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Examining the Impact of a Psychosocial Syndemic on Past Six-Month HIV Screening Behavior of Black Men who have Sex with Men in the United States

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AIDS AND BEHAVIOR - Chandler C, Bukowski LA, Egan JE, Hawk M, Matthews D, Markovic N, Stall R revealed that tere were synergies among depression, problematic binge drinking, and poly-drug usebut these pschosocial factors cannot entirely explain testing patterns and excess disease burden among BMSM.   

Multifactorial discrimination, discrimination salience, and prevalent experiences of internalized homophobia in middle-aged and older MSM

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AGING AND MENTAL HEALTH - Meanley SP, Stall RD, Hawk ME, Surkan PJ, Shoptaw SJ, Matthews DD, Teplin LA, Egan JE, Plankey MW's study underscores internalized homophobia as a persisting concern among MSM in midlife and older adulthood. Their findings suggest that saliences, as a characteristic of discrimination experiences, may have a greater impact on internalized homophobia compared with exposure.   

I Don't Want the Tray to Tip: Experiences of Peer Evaluators in a Multi-Site HIV Retention Care Study

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AIDS EDUCATION AND PREVENTION - Dr. Mary Hawk and co-authors found that peers are well-positioned to collect client-level data, best practices, standards, and trainings for peer-based evaluation should be developed.   

Burke on overdose deaths in Pittsburgh declining sharply

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PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW - "At this point, I'm not confident it is a permanent change for the good or if we're just returning to the expected curve," Dean Donald Burke said. "In our paper in Science a few months ago, we showed overdoses from all drugs, not just opioids, have been growing exponentially for 40 years. Occasionally it speeds up and slows down, but the growth curve always snapped back."   

Burke talks to The Economist about charting "the death curve"

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THE ECONOMIST - Charting overdose deaths shows an exponential curve increasing at a constant clip of 7.6% per year. Some modellers argue that the death curve might even continue its acceleration. “Anyone who tells me otherwise has to show me why that curve should bend now when it hasn’t in the face of the war on drugs and the rise and fall of other drugs,” says Dean Donald Burke.  

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.  

Wenzel's new method identifies which asthma patients respond to system corticosteroids

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While important in the treatment of the common and often life-long respiratory disease, corticosteroids aren't without side effects and for some patients, the treatment just isn't as effective. EOH Chair Sally Wenzel and colleagues used a machine learning algorithm and identified variables that allowed them to cluster patients based on response.   

MMPH alumna honored with Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award

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Tammy Haley (MMPH '13) was honored with the 2019 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at Pitt's Honors Convocation ceremony.  The annual award recognizes teaching excellence and includes both a cash prize of $2,000 and a grant of $3,000 to support the faculty member's teaching activities.   

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.... 

Meet Alexa Meinhardt (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

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"I love that public health is a perfect blend of science and humanity," says Alexa Meinhardt (EPI '19). "Public health touches literally everything in our daily lives--from the fluoride in our water, to the seatbelts in our cars, to the after-school programs for children, to insurance coverage, and so much more," she says. "I love knowing that my work is interdisciplinary and requires collaboration with many different people."  

BCHS’s Baumann receives 2019 Silverman Scholarship

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Doctoral student Sara Baumann (BCHS ’19) has received the Silverman Scholarship from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. The funds will support her research on chhaupadi in Nepal, a traditional harmful practice where women and girls are isolated during their menstrual cycles. Baumann is conducting a qualitative study in far-west Nepal to understand intentions to change behaviors after criminalization of the practice.  

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

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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: biology, working with people, social/ethics, global health. An MPH combined all of these interests perfectly."  

BCHS alum accepted for Harvard crisis leadership program

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Nicolle Nestler (BCHS ‘11) was recently accepted to Harvard’s Emerging Leaders in Crisis Program. Currently, a hospital preparedness program administrator at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Nestler seeks to further develop her leadership, communication, and collaboration skills in public health emergency management and how to effectively lead during times of catastrophic crisis.  

Elias receives Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award

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Congrats to professor (and alum) Thistle Elias (BCHS '12) on winning the 2019 award - a major honor recognizing continuing work with Bridging the Gaps, a premier service-learning opportunity for Pitt students. The award "recognizes... efforts [that] far exceed the traditional duties expected of a faculty member and showcases the extraordinary impact that you have had in your own department and in the University."   

Goldstein on report that EPA leadership stalled testing for chemical health risks

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EARTH.COM NEWS - EOH's Bernard Goldstein told the Wall Street Journal that the report shows that the Trump administration is challenging the EPA's long-held standard approaches to science.   

Estradiol level influences fracture risk during menopause transition, Cauley finds

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HELIO - "Our findings suggest that serum [estradiol] measures may help to identify women at high risk of fracture during the menopausal transition," said EPI's Jane Cauley who, along with colleagues, analyzed data of 2,960 women aged 42 to 52 years at baseline participating in the Study of Women's Health Acros the Nation (SWAN), an ongoing, longitudinal cohort study of midlife women at seven clinical sites.   

Nachega finds drug-resistant TB cured with new approaches in conflict-affected region

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INFECTION CONTROL TODAY - A high proportion of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis cases can be cured in conflict-affected communities with molecular diagnostics, shorter treatment periods, and socioeconomic incentives, according to the results of a large, long-term study in the Democratic Republic of Congo led by IDM and EPI's Jean Nachega.   

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.  

Pitt invests in growing the Innovation District

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Built by Ford Motor Co. in 1915, 5000 Baum Boulevard is a 200,000-square-foot facility that functioned as part assembly plant, part showroom. The property represents Pitt’s largest development project to date aimed at strengthening the city’s Innovation District, which is being strategically developed under the newly established  InnovatePGH partnership , and also includes projects on Forbes Avenue, as well as the launch of the life sciences ini... 

Catov among scientists researching heart disease link to pre-eclampsia

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PITTSBURGH COURIER - While her baby is still a toddler, a woman who had preeclampsia during her pregnancy might already be on the path to heart disease and not getting the care she needs. Perinatal epidemiologistJanet Catov is among those researchers examining what pregnancy-related signals identify women at the highest risk of future cardiovascular disease. Helping a woman at that early point, with interventions that can reverse or treat risk f... 

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Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal 

Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal

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 ... (09/11/2019)
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Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award 

Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award

Congratulations to HPM's Walid Gellad, who was recently named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exc... (08/12/2019)
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EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe. 

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rath... (08/05/2019)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth 

Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - There is a dearth of scientifically investigated, evidence-based interventions to address substance use, mental health conditions and violence victimization in sexual and gender minority youth, according to a research review led by BCHS's Robert Coulter (BCHS '17) published in... (08/25/2019)
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El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries 

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause-related symptoms, and new research from EPI's Samar El Khoudary reinforces the importance of tailoring hormone therapy to each patient, based on her individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In a study p... (08/25/2019)

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders 

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The death rate from drug- and alcohol-related causes in people who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is nearly triple that of the general public, according to research led by EPI's Wendy King. The study also found that fewer than half of those who died had triggered a sa... (06/27/2019)