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Opioid Makers' Perks to Docs Tied to More Prescriptions says Donohue

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U.S. NEWS - Doctors who accept perks from companies that make opioid painkillers are more likely to prescribe the drugs for their patients, new research suggests. HPM's JULIE DONOHUE, agreed that the study doesn't prove perks caused doctors to prescribe more opioids. But in the context of an opioid epidemic, "we have good reason to believe that industry promotion influences prescribing behavior," she said.  

Zaccard appointed chair of the Chicago Women in STEM Initiative

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To ensure the continuity of the Chicago Women in STEM and Academia Initiative, and represent postdoctoral women, Northwestern University welcomed IDM's COLLEEN ZACCARD to the Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) Executive Board as the Chair of the Chicago Women in STEM Initiative.   

Bertolet receives Diversity in Curriculum Award

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The Diversity in the Curriculum Awards celebrate and reward Pitt faculty who have participated in the Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development and who are making diversity and inclusiveness a part of their teaching practice. EPI's MARNIE BERTOLET, along with four other Pitt faculty, were awarded for their efforts in integrating diversity and inclusion concepts into their course and curriculum.  

Rinaldo's former mentee develops novel technique to monitor anti-tumor T cells

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Pitt Medicine grad Kellie Smith leads a group at John's Hopkins that has developed a novel technique to detect and monitor anti-tumor T cells using a simple liquid biopsy approach. The technique is termed MANAFEST (mutation associated neoantigen functional expansion of specific T cells). Smith is an instructor of Oncology in the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who worked with IDM chair ... 

Trump drug pricing 'blueprint' could take years to build says Gellad

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NPR - President Trump announced a plan that lists dozens of "potential" steps his team may take to lower drug prices. "On the positive side, I will say that HHS does seem to be paying close attention to this issue," says HPM's WALID GELLAD. "On the negative side, it's a bunch of questions, not a specific plan for how to proceed."  

Kujawa receives travel award to attend ASV 2018

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A $500 Student Travel Award has been awarded to MIKE KUJAWA (IDM '21) to attend the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology. The conference is hosted by the University of Maryland and will take place July 14-18, 2018.  

Wes Rohrer receives Award for Service in the University Senate

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For the past nineteen years, public recognition has been given to a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to the University through service in the University Senate. Members of the Senate Executive Committee were unanimous in their selection of HPM's WES ROHRER for the 2018 award for his service as Budget Policies chair. Congratulations, Dr. Rohrer!   

Tribal Legal Preparedness Project Launches at Pitt Public Health

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UPMC - “Public health emergencies are issues that every community faces,” said HPM's TINA BATRA HERSHEY. “To address these threats... We created the Tribal Legal Preparedness Project to assist tribal nations interested in expanding their legal preparedness capacity.” The project will provide free training modules and a resource library.   

Anne Newman named Clinical Director of Aging Institute at UPMC and Pitt

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UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh announced the appointment of ANNE NEWMAN, department chair of EPI, as the clinical director of the Aging Institute of UPMC and Pitt. In this role, she will lead efforts to translate research into clinical practice and policy. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity...to collaborate with so many outstanding researchers in aging across the university," says Newman.  

First US drug priced at more than $1 million may be on the horizon

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CNBC - New gene therapies that aim to cure hemophilia are on the horizon. Leerink analysts said the treatments could cost $1.5 million or more. Treating hemophilia can incur between $580,000 and $800,000 per year. For that reason, a potential one-time $1.5 million cost is perceived by many to be a bargain compared with a lifetime of chronic therapy. Others, like HPM's WALID GELLAD, see it as excessive.  

Mailliard on how cells talk and help one another via tiny tube networks

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SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN - Working with dendrites, what he calls "the quarterbacks of the immune system," IDM's ROBBIE MAILLIARD and colleagues are applying the budding field of TNT research to HIV. Now, they are investigating whether drugs that are commonly used to lower cholesterol levels could be repurposed to control viral infections.   

