News

Meet Ruishen Lyu, MS student in biostatistics

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Just like with his interest in preventative medicine, Ruishen Lyu (BIOST MS '20) had two main reasons for choosing Pitt from among the other universities to which he was accepted. The first was the great reputation of a large research university like the University of Pittsburgh. The second was the program itself and what it offered. In researching the academic components of the program and hearing from students and alums via online message boar... 

Jarlenski confirms inconsistencies in enforcement of ACA birth control coverage

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VICE - The most recent research found that insurance was inconsistent in guaranteeing full coverage of birth control options. “This is an ongoing issue,” said HPM’s Marian Jarlenski, who researches maternal and child health. “You may be hit by a surprise bill; you may just decide to pay out-of-pocket, not knowing there might be an appeals process; or you could go to a different clinic.”  

Sabik finds Massachusetts’ health reforms helped catch more cancers early

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - “Our study is the first to present evidence that Massachusetts' health reform may be associated with a shift to earlier-stage diagnosis for a cancer that has a high cure rate when caught early,” said HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “We expect that early cancer diagnosis will likely be one of the major success stories of national health insurance reform.”  

Golya receives Benjamin Eskin Memorial Award, inducted into PA honor society

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Congratulations to Kara Goyla (BCHS ') who graduated from Drexel's PA program on December 14 and passed her boards! She was inducted into Pi Alpha, the National Physician Assistant Honor Society and received the Benjamin Eskin Memorial Award "for the PA student who demonstrated exceptional effort and demonstrated qualities of personal dedication and integrity." Golya sends her gratitude and states she could not have made it through this arduous ... 

Felter and Baumann receive Best Paper of the Year Award

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Congrats to BCHS's Elizabeth Felter and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19). Their article "Development of a Community-Engaged Classroom for Teaching Health Communications: Lessons Learned from Nine Semesters of Implementation," has been selected as a Pedagogy in Health Promotion's 2019 Best Paper of the Year Award. This is a great honor!   

Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Coaching Boys Into Men, a program that seeks to prevent dating violence and sexual assault, reduces abusive behaviors among middle school male athletes toward their female peers, according to clinical trial results published in JAMA Pediatrics. The trial, examining the short- and long-term effectiveness of the program, was led by BCHS's Elizabeth Miller.   

Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law

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PITT WIRE - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “Colorectal cancer frequently occurs in adults under 65 who are not yet eligible for Medicare. And we know from previous research that people who do not have ... 

Three new junior faculty join the department

Over the last year we are lucky to have recruited three outstanding junior faculty members: Lu Tang, Jenna Carlson (BIOST '17), and Jiebiao Wang. The newest addition to the department, Wang received his PhD from the University of Chicago and was previously a post-doctoral fellow at CMU. His areas of expertise and research interests include high dimensional data, genomics, and causal inference. Wang is currently teaching BIOST 2025: Biostatistics... 

Biostats at ENAR and JSM

Last year, the department hosted its first alumni breakfast at the ENAR Spring Meeting in Philadelphia. Pitt Breakfast @ ENAR was a huge success, and our alumni and students had the chance to connect prior to the day's activities. We look forward to having a presence again this year at both ENAR Nashville and JSM Philadelphia 2020. Stay tuned for more details!   

Alumnus launches effort to help the next generation of biostatisticians!

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Harvey Co Chien (BIOST MS '87) recently established a scholarship fund to support students pursuing master's degrees in biostatistics. You too can support students and the department, providing resources, supporting educational programs, aiding travel costs, and allowing us to remain accessible and affordable to the next generation of biostatisticians. Find out more.  

Hand-offs, not handcuffs: Hawk favors a Pittsburgh program for nonviolent criminals

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - It makes sense to pitch LEAD to the medical community [as well as law enforcement and neighborhood associations], said BCHS’s Mary Hawk. Medical professionals, after all, see a lot of people with substance abuse problems, and don’t always know how to get them help. “These are people we love, right?” she said. “We all want the people we love to have opportunities to thrive.”  

Announcing new HDS and SCG concentrations

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We are excited to introduce two new concentrations for the Master's of Science in Biostatistics: Health Data Science (HDS) and Statistical and Computational Genetics (SCG). Find out more in AMSTATNews, on our website , or by contacting Ada Youk (ayouk@pitt.edu) or Renee Valenti (renee.valenti@pitt.edu).  

