EOH Faculty & Research News

Gao Wins 2022 JESEE Young Investigator Meeting Award

EOH’s Peng Gao is an accomplished and respected professional in the field of exposure science. The International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) has recognized Dr. Gao’s work with the 2022 JESEE Young Investigator Meeting Award. This award supports student and new researcher participation at ISES annual meetings. Congratulations!  

Wenzel, Kagan, Newman are Highly Cited Researchers for 2021

Congratulations to EOH’s Sally Wenzel and Valerian Kagan and EPI’s Anne Newman for their inclusion in the 2021 list of Highly Cited Researchers. The list identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. A total of 18 researchers from Pitt were included in this year's list.   

Wenzel talks about endotypes and precision medicine in podcast

PHYSIOL REV - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel is a world authority on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, a chronic disease with significant implications to public health. She talks about her paper “Are we meeting the promise of endotypes and precision medicine in asthma?” on a recent episode of the Physiological Reviews podcast.  

Lichtveld touts equity in climate change science at NAM annual meeting

“The absolute bottom line for us in the area of science is that we are responsible for making climate and health science work for those most vulnerable. Across all presentations, every single presenter talked about issues of equity and issues of vulnerability,” Lichtveld said. “A climate focus must include science, resilience, protecting public health, and special emphasis on environmental justice."   

Lichtveld on how Huntington Beach Oil Spill Might Affect Human Health

VERYWELL HEALTH - Breathing crude oil vapors can cause coughing, throat and nose irritation, dizziness, headache, and nausea, according to a 2016 medical study of the DWH clean-up workers. This is particularly worrisome for vulnerable populations like children, older adults and people with lung conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, says Dean Maureen Lichtveld.  

Clues about how society emerges from COVID-19 can be gleaned by looking back on 1918 Spanish flu, Burke and other experts say

PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Between Sept. 22 and 24, noses in Beaver County did what they are supposed to do, said EOH’s James Fabisiak, director for the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities. They alarmed. “Your nose is actually designed to inform you if something is wrong,” Fabisiak said. But there’s a catch: “You’re incredibly good at finding things with your nose, but you’re not that good at knowing what it is” or building a risk profi... 

Shell cracker plant confrirms a sweet-smelling odor came from its Beaver County facility

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - "Factual identification of the actual agents responsible for or released in association with the reported smells should be a high priority, in the absence of which assigning any potential health risk becomes very problematic," says EOH's James Fabisiak, Breath Project member. He also pointed the reporter toward CDC facts to help explain that the rumors that the smell was due to ethylene glycol were likely incorrect, keepi... 

Floods Have Swamped the US. The Next Health Problem: Mold

WIRED - A summer of floods means mold and fungi are to follow. Yet we lack proper surveillance systems for mold infections and that leads to a data gap that increases the burden of these infections, particularly on marginalized groups. “We cannot isolate the impact of a natural disaster from historic burdens of health disparities, whether they are in the Gulf Coast or in the Caribbean or in New Jersey,” says Dean Maureen Lichtveld.  

Wenzel on the Impact of Code Orange Alert On Our Bodies (video)

KDKA - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel, director of Pitt's Asthma Institute at UPMC, explained that recent weather creates conditions where particulates in our atmosphere can't escape. "These are plumes in the air that damage the lungs and the blood vessels of people, especially vulnerable people," said Wenzel. She recommends staying inside in the air conditioning as much as you can, visiting public spaces with air conditioning if you don’t have it in yo... 

A 'space race' level attack on future public health crises will involve Pittsburgh

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Maureen Lichtveld's nearly 40 years in environmental public health has focused on a central principle: how to prepare for the next big crisis. "The COVID-19 pandemic, as the limited coverage for childhood vaccinations [in the past], is a public health problem, requiring public health strategies of preparedness, vaccination and control," said Lichtveld, who is aiming to position Pitt at the forefront of this deeper bu... 

Schuyler and Wenzel find residence in redlined neighborhoods linked with lower lung function

HEALIO - Adults with asthma living in neighborhoods that were deprioritized for mortgage investments in the 1930s, or redlined, had worse lung function than those living in non-redlined areas, Alexander Schuyler (EOH '23) and EOH Chair Sally Wenzel found in a cross-sectional study. "Black communities were mostly completely demarked in red or redlined as a result of this racist practice," said Schuyler.   

A fun, rewarding way to give back and make the public healthier

EPI's Nancy Glynn (EPI '94) is the PittCoVax volunteer coordinator and has volunteered herself with students and staff from Pitt Public Health. "I was thrilled to work side-by-side with an awesome, energetic group of faculty, staff, and students," said Glynn. She also talked about building community and the importance of the vaccine.   

Wenzel and colleagues discover mechanisms of severe asthma

UPMC - Wheezing, coughing that doesn’t stop, a pale and sweaty face: clinically, severe asthma attacks look very similar from patient to patient. But biologically, not all severe asthma is the same—and a team of scientists including EOH Chair Sally Wenzel has, for the first time, identified the key difference in people, a finding that has important implications for treatment.   

Dean Lichtveld looks to make science work for Pittsburgh communities

U TIMES - "My motto is always 'Making science work for communities," said Dean Maureen Lichtveld. So her top goal for the school is to increase student and faculty connections to the community and its public health concerns. Another priority is precision public health – an interdisciplinary practice to tackling community-based problems with community-based assets. "We will go to the community and address…public health threats."   

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