Pitt Public Health provides grant to support Oakmont's pedestrian transportation plan, to be revealed this month

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TRIB LIVE - Environmental planning and design officials plan to reveal a draft report of Oakmont's pedestrian transportation plan this month. The plan is being paid for partially through an $11,000 grant from Pitt Public Health's WalkWorks program. Project Manager CAROLYN YAGLE said they will highlight findings during a presentation and take questions from residents afterward. "This is a draft set of recommendations for both policy and project i... 

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The past quarter century has brought a striking decline in earlier-than-expected deaths among blacks in the U.S. “We were surprised by these findings because they demonstrated such dramatic improvement,” said DEAN DONALD BURKE. “Our study shows that racial disparity in health outcomes is not inevitable. It can change, and the gap can be narrowed,” said BIOST's JEANINE BUCHANICH.   

Dean's Day 2018 IDM departmental award recipients

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology awards during our annual Dean's Day student research competition were given to KELSEY MESSERSCHMIDT (MPH '19), BETHANY FLAGE (MS '18), ROBERTA METTUS (MS '19), and RENEE ANDERKO (PhD '22).  

Dean's Day 2018 HUGEN departmental award recipients

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MEGAN HAGER (MS/MPH '18) won in the master's category and TERESA CAPASSO (PhD '21) received the doctoral prize.   

Dean's Day 2018 HPM departmental award recipients

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NINA YACOVONI (MPH '18) received the prize for the master's category and RAYMOND VAN CLEVE (PHD '19) received the doctoral prize given by the Department of Health Policy and Management.   

Dean's Day 2018 EPI departmental award recipients

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This year, KATHLEEN MAKSIMOWICZ-MCKINNON (MPH '18) received the prize for the master's category and CHRISTIAN GARCIA (PhD '18) received the doctoral prize.   

EOH awards Keleti Award at Dean's Day 2018

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Environmental and Occupational Health has traditionally offered the Keleti Award at Dean’s Day to recognize the presentation that demonstrated excellence in environmental health. This year’s Keleti winner is RAHEL BIRRU (PhD '18).  

Biostatistics departmental award recipient for Dean's Day 2018

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The Department of Biostatistics prize went to JOANNE BEER (PhD '18). She presented a poster on  Predicting Social Responsiveness Scale scores from fMRI data using structured sparse penalized regression.  

Dean's Day 2018 BCHS departmental award recipients

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WILLIAM LOUTH-MARQUEZ (MPH '20) received the prize for the master's category and LYCIA TRAMUJAS VASCONCELLOS NEUMANN (PhD '19) received the doctoral prize.    

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Baumann receives Boren Fellowship to study Nepali language 

Baumann receives Boren Fellowship to study Nepali language

PITT WIRE - The National Security Education Program has recognized 8 Pitt students with Boren Awards. Doctoral student, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), received a Boren Fellowship for study of the Nepali language at Cornell University for summer 2018 to support her work in community-based participator... (06/20/2018)
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Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony 

Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony

PITT WIRE - In Pitt's graduate student address, EPI doctoral graduate LARA  SIMINERIO LEMON told the audience: "You only have one life. So do what you choose with it but remember: it's the only chance you'll get ... Please do not lose the momentum that Pitt has provided to each one of us ... g... (04/26/2018)
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The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25 

The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25

PITT WIRE - Led by IDM's TONY SILVESTRE, the Pitt Public Health project serves as the facilitator of the HIV prevention and care community planning process in Pennsylvania. With initiatives like Acceptance Journeys and Project SILK, the work has received recognition from multiple federal health bod... (04/26/2018)

The ASPPH Friday Letter features the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. 
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submission guidelines then share your story or story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 

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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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Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador  

Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Thirty-five new ambassadors, including KYANNA WILLIAMS-PATE (BCHS ’19), are joining the program, representing the This Is Public Health brand and 23 ASPPH member institutions. Throughout the year, ambassadors participate in a series of public health outreach events along with p... (05/21/2018)

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990 

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The past quarter century has brought a striking decline in earlier-than-expected deaths among blacks in the U.S. “We were surprised by these findings because they demonstrated such dramatic improvement,” said DEAN DONALD BURKE. “Our study shows that racial disparity in health ... (05/07/2018)
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