a desire to combat the opioid crisis. 

Kuller comments on why hypertension-linked dementia may impact more women than men

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It is known that high blood pressure in one’s 50s puts a person at risk for dementia in later life. It's now know that hypertension in the 30s and 40s has a similar effect, but only in women. LEWIS KULLER, epidemiology professor emeritus, talks about why this unexpected research finding might be true.  

Award-winning posters recognized at annual IDM Research Day

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This September, the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology recognized student research poster winners at the annual IDM research day.  Students winners were awarded prizes in various categories during the next day's IDM annual meeting and picnic at North Park.   

Pyne appointed scientific director of PHDL

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Saumyadipta Pyne will join the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL) as its scientific director and will also serve as an associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics, both at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, beginning October 1. “I am very excited that Dr. Pyne will be joining PHDL with an associate professor appointment in our biostatistics department,” commented Shyamal Peddada, chair of the Departmen... 

Schleupner, IDM alumnus, appointed to Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Dean's Council on Advancement

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Congratulations to alumnus CHARLES JOHN SCHLEUPNER (IDM ’68), who has been appointed to the Dean’s Council on Advancement for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. The council is a committee of volunteers created to advance the stature of the medical school by providing guidance, assistance, advocacy, and philanthropic investment in support of the school’s strategic objectives. 

Hillman Foundation Gives $30 Million to Pitt and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

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The Henry L. Hillman Foundation is re-upping its commitment to cultivate cancer research and care by committing an additional $30 million over the next 10 years to the University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.   

HPM alumni get together in DC

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Some of our favorite HPM alumni connected at Clyde’s of Gallery Place on September 27, 2017. Back Row: Jenny Huang, Alexandra Dulin, Alex Nason, David Tye, Mark Faccenda, Kevin Broom, Mark Roberts; Front Row: Deborah Backman, Nikita Sharma, Sally Caine Leathers, Kelly Delmore, Kristin Lazzara, and Kush Banjeree. 

A Pen that Detects Cancerous Tissue Could Help Surgeons Remove the Full Tumor

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A new handheld device could someday help cancer surgeons figure out what to cut and what to leave alone in real time. The MasSpecPen employs water, plastic tubing, and a mass spectrometer. It's the latest in engineer's effort to speed up the pace at which samples collected during operations are processed for clinically valuable information.   

Widowed Early, a Cancer Doctor Writes about the Harm of Medical Debt

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A radiation oncologist, and widow whose husband died of cancer, studies the effects of financial strain on cancer patients.   

The Motivating Power of Cancer

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Ian Toothill, 47, a personal trainer from London, has stage IV bowel cancers. Earlier this month, he reached the summit of Mt. Everest. "It's a way of changing the narrative, asserting control," explains Ellen Ormond, PhD, of the Center for Counseling and Cancer Support at the University of Pittsburgh...  

Hernandez on outcomes-based pricing for PCSK9 inhibitors

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MANAGED CARE - An article by alumna INMACULADA (INMA) HERNANDEZ (HPM ’16) discusses the impact of the outcomes-based pricing arrangements proposed by Amgen on the pricing of PCSK9 inhibitor therapy, and provides recommendations for payers on the design of outcomes-based contracts. She is an assistant professor at Pitt’s School of Pharmacy. Her research explores the intersection of pharmaceutical health services and outcomes re... 

Gollin reappointed to Pennsylvania Cancer Control, Prevention, and Research Advisoory Board

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Researcher SUZANNE GOLLIN, Department of Human Genetics, has been reappointed as a member of the Pennsylvania Cancer Control, Prevention, and Research Advisory Board. This was confirmed by the Senate on September 20, 2017. She is pictured here with an image of tumor cell biomarkers. 

Gellad questions CVS Health move to limit access to opioid painkillers

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WALL STREET JOURNAL - One of the largest managers of pharmaceutical benefits in the U.S. says it will start limiting the duration and dose of some prescriptions for opioid painkillers, in an effort to combat widespread addiction. The restrictions, based on CDC recommendations published last year, could cause some debate. WALID GELLAD, physician and HPM assistant professor, said the restrictions for chronic pain could cause cumbersome paperwork an... 

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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)
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Pitt names social and political philosopher Ann Cudd as new provost  

Pitt names social and political philosopher Ann Cudd as new provost

PITTWIRE - Pitt’s new provost and senior vice chancellor, ANN E. CUDD (A&S ’84G, ’86G, ’88G) has explored topics including capitalism, feminism, inequality and oppression in more than 50 books, articles and chapters. “Ann has a rare capacity to move among the roles of scholar, leader, collaborator a... (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 surpasses 7,000 alumni with 2018 Convocation ceremony 

Pitt Public Health surpasses 7,000 alumni with 2018 Convocation ceremony

On Sunday, April 29, Pitt Public Health welcomed over 200 graduates into the school's alumni community at our annual Convocation. “Our alumni cohort is now 7,000 people deep, since the school’s founding 70 years ago. Our impressive alumni give the school an international network of influence and th... (06/13/2018)
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