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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... 

A qualitive study of the health concerns and health care access of Latino DREAMers

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Faculty, students, staff, and community members joined the Center for Health Equity’s monthly journal club on Friday afternoon, October 4, to discuss topics pertinent to the observation of Hispanic Heritage Month. The shared article was "There is No Help Out There and If There Is, It's Really Hard to Find: A Qualitative Study of the Health Concerns and Health Care Access of Latino DREAMers," and the session was facilitated by Sandra Quinones, as... 

Barkin Index measures how mother's are doing post-partum

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MERCER NEWS - Jennifer Barkin (EPI ’09, BIOST ’02), has created a new tool that could help disrupt the maternal health crisis. During her time at Pitt Public Health, Barkin created the Barkin Index to measure how a new mother is functioning in her day-to-day post-baby life. Now her index is being used in clinical trials by a drug company which created a drug for post-partum depression. Additionally, her index is being used by a technology compan... 

Weyant among researchers that say sugar consumption is rising, dragging down peoples’ oral health with it

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MIRAGE NEWS - In a recent two-part series in The Lancet, a number of dentists and public health experts name sugar as the leading culprit in the explosive growth of tooth decay worldwide. One of the authors of the series is EPI's Robert Weyant, who notes that “Sugar is the causative agent for dental decay. Basically, without sugar, you won’t develop decay.”  

Culyba finds adult support may mitigate violence-related behaviors in urban youth

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HEALIO - “Understanding nuanced patterns across types of violence perpetration and associated exposures, and how these patterns align with multiple risk and protective factors among male youth in urban neighborhoods can identify targets for intervention,” said BCHS's Alison Culyba.   

Donohue paper reviews pros and cons of marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers

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HPM’s Julie Donohue weighs in on how marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers isn’t new.  In the paper “A History of Drug Advertising”, Donohue outlines the case for and against these advertisements. Proponents tout patient and consumer rights to make informed decisions, while bioethicists and historians believe pharmaceutical companies are “disingenuously using the language of individual rights to support commercial activities.”  

Thurston shows more hot flashes could up odds for heart trouble

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WEB MD - EPI's Rebecca Thurston ifound that frequent or persistent hot flashes are linked to higher odds of heart attack and stroke. The finding stems from a 20-year study of about 3,300 women during menopause. "The [heart events] were not explained by things like blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, exercise or smoking, which are our usual suspects," said Thurston.  

Burke talks about how to control the river of legal painkillers flowing through Allegheny County

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PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - There were 76 billion pills prescribed across the country from 2006-2012. In that time, prescriptions in Allegheny county went from 46 pills per person per year to 58. EPI's Donald Burke said that there is still a long way to go in terms of controlling this first step of the addiction process: prescribing of drugs.   

New and improved! Save even more with updated Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program at Pitt Public Health

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Pitt undergrads: There are now even more reasons to jump-start your grad experience at Pitt Public Health. While you learn to solve health problems, contribute to scientific discoveries, and transform the well-being of communities at home and around the world, you'll save even more money on tuition by starting your graduate coursework in your fourth undergraduate year.   

Felter comments on how Facebook and Pinterest are fighting back against anti-vaccine content

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HEALTHLINE - Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram have put in safeguards to help combat health misinformation online, which is important because such misinformation can affect public health. For example, misinformation about vaccines has helped lead to the ongoing spike of measles cases. "Those opposed to vaccinations often misrepresent data, knowingly or unknowingly, which can skew others' perception of risk," says BCHS's Elizabeth Felter.   

Coulter will serve as co-investigator on NIH supplement grant

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BCHS's Robert Coulter (BCHS '17) will serve as co-investigator on a newly-funded NIH supplement grant to expand a text messaging intervention to reduce alcohol use and sexual violence among sexual and gender minority college students.  

Culyba's research links mentoring teens to fewer risky behaviors

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WESA - New research from BCHS's Alison Culyba shows that adult support both reduces violence and increases positive behaviors among teen boys in low-income urban neighborhoods. “What we were really interested in with this particular study was looking at patterns of violence with a lot more detail than what had been done in previous research … so we could best understand how to leverage those relationships to protect young men from multiple types... 

Study finds microplastics turning up in human stool. Adibi talks moving the research forward.

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PHYSICIAN'S WEEKLY - Tiny bits of plastic may be getting into our bodies, a new study suggests. EPI's Jennifer Adibi point out that “[the study] does shine a light on a different way of looking at the impact of plastics on health. “Until now we have been focused on measuring and studying the health effects of the chemicals in plastics. “Now we need to extend that thinking to include the intact particles of plastics.”  

Drake: there appears to be a major loophole in background checks for private, online gun sales

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STAR TRIBUNE - Fewer than 10% of sellers appear to require a background check. “We tried to search each listing for evidence suggesting the seller would need a background check," said HPM's Coleman Drake. "The results indicate that this is a potentially large loophole on private sales. The policy implication for lawmakers is that if the government wants meaningful regulation of firearms sales, the online market needs to be included.”  

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

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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.”  

Why do people die young here? Maseru project aims to send 'citizen scientists' out to investigate

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The cost of being poor can include decades of life. A just-launched partnership between a Homewood-based community group and a University of Pittsburgh research team intends to explore that grim price tag, and to create a corps of "citizen scientists" who could lead the charge to close the life expectancy gap. The team includes BCHS's Noble Maseru, director of the Center for Health Equity and EOH's Jim Fabisiak, directo... 

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

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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 those cities. Madison, Wisconsin is another. And then it will be Flint.”  

Pittsburgh named one of most livable cities in United States

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KDKA - The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the most livable cities in the United States, and Pittsburgh is No. 3, beating out Seattle and Washington D.C. for a top-three spot. The study looked at stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.  

Gellad comments: Four health care questions every 2020 Democratic candidate should answer

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VOX - If overhauling the U.S. health care system isn’t on the table in January 2021, drug prices, the opioid crisis, hospital spending, and long-term care are all deeply important problems that a Democratic president will need to turn their attention to if he or she wins. “If [Medicare-for-all] is a no-go in Congress, then what changes would they make to the current system?” said HPM's Walid Gellad.   

Tyurina finds genetic engineering could open possibilities for Parkinson’s patients

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MEDICIAL LIFE SCIENCES -  A team of researchers including EOH's Yulia Tyurina unveiled the most promising strategies in applying genetic engineering. The noble method can help study the role of cellular processes in the disease progression, develop new treatment methods and drugs, and estimate their effectiveness using animal disease models.  

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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)