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Biostatistics Department News

King, Wahed, and Belle find wearable fitness devices lack functionality

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LOS ANGELES TIMES - Participants without physical activity trackers showed nearly twice the weight loss benefits at the end of the 24 months. Participants who used wearable devices reported an average weight loss of 7.7 pounds, while those who partook only in health counseling reported an average loss of 13 pounds, according to researchers WENDY KING, ABDUS WAHED, and STEVEN BELLE. 

Dean Burke forecasts future opioid death rates based on MoIRA system

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DEAN BURKE led a session at today's ASPPH Annual Meeting on "Forecasting and Deflecting the Opioid Epidemic Curve" with a projection of likely opioid overdose deaths based on biostatistical data gathered by JEANINE BUCHANICH and the Mortality Information and Research Analytics (MOIRA) system, a repository and retrieval system for detailed death data from the National Center for Health Statistics developed here (named for the Fates of Greek myth). 

DC alumni reception brings together friends and colleagues

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Dozens of Pitt Public Health grads from the capital area gathered at Penn Social during the 2017 ASPPH annual meeting, joining Dean Burke and host faculty for hearty conversations and refreshments. If the forecast of snow scared you away, we missed you! Access our photo albums anytime at www.publichealth.pitt.edu/flickr. 

Krafty introduces biostatistical methods to uncover what happens when we sleep

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JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN STATISTICAL ASSOCIATION - Associate professor ROBERT KRAFTY and coauthors including Pitt's Sleep and Chronobiology Center introduce a new method to unlock information collected by devices that monitor activity during sleep. The study uncovered new connections between heart rate patterns of older adults serving as primary caregivers for their spouse and the amount of time they are able to spend in bed during the night. 

HUGEN's Feingold studies how genes influence facial appearance

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INSIDEUPMC - Senior associate dean, geneticist, and biostatistician ELEANOR FEINGOLD contributed to this interdisciplinary research team's findings: measures of eye, nose, and facial breadth could be associated with genetic variants in certain regions of the genome. In several of these regions, genes known to contribute to facial development or implicated in birth defects where the face is affected were found. However, because many genes affect f... 

Biostats student Lauren Balmert to present findings in Harrisburg

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Doctoral student LAUREN BALMERT (BIOST '17) has been selected to present her research on accidental poisoning mortality to our elected leaders and alumni at Pitt Day in Harrisburg on March 21, 2017.  

EPI and BIOST researchers find wearable fitness devices don't make you more fit

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NY TIMES / JAMA - Epidemiology and biostatistics researchers WENDY KING, ABDUS WAHED, and STEVEN BELLE contributed to a two-year Pitt-led study which found that people who used wearable fitness devices for 18 months lost significantly less weight than those who didn’t. At the end of the IDEA Trial, study participants "without access to the wearable technology lost an average of 13 pounds. Those with the wearable tech lost an average of 7.7 pound... 

Biostats student Zhe Sun awarded 2-year fellowship by Children's Hospital

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Doctoral student ZHE SUN (BIOS '19), co-advised by WEI CHEN and YING DING, has been awarded a 2-year Research Advisory Committee fellowship for 2017-18 supported by Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Congratulations Zhe! 

Kudos to biostats student Victor Talisa on contribution to major JAMA paper on sepsis

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JAMA -- Congratulations to VICTOR TALISA (BIOS '15) on his contribution to "Proportion and Cost of Unplanned 30-Day Readmissions After Sepsis Compared With Other Medical Conditions," an analysis of hospital readmissions due to sepsis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Talisa served as second author under his doctoral advisor and co-author JOYCE CHANG. 

Biostats student TIANZHOU MA wins travel award attend JSM

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The paper, "Biomarker detection and categorization in RNA-seq meta-analysis using Bayesian hierarchical model" by doctoral student TIANZHOU MA (BIOS '18) has won a travel award in the SBSS 2017 Student Paper Competition to attend the Joint Statistical Meetings in Baltimore (July 29 through Aug, 2017). Ma is currently a fourth year doctoral student in biostatistics under the supervision of professor GEORGE TSENG. 

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