Epi Faculty News

As Washington Co. parents want deeper look at fracking and cancer, Talbot calls for study of historical pesticide use

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WESA - Epidemiologists say it is rare to prove an environmental cause for a cancer cluster. EPI's Evelyn Talbot says there's some evidence linking pesticide exposure with Ewing sarcoma and suggests conducting a case control study of historical pesticide use in the areas agricultural fields.   

Pitt Public Health dean steps down at a time when the region is losing other top leaders in the field (video)

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The departure of EPI's Donald S. Burke, dean emeritus, from his position as dean comes at a time when the region is losing two other top public health officials - Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor of the health sciences, and Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department. "This is a time of transition - of the health department, myself, Dr. Levine - this presents an opportunity for the community an... 

Personalities of Pittsburgh: Dr. Donald Burke becomes dean emeritus, continues as professor (subscriber content)

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Donald Burke is retiring from his role as dean but he’ll remain active with the University. He reflected on his career, including time in the military and international work in two dozen countries and shared concerns about scientific denialism. "As a scientific community, it's our job to continue to point out that the best decisions are based on evidence, and that without science, you can't make policies."   

Does the overdose plunge mean the epidemic is over? Burke says no.

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "What I'm worried about is that, if in fact it is a statistical aberration or an epidemic anomaly, that we psychologically, in public health, take credit for it and presume that we're doing enough," said Dean Donald Burke. "The response still has not been proportionate to the problem."   

King finds rates of drug-, alcohol-linked death triple after weight-loss surgery

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - EPI's Wendy King and colleagues say their findings highlight the need for more education, diagnosis, treatment, and tracking of alcohol and drug use as part of post-surgery care and called on primary-care doctors to be more aware of these risks as they treat patients who have had weight-loss surgery, and for more long-term follow-up. They deaths uncovered in the study occurred about five years after surgery.   

Newman honored with Joseph T. Freeman Award

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Congratulations to EPI Chair Anne Newman for winning the award from the Gerontological Society of America, given annually to a prominent physician in the field of aging, both in research and practice.   

Memory slips may be worrisome, but Ganguli study shows it's often not Alzheimer's

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NJ.COM - New research suggests taht even for adults who develop noticeable cognitive impairments in later life, that doesn't mean they have Alzheimer's or will progress to Alzheimer's anytime soon. Mary Ganguli (EPI '87) says the findings suggest no one should jump to hasty conclusions about people with cognitive loss.   

Brent and colleagues show that children of opioid users more likely to attempt suicide

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US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - EPI's David Brent (MSHyg '87) was one of the authors on a study published in JAMA Psychiatry that found children whose parents were prescribed opioids were twice as likely to attempt suicide as the offspring of people who did not use those drugs.   

Fabio talks to Reuters about institutional racism after Duke study says African-Americans less likely to get rehab

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REUTERS - "Being black isn't the issue," EPI's Anthony Fabio said. "The issue is probably that there's institutionalized racism in the United States and if you're African American you're more likely to be born in a poor neighborhood, which has a whole plethora of disadvantages as you grow up and move through life."   

Yuan comments; State says no cancer cluster in Washington County school district

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THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - The Pennsylvania department of health has determined that there is no cancer cluster in a Washington County school district. The agency conducted the study after several cases of a rare bone cancer were reported there. EPI's Jian-Min Yuan told the Allegheny Front agreed that the state used appropriate methods.   

Songer: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Thomas Songer (EPI ’86, ’90) is an assistant professor and the director of doctoral programs in the Department of Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Consistently one of the most highly rated teachers in the school, he is the primary instructor for graduate courses in injury epidemiology and injury prevention and control as well as the undergraduate Introduction to Research and Introduction to Epidemiology classes. Since 2007, Songer has been th... 

King: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Wendy King (EPI ’04) is associate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Her work is focused on the design, coordination, and analysis of multicenter cohort studies and randomized clinical trials. She is currently the principal investigator of the data coordinating center for three prospective cohort studies.   

Rosano: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Caterina Rosano (EPI ’03) is a physician-scientist and neuroepidemiologist at the forefront internationally of investigating the mechanisms underlying physical and cognitive independence in older adults. Her publication record includes more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers that trace a logical and scientifically solid link between long-term exposure to cardiometabolic/lifestyle factors, integrity of selected brain networks, and maintenance... 

King's findings on how to prevent weight gain after weight loss surgery

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - EPI's Wendy King and colleagues found that eating habits and physical activity have a greater impact on weight-loss surgery's long-term success than measures like counting calories. Limiting sedentary behaviors, self-weighing at least once a week, avoiding fast food, and correcting problematic eating behaviors were all factors associated with a greater chance of limiting weight gain after weight-loss surgery.  

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