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Epi Department News

Harrison on school requirements for child vaccines

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NBC PHILADELPHIA - State officials want both public and private school students to be up-to-date with all their vaccinations within five days of the beginning of the school year, a drastic reduction from the eight months that pupils used to have to get their shots. Epidemiology’s LEE HARRISON says outbreaks of infectious diseases have demonstrated the need for high immunization rates. 

Van Panhuis offers wisdom on some common myths about vaccines for kids

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CONSUMER REPORTS - Myth 2: It’s Safer to Space Out Kids’ Vaccines. Truth: No. Epidemiologist WILBERT VAN PANHUIS says that’s unwise. The CDC bases the schedule on disease risks and vaccine effectiveness at specific ages, and the way vaccines may interact with each other. To start mixing this up is complicated and can be dangerous. 

Garland and Fabio want more data to understand neighborhood variations in the deadliness of Pittsburgh shootings

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Dozens of potential factors cause the deadliness rate of shootings to vary widely across the city geographically and from year-to-year. BCHS’ RICHARD GARLAND and EPI’s ANTHONY FABIO, who study troubled youth and violence, wish more police data was available to find patterns in the factors influencing fatality rates. 

Newman contributes to study on how genes affect body mass

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NATURE COMMUNICATIONS - ANNE NEWMAN, EPI chair, is co-author of a recent article on the largest, most comprehensive genetic study of lean mass to date. By understanding the genetic contributions to lean mass—an indicator of muscle mass—future treatments may be developed to prevent the loss of lean mass with aging. With age, some people develop a condition called “sarcopenia” where they lose critical amounts of muscle mass, to the point that they ... 

30 percent of women have this down-there infection—and they don’t even know it

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READERS DIGEST - As many as one in three women will develop bacterial vaginosis (BV) at some point in their lives, but most will have zero clue that have an infection that can wreak havoc on their fertility and increase their risk of developing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. “Bacterial vaginosis affects nearly 1-in-3 reproductive-aged women, so there is great need to understand how it can be prevented,” said LISA BODNAR, assist... 

Why belly fat really is the worst kind of weight gain, especially for women

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NBC TODAY - “Studies have shown that it’s not just being overweight that matters, it’s also where you store the fat,” said co-author SAMAR R. EL KHOUDARY, associate professor of epidemiology. “When the fat is near the heart it can be like a metabolically active organ that can secrete toxic chemicals. And because there is no border between the fat and the heart, it’s much easier for those toxic chemicals to pass into the heart." How much fat accum... 

Gary-Webb elected to chair APHA epidemiology section

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TIFFANY GARY-WEBB, associate professor in BCHS and epidemiology, has been chosen by her peers as chair-elect for the APHA's epidemiology section. Beginning in November, this 6-year commitment consists of 2 years as chair-elect, 2 years as chair, and 2 years as immediate past-chair. Says Gary-Webb, "I see this as an opportunity for GSPH faculty and students who are interested in applied epidemiology to get more connected with the association." 

El Khoudary finds heart disease risk varies by body type and race in women

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TRIB LIVE - A woman's body shape is uniquely connected to her heart disease risk, particularly in midlife, and different shapes are associated with risks in black women than in white women, according to a new analysis by epidemiologist SAMAR EL KHOUDARY. The study's results strengthen a   similar finding   from three years ago among black and white men. “Being able to show the same thing here among women kind of highlights the importance of vis... 

Former MPH classmates meet in Maine for their annual traveling reunion

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One of the many informal summer gatherings of former Pitt Public Health classmates, this group of MPH alumni has reunited every year since graduation in a different place! This year was coastal Maine, primarily Bar Harbor. Pictured are CAROLYN BYRNES (EPI), SARAH LOCH (EPI), NICOLLE NESTLER (BCHS), KELSEY ALLEN (BCHS), KATHLEEN CREPPAGE (EPI), and JESSICA SUCHY (BCHS). Past locations have included Buffalo, DC, Pittsburgh, and Colorado. 

Geriatric journal's impact rises under Newman's editorship

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The Gerontological Society of America recently announced that new rankings show its academic journals lead among the most-cited aging publications. The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, which is edited by ANNE NEWMAN, chair of Pitt Public Health's Department of Epidemiology, upheld its first-place ranking on the list of 32 publications, with an impact factor of 5.957. 

What impact are our TV binge-watching habits having on our health?

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TV3 EXPOSE  - Ireland's private-TV news broadcaster cites research by Pitt Public Health's BONNY ROCKETTE-WAGNER on the impacts of TV watching on weight gain and diabetes risk. “Television watching (like other sitting behaviours) has very low energy expenditure, and therefore large amounts of time [spent doing it] could lead to energy imbalance and weight gain.” 

EPI's Rosso explores role of exercise in keeping Alzheimer's at bay

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MEDICAL NEWS TODAY - Epidemiologist ANDREA ROSSO set out to uncover why some people respond to physical exercise inventions better than others. Her hunt for these super-responders saw her looking at genes involved in dopamine regulation. Rosso speculates that higher dopamine levels may play a role in sticking to exercise regimes in lifestyle interventions. 

Thurston on menopausal weight gain challenge

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ENDOCRINE TODAY - “Midlife and the menopause transition is a time when women typically gain weight, and losing it is difficult because there are multiple things going on,” REBECCA THURSTON (EPI) told Endocrine Today . “Women’s physiology is changing, their lives are very busy, and they’re caring, oftentimes, for partners, children and aging parents, so it is a challenge.” 

Taylor takes best of show with checkerboard peanut butter pie

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NEW YORK TIMES - This doctoral alum is amazing! CHRIS TAYLOR (EPI '10), who was inducted into the Pitt Public Health Delta Omega Honor Society chapter in May 2017, won best in show in the amateur division at the American Pie Council's championship in June in Orlando, Florida. His winner beat 205 other entries with a recipe inspired in part by a Take5 candy bar, one of his favorites.  

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