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As Zika babies become toddlers, some can’t see, walk, or talk

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NEW YORK TIMES - Infectious disease researcher ERNESTO MARQUES says about 3 percent of 1,000 pregnant Brazilian women in a recent sample were infected with Zika. “The problem’s not going away. We are still having cases. And the future of Zika babies already born is complicated by poverty and strained resources. “Most of these babies are from low socioeconomic status and rely on the public health system to provide care. It’s very difficult to mana... 

Goldstein comments on new study findings: Low birth weights linked to fracking sites

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STATE IMPACT - Infants born to mothers who live very close to natural gas fracking sites have a higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances . In response to the findings, EOH professor emeritus BERNARD GOLDSTEIN noted that children born with low birth weight have a greater risk of infant mortality, asthma, lower test scores, and lower lifetime earnings. He said, to m... 

GeekWire reporters look forward to Pittsburgh as second headquarters.

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TRIB LIVE - In case you missed it, GeekWire hosted a national search for a second headquarters. Pittsburgh won. Duh! “Let’s hear it for Pittsburgh,” GeekWire co-founder John Cook said as he toasted the selection with an Iron City beer during a Facebook live stream Tuesday with co-founder Todd Bishop and reporters. What do they look forward to covering? Read about and rejoice! 

Lyu receives Lingzi Lu Memorial Award

Given by the American Statistical Association in partnership with the International Chinese Statistical Association, the award provides travel support to the ASA Conference on Statistical Practice. This year, BIOST's LINGYUN LYU is one of the recipients.   

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

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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 risk for heart disease. “This issue is particularly germane given the many recent traumatic events, such as major weather disasters, mass shootings, and... 

Pitt Public Health launches life sciences business accelerator

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POST-GAZETTE - Serial entrepreneur and human genetics chair DIETRICH STEPHAN will serve as CEO of Pitt's new business accelerator, backing a push to leverage Western PA’s strengths in the life sciences with private investors. The 10-year goal is to tackle prevalent and intractable global diseases. The initial focus will be on cancer, Alzheimer’s, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity, diabetes, and rare genetic diseases.  

Sier recieves Mulach Scholarship

The Joseph F. Mulach, Jr. and Louisa A. Mulach Scholarship Fund was created to provide scholarships to students in the field of biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or other related fields. Preference is given to qualified female candidates. ASHLEY SIER (EPI) is among the winners from last year. Congratulations!  

Gellad on proposed CVS-Aetna merger (video)

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C-SPAN - Doctor and HPM professor WALID GELLAD discussed the potential impact of the proposed CVS-Aetna merger with Washington Journal host Kimberly Atkins. He says it might mean a fundamental transformation of how health care is delivered... and the transition has been happening for decades. 

HPM’s Ware awarded Goldstein Award for work on Emergency Law Inventory (ELI)

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JD/MPH student ALIX WARE (HPM ’19) was awarded the 2017 Bernard D. Goldstein Award in Environmental Health Disparities and in Public Health Practice for her work on the development of the Emergency Law Inventory (ELI). Created to help individuals navigate through 1,500 law summaries impacting volunteer participation in disaster scenarios, ELI provides emergency volunteers with easy access to the laws most relevant to become better prepared for e... 

Handley is founder of U can B, a Building Bridges for Business program

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Alumna LINDA HANDLEY (HPM ’89) is founder of U can B, a Building Bridges for Business program. She provides monthly job readiness classes for Northside middle-schoolers at PPS Clayton Academy. All secondary students receive eight-sessions looking at career choices, paths, and interests. The program connects students, communities, and employers to transform careers and economies. Its hands-on curriculum has over 76 weeks of material available in a... 

A failure to heal

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NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE - What happens when a clinical trial fails?  

Consistently lower cancer survival rates for Black patients in U.S.

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REUTERS HEALTH - Whether it's colon cancer, breast cancer, or ovarian cancer, survival rates in the U.S. are lower for black people than for white people, three new studies show. 

Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment

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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 lead author JOHN SHAFFER. “By understanding that complexity, we can work toward treatments for genetic conditions, several of which have distinct fa... 

