IDM Student Stories

In the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, students are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are a few profiles and some of the latest news about our students.

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IDM Student News

Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal

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PITT WIRE -  Chris Taylor (SHRS ’04, EPI ’10) originally started baking as a way to relax while studying at Pitt Public Health. After entering, and winning, their first competition on a whim, Taylor and husband Paul Arguin, who are both epidemiologists at the CDC, continued baking and competing as a creative release from their day jobs.  

Too old for president? Newman says health and fitness are better indicator than age

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AP - “A healthier heart, for example, is going to translate to a healthier brain...you can have a group of people who at age 80 are still going to work every day, doing all the stuff they need to do. We’re not very good at understanding who’s going to be able to tolerate the stress in emergency situations,” like the 3 a.m. crises presidents so often must navigate, said EPI's Anne Newman as three Democrats in their 70s are vying to challenge the... 

Sinclair reveals that measles outbreaks could become more commonplace

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FOX NEWS - Texas is the largest state by population that allows parents to not vaccinate their children for personal or religious reasons. And the number of exemptions has increased in recent years, growing from 2,300 in 2013 to 64,000 in 2016. Research led by PHDL postdoc David Sinclair found just a 5 percent decrease in the vaccination rate could increase the size of a potential measles outbreak by 4,000 percent in some communities in Texas.  ... 

Pitt ranked #18 best public college by U.S. News and World Report

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“This year’s ranking positions the University of Pittsburgh as a top-20 public school,” says Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “It’s a powerful testament to our students, faculty and staff and a clear signal that our trajectory as a world leader in learning, teaching, and research is still—undeniably—on the rise."  

Praekunatham promoted to chief of Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Response

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Hirunwut Praekunatham (EOH, '18) was recently promoted to chief of the Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Response unit under the new Division of Occupational and Environmental Diseases in Thailand. Praekunatham's responsibilities include surveillance of environmental/occupational diseases at the national level and field work in response to emergencies or events related to chemical and radioactive substances.  

Violence Prevention Initiative releases latest homicide report

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Review the latest findings in the 2018 Community Violence Prevention Initiative Homicide Review Findings Report.   

Jarlenski shows women aren't talking to health care professionals about using weed during pregnancy

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UNDARK - Research by HPM's Marian Jarlenski has shown women’s perception of cannabis as risky is dropping. A study published in June in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that between 2002 to 2003 and 2016 to 2017, self-reported use of cannabis in pregnancy doubled overall in the U.S., from 3.4 percent to 7 percent.  

A new study reveals how the price of treatments for a devastating disease quadrupled over the past decade

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BUSINESS INSIDER - Alvaro San-Juan Rodriguez (HPM '20) and Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16) published a new study in JAMA Neurology that found that drug prices for individuals with multiple sclerosis quadrupled over a 10-year period. The average price of the the treatments climbed from $18,660 in 2006 to $75,847 in 2016.   

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

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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 Flint's children. Since then, Flint has been on a slow but sure path toward recovery.   

Kahn finds hospital choice could affect pediatric mortality during emergencies

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HEALIO - A child’s chance of survival in an emergency may depend on the hospital where they receive care. Researchers assessed the pediatric readiness of EDs in five states and found that hospitals with the highest scores had lower mortality rates. “For some time, we’ve known that hospitals vary widely with respect to their readiness to care for pediatric emergencies,” said HPM's Jeremy Kahn. “What’s new about our study is that for the first tim... 

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IDM Student Profiles

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Meet Kelsey Simon (IDM '20), Dean's Scholar 

Meet Kelsey Simon (IDM '20), Dean's Scholar

With a keen interest in biology and medicine since childhood, Kelsey Simon (IDM '20) planned to pursue a graduate degree in the hard sciences until a course requirement got her thinking about working at a population level. "I … really wanted a career where I could put all of these things together: ... (02/20/2019)
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Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO)

Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which i... (04/19/2018)
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Meet Joanna Shaw (IDM ’18), Dean’s Scholar 

Meet Joanna Shaw (IDM ’18), Dean’s Scholar

Unsure of whether to pursue an MD, a PhD, or both, incoming Dean's Scholar JOANNA SHAW chose Pitt Public Health's Department of Infections Diseases and Microbiology to further develop her research and lab skills while she solidifies her research and career plans... (10/06/2016)
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Rodriguez serves on raccoon oral rabies vaccination team 

Rodriguez serves on raccoon oral rabies vaccination team

As a participant in the Allegheny County Health Department’s Pittsburgh Summer Institute (ACHD PSI), Samantha Rodriguez (IDM) helped to plan, execute, and review the county’s Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Program, as well as assisted with ORV distribution. (09/08/2016)
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Lowery conducts West Nile Virus surveillance with ACHD 

Lowery conducts West Nile Virus surveillance with ACHD

Joel Lowery (IDM ’17) assisted the ACHD in conducting its annual surveillance of West Nile Virus (WNV) in order to make informed decisions on vector control related to mosquitoes. In addition to WNV, the team monitored Aedes albopictus , a possible mosquito vector for the Zika virus. Lowery was ... (09/07/2016)
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Recent Publications

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN 

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN

JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY - Delucia, Rinaldo, Rappocciolo demonstrate that the use of SIMV to decrease macrophage-mediated virus transfer should be considered for future HIV therapeutic development.  (05/18/2018)

Widespread virus replication in alveoli drives acute respiratory distress syndrome in aerosolized H5N1 influenza infection of macaques 

Widespread virus replication in alveoli drives acute respiratory distress syndrome in aerosolized H5N1 influenza infection of macaques

JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY - Wonderlich, Swan, Bissel, Hartman, Carney, O'Malley, Obadan, Santos, Walker, Sturgeon, Frye, Maiello, Scanga, Bowling, Duangkhae, Wiley, Flynn, Wang, Cole, Reed, Barratt-Boyes establish a new nonhuman primate disease model for evaluation of vaccine and therapeutic approaches... (02/14/2018)

IDM Student Videos

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Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: DeLucia presents cholesterol regulation of HIV-1 trans infection and HIV-1 disease progression (VIDEO)

Doctoral candidate, DIANA DeLUCIA (IDM '19), presented some of her dissertation research on how the cholesterol levels in immune cells might be impacting HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS. It was found that antigen-presenting cells in nonprogressors have lower cholesterol levels which i... (04/19/2018)
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