Alumni Stories

Scott: 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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John Scott (BIOST '08) was awarded the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice in recognition of significant contributions to public health practice.  

Barkin examines impact of climate change on mental health

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Jennifer Barkin (EPI '09, BIOST '02) is attracting national attention for her work at the intersection of climate/mental health, recently receiving Georgia's Vanguard of Environmental Justice Award for her work. She developed the Barkin Index to measure function during new motherhood and now, she’s working on creating the Climate Distress Index to examine how and to what degree changes in the environment affect a person’s mental health.   

Landsittel appointed chair at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON - Douglas Landsittel (BIOST '97) has been appointed chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in Indiana. "I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such an enthusiastic and talented group of faculty," he said. "Their research has made critical contributions across infectious disease modeling, genetics and bioinformatics, nutritional and social epidemiology, and statistical methods development. I... 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

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PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers generated by multicenter research collaborations. As co-director of the Epidemiology Data Center, she helps design and optimize data collection and m... 

Sun: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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Shumei Sun is the W. Hans Carter Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has joint appointments in the Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at VCU. Her knowledge of the developmental trajectories of children led to her decade-long work with the CDC to generate the latest version of the CDC-NCHS growth charts that are used by... 

Kidwell: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate

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Kelley Kidwell is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics. She earned her PhD in biostatistics at Pitt Public Health in 2012. It was in graduate school that she found her passion for clinical trial design and analysis by working on her dissertation with Abdus Wahed and through her graduate student assistantship at the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP, no... 

Alumnus launches effort to help the next generation of biostatisticians!

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Harvey Co Chien (BIOST MS '87) recently established a scholarship fund to support students pursuing master's degrees in biostatistics. You too can support students and the department, providing resources, supporting educational programs, aiding travel costs, and allowing us to remain accessible and affordable to the next generation of biostatisticians. Find out more.  

Meet Lingyun Lyu, Pitt Biostats MS graduate and PhD candidate

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Lingyun Lyu (BIOST PhD '22) is a second-year Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health. She came to Pitt in 2016 and earned her M.S. in Biostatistics in 2018. She loved the master’s program and thinks that it’s really well-designed. In addition to many essential statistical theory and applied courses, this program also includes a research-based thesis project. That’s what really made her time in the master’s program worthwhile and one... 

Meet Peng Liu, MS grad, PhD candidate in biostatistics

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“I started doing research in the second year of my master’s program and that’s where I started to feel like research is kind of exciting and I enjoy doing it. My advisor at that time was Dr. Jonathan Yabes, who is also a graduate of our program and who is now working in the medical school. He helped me a lot and is a very nice person. I like the challenge – especially when the research is new and there are some tangible problems to solve.”  

Barkin Index measures how mother's are doing post-partum

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MERCER NEWS - Jennifer Barkin (EPI ’09, BIOST ’02), has created a new tool that could help disrupt the maternal health crisis. During her time at Pitt Public Health, Barkin created the Barkin Index to measure how a new mother is functioning in her day-to-day post-baby life. Now her index is being used in clinical trials by a drug company which created a drug for post-partum depression. Additionally, her index is being used by a technology compan... 

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