Adibi confirms chemical in soft plastics causes key changes in human placentas

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POST-GAZETTE - Odds are you have phthalates inside you. And recent research by EPI’s JENNIFER ADIBI confirms previous findings that the plastic-softening chemicals are linked to changes in the placenta that seem to affect development of the fetus. Because of “ubiquitous exposure”, 99 percent of women of child-bearing age have measurable exposure levels. 

Roberts finds that top five commercial insurers increasingly rely on public programs

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MEDSCAPE - People who haven’t had insurance recently need help understanding their options, help that the ACA’s health care navigator program provided, says HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS. But the federal government has made steep cuts to that program’s funding. “This is a complex market to enter A well-informed individual guiding someone through the process is often the best solution, but that requires investment from the federal government and states.” 

Shaffer: Everything your biology teacher told you about earlobes is wrong

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POPULAR SCIENCE - Geneticists often don’t like to perform population studies at such scale because they are too large to zoom in on any specific details. But that means that we might not be getting the full picture. Research by JOHN SHAFFER, ELEANOR FEINGOLD, and SETH WEINBERG tells us that there’s power in numbers. Just as seemingly simple traits reveal their true complexity, diseases that currently puzzle us will soon become easier to understan... 

Buchanich,Woolley, and Lann assist with study of opioid trends in other states

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CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES - The analysis of California death rates was conducted at the county level using data from the Mortality and Population Data System (MPDS) at Pitt Public Health. Data from biostatisticians JEANINE BUCHANICH, SHANNON WOOLLEY, and MICHAEL LANN include ICD codes for underlying causes of death for nearly all U.S. deaths since 1950. 

As a young professional who wants to change health care for the better, Tomko is named Jonas Salk Activist (video)

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Last night the Health Activist Network named HPM student and research assistant HEATHER TOMKO as a Jonas Salk Health Activist fellow for tackling the problems and effecting change in the health care field. The expo event was held at the August Wilson Center,  and brought together health professionals who accelerate health policy and care delivery improvements. (subscriber-only content) 

Bowling presents at Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology meeting

IDM's JENNIFER BOWLING presented a poster entitled, "Influence of Sex on Protection Conferred by Vaccination with Attenuated Strains of Francisella tularensis in the Rabbit Model."   

Epi students honored with Iris Marion Young Award for Social Justice

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ABIGAIL R. CARTUS (EPI '21) and C. ELIZABETH SHAABAN (EPI '18) were honored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Pitt for cofounding Pitsburgh Lead Action Now, a citizen-led group working for the lead-free drinking water in Pittsburgh. The Young Award honors work that promotes social justice, and recognizes that social activism takes many forms.   

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Simenson, Salerno, Saal-Ridpath selected for future health leaders program 

Simenson, Salerno, Saal-Ridpath selected for future health leaders program

PITT WIRE - Three students from Pitt Public Health were selected for the inaugural class of The Milken Institute’s Future Health Leaders Program. The students, ASHLEY SIMENSON (EPI '19), JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '20), and KAITLYN SAAL-RIDPATH (HPM '20), are among a dozen of fellows selected nationwid... (10/18/2018)
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Aging Institute leadership marches on 

Aging Institute leadership marches on

PITT WIRE - Baby boomers have long been known as one of the largest generations, and now they are living longer and healthier than any generation before, says Epi's ANNE NEWMAN, newly appointed clinical director of the Aging Institute of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. “We’re going through a... (10/09/2018)
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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)


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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Pittsburgh finds current liver allocation system disadvantages children awaiting liver transplants 

Pittsburgh finds current liver allocation system disadvantages children awaiting liver transplants

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Children are at a considerable disadvantage when competing with adults for livers from deceased organ donors in the U.S. allocation system. “Using national, long-term data, our report is the first to demonstrate that the scoring system, on its own, dramatically underestimates ... (09/24/2018)
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Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016 

Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016

SCIENCE - In an effort to understand the epidemic dynamics and perhaps predict its future course, Pitt Public Health researchers analyzed records of nearly 600,000 overdose deaths. Dean DONALD BURKE, HPM's HAWRE JALAL, and colleagues concluded that the U.S. drug overdose epidemic has been inexorabl... (09/21/2018)
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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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