OBOC 2017-18


Each year since 2009, Pitt Public Health invites students, faculty, alumni, and friends to share the experience of reading and discussing our annual selection for the One Book, One Community (OBOC) program. This year's OBOC selection is The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. 

About the Book

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

(Excerpted and condensed from Amazon.com)

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What Should We Read Next?

OBOC book stack

Have ideas for our 10th year?

Suggest a book

Read-Along Program

Alumni, families, and friends are invited to sign up below and read along with the school’s students and faculty by participating in the second read-along program. Read The Emperor of All Maladies and participate in live and virtual events and discussions. Read more...

WHERE TO GET THE BOOK

Get 10 percent off at the University Store on Fifth (with Pitt ID). Pitt’s Hillman Library, Health Science’s Library, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh may also have copies.

Questions?

With questions about OBOC, or to suggest an event, contact Robin Leaf, educational programs and practicum coordinator.

OBOC and Cancer News

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Health savings accounts linked to care access in cancer survivors; Sabik looks to understanding impacts for specific populations 

Health savings accounts linked to care access in cancer survivors; Sabik looks to understanding impacts for specific populations

CANCERNETWORK - “This was an important study because of the increasing role of high-deductible health plans in our insurance system,” said HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “As [high-deductible health plans] become more widespread, understanding their impacts for different patient populations will be important.... (09/23/2019)
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Mona says there’s a good reason Flint is still on filtered and bottled water (audio) 

Mona says there’s a good reason Flint is still on filtered and bottled water (audio)

WKAR - “It's because our pipes are being replaced and we are almost done with that. But by the end of 2019 all of the lead pipes in Flint will have been replaced, which is pretty incredible. We'll only be the third city in the country that has replaced their lead pipes. Lansing, Michigan is one of ... (09/16/2019)
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OBOC author: I helped expose the lead crisis in Flint. Here's what other cities should do. 

OBOC author: I helped expose the lead crisis in Flint. Here's what other cities should do.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Mona Hanna-Attisha, author of What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, explains how persistence, activism, teamwork, and science prevailed when the powers-that-be tried to silence her research when she found lead in the blood of Flin... (08/28/2019)
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Water Safety and Lead Regulation: Physicians' Community Health Responsibilities  

Water Safety and Lead Regulation: Physicians' Community Health Responsibilities

AMA JOURNAL OF ETHICS - This article reviews the regulation of lead in drinking water, highlighting its epidemiological, engineering, and ethical aspects with a focus on the Flint water crisis. Discussing water quality policy and its implimentation with a focus on lead contamination of water, prima... (08/24/2019)
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The Flint Water Crisis and Beyond - resources from APHA 

The Flint Water Crisis and Beyond - resources from APHA

Recordings and slides from a three-part webinar series on lead and public health from the American Public Health Association. The drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan has raised public health concerns about lead exposure, the U.S. water supply infrastructure, and the autority to enforce safe an... (08/24/2019)
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Summer reads from The Nation's Health 

Summer reads from The Nation's Health

THE NATION'S HEALTH - With summer’s arrival, it’s time to find a quiet beach, a shady grove, a comfortable corner on an inviting porch and relax with a good book. But which one? That’s where we can help.  The Nation’s Health  editors have searched online and brick-and-mortar book sellers to come up... (08/19/2019)
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Smith talks in-depth immunotherapy for lung cancer 

Smith talks in-depth immunotherapy for lung cancer

HOPE WITH ANSWERS - Discover in-depth information about immunotherapy for lung cancer through this conversation between Kellie Smith (IDM '13) of Johns Hopkins and patient advocate Lysa Buonanno, part of a video series providing the next level of information for patients to understand treatment opt... (08/12/2019)
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Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance teams up with Amazon Web Services  

Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance teams up with Amazon Web Services

UPMC — The PHDA announced a new machine-learning research sponsorship with Amazon Web Services to advance innovation and transform the way that diseases are treated and prevented. This alliance of Pitt, UPMC, and UMPC works to use the “big data” generated in health care, such as electronic health r... (08/07/2019)