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Epi Department News

Why the CDC needs number crunchers on the front lines of the opioid epidemic

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90.5 WESA - Who’s needed to fight the battle? At the October 2, 2017, conference sponsored by the PUBLIC HEALTH DYNAMICS LABORATORY and CTSI, CDC’s Sarah Bacon said an essential group of people must crunch the numbers to better understand the hows and the whys of the crisis: mathematicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, and statisticians. 

Thurston research says being sexually harassed may have long-term physical consequences

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FORBES - The past several weeks have seen a regular flow of sexual harassment allegations against high profile individuals and a flood of heartfelt stories on the Internet in response to the #MeToo social media hashtag. But as epidemiologist REBECCA THURSTON has found, traumatic experiences such as sexual harassment may affect your blood vessels, your blood flow, and potentially your heart. “We found that a history of more traumatic experiences w... 

Fabio's research on gun ownership cited in New York Times

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NEW YORK TIMES - Research by Epi's TONY FABIO, was cited by op-ed columnist Bret Stephen's piece "Repeal the Second Amendment." Fabio's study, published in 2016 in the journal Social Medicine, analyzed the guns recovered by Pittsburgh Police and found that the vast majority were not carried by their legal owners.  

Thurston finds just three awful events is all it takes for a woman to end up with heart disease

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DAILY MAIL, UK - This study, led by EPI’s REBECCA THURSTON, is one of the first of its kind to assess the impact of trauma on heart disease risk. She said, “These findings underscore the importance of psychosocial factors, such as trauma exposure, in the development of heart disease risk in midlife women.” Thurston is a professor of epidemiology, psychiatry, and psychology, and director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at Pitt. 

Kuller comments on why hypertension-linked dementia may impact more women than men

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It is known that high blood pressure in one’s 50s puts a person at risk for dementia in later life. It's now know that hypertension in the 30s and 40s has a similar effect, but only in women. LEWIS KULLER, epidemiology professor emeritus, talks about why this unexpected research finding might be true.  

Salcido returns as epidemiology seminar speaker

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Alumnus DAVID SALCIDO (EPI ’08) delivered an epidemiology seminar entitled “Cardiac Arrest, Resuscitation and the Opioid Epidemic.” Since 2006 he has developed interests in cardiac arrest physiology (acute phase), resuscitation device and robotics development, signal analysis, and emergency medicine epidemiology. Current Pitt Public Health students JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '18) and ALLISON KOLLER (EPI '18) collaborate in his ongoing research.  

Glynn finds small increases in physical activity reduce immobility, disability risks in older adults

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TUFTS NOW - Adding 48 minutes of moderate exercise per week is associated with improvements in overall physical functioning and decreases in risks of immobility in older adults who are sedentary, finds a new study assisted by author NANCY GLYNN, epidemiology researcher with the Center for Aging and Population Health. 

Epidemiology study named “Most Effective” in geriatric medicine

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An epidemiology study led senior author ANNE B. NEWMAN and alumna MINI E. JACOB (EPI ’14) was recently named one of the 10 most effective articles in geriatric medicine in 2016 at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting. "Can a Healthy Lifestyle Compress the Disabled Period in Older Adults?" was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society last year, and found that leading a healthy lifestyle not only extends one’s lifespa... 

Rockette-Wagner finds that sitting for long periods each day linked to increased mortality

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TRIB LIVE - Even people who exercise the recommended two-and-a-half hours per week likely face an increased risk of death if they sit a lot every day, according to a new study on sitting’s health risks. The science of sedentary behavior is more limited than the science of physical activity, said epidemiology’s BONNIE ROCKETTE-WAGNER. She tells people to find creative ways to get up and move around – whether it’s pausing a TV show to get a little ... 

Meet Alyson Harding (EPI '19) Dean's Scholar

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The opportunity to “blend hard science and research with service for the purpose of improving health and living conditions” is what finally drew Alyson Harding to public health. With degrees in anthropology and chemistry and experience working with Habitat for Humanity, she is interested in disaster epidemiology and researching health outcomes of disaster situations. “The biggest reason I chose Pitt Public Health is the amazing culture of the sc... 

Meet Mikaela Kosich (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

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Mikaela Kosich, graduate of Harvey Mudd College, discovered epidemiology was an option just two weeks before graduation, but it wasn’t until she returned home to Mays Landing, NJ, and observed first hand gaps in medical care and inequities in health outcomes that she decided to pursue a career in public health epidemiology. She is confident her education at Pitt Public Health will provide her with a solid foundation.  

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. 

Meet Ashley Simenson (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

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Simeson's interest in public health was first sparked by the documentary The Weight of the Nation . Later she was exposed to a course on the AIDS epidemic and initial responses from public health organizations. She then applied to nine schools and found a home in Pitt's EPI program. “I want to be an infectious disease specialist and conduct research in HIV and STI prevention and treatment,” she says.   

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. 

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