EOH Department News

Travis Lear awarded predoctoral fellowship F31 award

Travis Lear (EOH '20) has been awarded an F31 predoctoral fellowship from the NHLBI. His project will focus on the molecular mechanisms of dysregulated inflammation in the lung, which is the cause of several lung diseases and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in critically-ill patients.   

Sahu and Ambrosio find longevity protein rejuvenates muscle healing in old mice

UPMC - New research, developed largely from Amrita Sahu's (EOH) thesis work, implicates the so-called “longevity protein” Klotho, both as culprit and therapeutic target to the inability for skeletal muscle to hear after injury as we get older. “We found that we were able to rescue, at least in part, the regenerative defect of aged skeletal muscle,” said lead author, EOH's Fabrisia Ambrosio.   

Kagan, Wenzel, Bayir partner to better understand cell death and ferroptosis

PITT MED - Cells die—that’s just part of life. But there’s always a reason. Pitt scientists are figuring out how to keep programmed cell death in check. EOH's VALERIAN KAGAN and SALLY WENZEL and other colleagues including EOH's HULYA BAYIR, are partnering to better understand “the reason” for ferroptosis—exactly what biomolecular line is crossed, how that signal is communicated within and between cells, which molecules pull the trigger, and how.... 

Goldstein profiled in Risk Analysis

RISK ANALYSIS - Before joining Pitt Public Health in 2001, BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor and former dean, obtained his medical degree from NYU. In 1980, he was recruited by Rutgers Medical School to help with the increase in public and political concerns about environmental pollution. Later, he left New Jersey to head the Office of Research and Development under President Ronald Reagan.  

Sally Wenzel receives 2018 Trailblazer award from Carnegie Science Center

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The Carnege Science Center held their Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala last week. EOH chair SALLY WENZEL and 5 other doctors were honored with the 2018 Trailblazer award for advancing the cause of medicine in their fields. Each of them were surprised with $20,000 to help further their research.  

Does formaldehyde cause leukemia? Goldstein speaks on a report linking the two

PBS - After controlling for certain lifestyle factors, a 2010 investigation found that workers exposed to 0.6 to 2.5 parts per million of formaldehyde had fewer red and white blood cells and a higher prevalence of DNA mutations in the blood stem cells. BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor said the mutations found in these studies resemble ones made by benzene, a known leukemia-causing agent that also lowers blood counts.  

Indiana steel mill emits 18,000 pounds of lead a year, Fabisiak comments

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The ArcelorMittal steel mill at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor emitted 173,000 pounds of benzene during 2016, making it the nation’s largest industrial source of a volatile chemical known to cause leukemia. More could be on the way but regulators can't explain where the steel mill's pollution ends up. “It’s a constant fight,” said EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.   

Is there a connection between Pittsburgh's high rates of asthma and autoimmune disorders?

Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh would be an ideal place for further study on the links between air pollution, asthma, and autoimmune disease, says EOH chair SALLY WENZEL. "There's a lot of evidence now that what you breathe may impact your lungs in many ways, and could actually start an autoimmune process. That's a link we haven't fully explored in this region yet."  

Wenzel says biologic improves severe asthma outcomes

MEDPAGE - Two trials showed that dupilumab was associated with reduced exacerbations, better lung function and improved asthma control in patients with moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma. EOH professor SALLY WENZEL says, “for patients who have a lot of comorbidities, and are missing a lot of work or school, it has the potential to be cost effective.” 

Goldstein on EPA’s disregard for the science behind the Clean Air Act

THE HILL - “In the name of ‘cooperative federalism,’ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is out to gut one of the finest examples of cooperative federalism in environmental law — that of setting outdoor air pollutant standards,” writes EOH’s BERNARD GOLDSTEIN. “This new approach... should be judged in conjunction with other major decisions about the incorporation of science into EPA.” 

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