Hugen Faculty News

Human Genetics Faculty & Research News

Parker elected Hastings Center fellow

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PITTWIRE - HUGEN's Lisa Parker was recently elected fellow to The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of research scholars studying ethical questions in medicine, science and technology that help inform policy, practice and public understanding. Parker, along with Robert Arnold of Pitt Medicine, is among twelve newly elected fellows recognized for their outstanding accomplishments informing scholarship and public understanding... 

Finegold awarded grant to review sustainability and public health

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@PITT - HuGen's David Finegold has been named one of eight faculty awardees for the 2020 John C. Mascaro Faculty Program in Sustainability. Created to enhance interdisciplinary excellence in sustainability research and education, the award will support Finegold's comprehensive review of sustainability in the curriculum at Pitt Public Health.   

Facher connects Pitt faculty with LifeX

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IMPACT - Evan Facher (HUGEN '97) notes that one of the important ways that the Innovation Institute powers invention and ignites progress is by connecting Pitt faculty with the resources they need to accelerate the translation of their research from the lab to the market. LifeX Labs, the life sciences accelerator launched by the University last year, is one of those resources. LifeX is hosting two opportunities this week for innovators to be con... 

HuGen’s Minster heads to Accra, Ghana for consortium on human heredity and health in Africa

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Assistant Professor Ryan Minster (HUGEN ’11) is attending the 14th Meeting of the H3Africa (Human Heredity and Health in Africa) Consortium in Accra, Ghana. H3Africa facilitates fundamental research into diseases on the African continent while also developing infrastructure, resources, training, and ethical guidelines to support a sustainable African research enterprise—led by African scientists, for the African people. Minster is heading the bi... 

Gopalakrishna finds breastmilk antibody protects infants from deadly disease

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US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Kathyayini Gopalakrishna (HUGEN '20) is first author on a study showing that an antibody in breastmilk is necessary to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis - an often deadly bacterial disease of the intestine - in preterm infants. The findings suggest that the antibody content of donor milk shoudl be tested so that the most protective milk can be targeted to the most at-risk infants.   

HUGEN's Lauren Winter melds genetic counseling and dental genetics

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GC PROGRAM BLOG  -- Genetic counseling student Lauren Winter (HUGEN '20) shares her experiences investigating genetic, environmental, behavioral, and microbial contributions to the disproportionately high rate of dental cavities in children living in Appalachia. She loves the variety found in her job, from solving problems with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to interacting with the mothers and children participating in the study, "I cou... 

Finegold talks about the importance of handling WES properly

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MD ALERT via REUTERS - Whole exome sequencing (WES) may identify genetic causes of idiopathic liver disease after an unrevealing conventional workup, researchers say. "WES is now broadly available in a wide range of genomics laboratories, both hospital-based and commercial. The interpretation of this data is profoundly challenging and absolutely requires special expertise within the laboratory."   

HUGEN's Beth Roman receives 2019 Craig Teaching Award

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Congratulations to HUGEN's Beth Roman on winning this year's award honoring faculty who have excelled in the teaching and mentoring of students. "Dr. Roman creates the best possible learning environment by making her classroom open to all questions, comments, and points of discussion. She actively seeks feedback from students in order to continually make improvements to the courses she teaches and is in charge of," said one nominator.   

Parker says: It takes a village, privilege and individual effort

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THE CAMPUS - In a lecture at Allegheny College titled Genetic Enhancement: A Game Changer for Sports and Social Justice? HUGEN's Lisa Parker said that many components of individual effort are not in the individual's control but are rather the influenced by unjust social practices that are beyond the individual's control.  

Gollin attends PBCC event celebrating Wendie Berg

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HUGEN's Susanne Gollin, a past recipient, was invited to participate in an event this month to celebrate Wendie Berg winning one of this year's PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) research grants to support her breast cancer diagnostic imaging research, bringing the total that PBCC has awarded to researchers at Pitt and UPMC to over one million dollars. Gollin was gifted with a PBCC lab coat.   

Padiath and colleagues 'see' dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Our cells sometimes have to squeeze through pretty tight spaces. And when they do, the nuclei inside must go along for the ride. Using super-sensitive microscopic imaging, HUGEN’s Quasar Padiath made a fundamental biological discovery that explains the structure of the nuclear envelope and gives tantalizing clues as to how cells squish through narrow openings without springing a leak.  

Grubs receives 2019 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award

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Human genetics professor Robin Grubs was honored with the 2019 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. Presented at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony in February, the award recognizes excellence in teaching by members of the University of Pittsburgh’s faculty as evidenced by students, colleagues, department chairs, and deans. Each faculty awardee wins a cash prize of $2,000 and a grant of $3,000 to support his or her teaching activities.... 

Scientists uncover dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei (video)

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES  - Using super-sensitive microscopic imaging, a team of scientists led by HuGen's Quasar Padiath has made a fundamental biological discovery that explains the structure of the nuclear envelope and gives tantalizing clues as to how cells squish through narrow openings without springing a leak. The findings also could be key to untangling the mechanisms underlying several genetic diseases.  

Vanyukov interprets new study findings and their relationship to the gateway drug theory

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THE ATLANTIC - With adolescent marijuana use stagnant and alcohol and cigarette use delayed and declining among minors, it might be time to leave the popular understanding of the gateway drug in the past. “Gateway theory only relates to initiation of drug use, not progression to abuse," says HUGEN's Michael Vanyukov. Instead, he suggests an alternate theory of substance abuse known as the common-liability theory.   

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