Hernandez on how the high price of MS drugs affects lives

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EVERYDAY HEALTH - “Even when patients have insurance, these price increases result in very high out-of-pocket costs for them,” says study coauthor Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM ’16). Twelve percent said they had to stop taking their medication for a time due to cost, and 8 percent have taken less than prescribed to stretch their drugs to last longer.  

Meet this year's biostatistics master's program ambassadors

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Two students were selected to be the master's program ambassadors. Kayleigh Adamson (BIOST MS '20, pictured) and Ruishen Lyu (BIOST MS '20) will use this opportunity to share information with applicants, spread the news about our new concentrations, and to act as sounding boards for their peers.   

Join us for Biostatistics Research Day 2020

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On Thursday, February 27, our annual Biostatistics Research Day will showcase students' posters and oral presentations. This is a fantastic opportunity for graduate students to present their research on statistical methods or applications, receive feedback, and build connections with faculty and alumni judges. Some of this student work will be presented at ENAR later this spring. We will also hear from invited speaker, James Dignam (BIOST '94), ... 

Faculty Spotlight: Jiebiao Wang, assistant professor of biostatistics

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Over the last year, we are lucky to have recruited three outstanding junior faculty members: Lu Tang, Jenna Carlson (BIOST '17), and Jiebiao Wang. The newest addition, Wang received his PhD from the University of Chicago and was most recently a post-doctoral fellow at CMU. His expertise and research interests include high dimensional data, genomics, and causal inference. Wang is currently teaching BIOST 2025: Biostatistics Seminar.   

Bandos and Ding recently promoted

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Congratulations to Andriy Bandos (left) and Ying Ding (right), who were recently promoted to associate professor. Both have made outstanding contributions to the department's graduate teaching and research programs. Congratulations!   

‘Alarming’ one-in-five deaths due to sepsis

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BBC - One in five deaths around the world is caused by sepsis, also known as blood poisoning. Derek Angus (’92 BCHS), now distinguished professor and Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair of Critical Care Medicine at Pitt School of Medicine, has contributed to a groundbreaking study finding that sepsis is twice as common as health officials have long believed, about 20 percent of all deaths worldwide.  

Students share practical advice on practica

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A panel of six current students highlighted last week’s sixth annual Practicum and Internship Symposium, sharing their own experiences and tips on how to secure an internship. Perspectives were provided by faculty, staff, and administrators engaged in internship/practicum sites and advised students on how to apply at the county health department, community-based organizations, and to opportunities throughout the region.  

Miller finds coaches can help prevent dating violence in young men

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KDKA  -  Imagine locker room talk about respect and stopping violence against women. Studies by BCHS’s Elizabeth Miller, who also directs adolescent and young adult medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital, found that coaches can reduce abusive behavior toward girls among male athletes, even at the middle school level. Earlier studies had shown that high school coaches could have a significant impact. Pittsburgh Action Against Rape runs the Coaching... 

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O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role 

O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role

PITTWIRE - Pitt Public Health staff member Scott O'Neal recently took center stage to sing the title role in the world premiere of "Satan's Fall," composed by Steward Copeland, founder of the iconic New Wave band The Police. The metal opera, based on "Paradise Lost", was co-commissioned by the Mend... (02/24/2020)
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Parker elected Hastings Center fellow 

Parker elected Hastings Center fellow

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 o... (02/05/2020)
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Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law 

Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law

PITT WIRE - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “Colorec... (01/28/2020)


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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El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause 

El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - A marker for heart disease risk considerably worsens as women transition through menopause. Black women experience this accelerated decline earlier in menopause than their white counterparts. According EPI's Samar El Khoudary, the findings add to growing evidence that menopaus... (02/10/2020)
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Sabik finds decline in advanced stage cancer diagnoses following health reform law 

Sabik finds decline in advanced stage cancer diagnoses following health reform law

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik... (02/04/2020)
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Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students 

Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Coaching Boys Into Men, a program that seeks to prevent dating violence and sexual assault, reduces abusive behaviors among middle school male athletes toward their female peers, according to clinical trial results published in JAMA Pediatrics. The trial, examining the short- ... (01/28/2020)