Faculty Profiles & Research News

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... 

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.  

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... 

Smagula comments on study that says dementia caregiving takes toll on sleep

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Just looking at the average difference in sleep over a week may be “misleading,” said EPI's Stephen Smagula. “That comes down to about 25 minutes a day. But some caregivers may be really losing a lot of sleep while some aren’t losing much,” he added.  

Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities

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NEWSWEEK - David Sinclair, a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt's Public Health Dynamics Laboratory and lead author of the study said, "I was surprised at how large measles outbreaks could be in Texas at current vaccination rates, according to our forecasts. The clustering of unvaccinated children in certain schools appears to help measles spread widely."  

Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic

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Alex Nowalk (BCHS '16), program director at Pitt's Program Evaluation and Research Unit, recently co-authored a chapter in an upcoming book, A Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Epidemic. Nowalk's chapter presents screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment as a public health and prevention strategy to address substance use and addiction. The book will be published through Oxford University Press and co-published with the Amer... 

Programs work from within to prevent black maternal deaths: Workers targeting root cause — Racism

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THE NATION'S HEALTH - The law is good news for maternal health, but it is critical that such committees include and work with women most at risk, said EPI's Dara Mendez, a member of Pennsylvania’s newly established Maternal Mortality Review Committee, which had its first meeting in July. In a Health Affairs article published in February on implementation of the new federal law, Mendez and co-authors said the “extent to which these voices are cur... 

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

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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 published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers showed for the first time that hormone replacement therapy affects the accumula... 

Environmental concerns aren't the only reason to reduce plastic consumption, Adibi points out

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FOX 46 ORLANDO - "They are considered fat-loving or lipophilic. So they naturally migrate into the fat in the food,” EPI's Jennifer Adibi said.   

Jarlenski points to power of prevention after study finds 2% of women have ‘persistent’ opioid use after childbirth

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STAT NEWS - “This study shows that there continues to be a chance to really intervene on the prevention side,” said HPM's Marian Jarlenski. The decision to write an initial prescription is a low-hanging-fruit point of intervention, she said.  

Peddada presents at international data science workshop in Jilin China

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BIOST Chair Shyamal Peddada presented "Identification of rhythmic signals in oscilatory systems with applications to chronobiology at the July 2019 International Workshop on Data Science at Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China.   

According to Sullivan, depression in older Pittsburghers is dropping

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People in the Mon Valley ages 65 and older are experiencing fewer depression symptoms than previously reported. A new study authored in part by EPI postdoc Kevin Sullivan, looked at how over 3,000 older people in communities across Southwestern Pennsylvanians are aging physically and mentally. The study finds people born more recently report fewer symptoms than cohorts from earlier birth decades. “Our job when looking at these effects is to real... 

As Its Drug Pricing Plans Fall Through, Trump Administration Turns To Congress To Act

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NPR - "This is a huge potential change, transformative," said HPM's Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at Pitt.   

Burke among Women of Impact selected for Your Indelible Mark training

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BCHS's Jessie Burke was among 25 exceptional women leaders in health who met in Pittsburgh this month to explore their career and life goals and learn to address organizational and cultural barriers and meet life-stage challenges. The training was sponsored by Women of Impact, a group of women representing various sectors of the health care industry.   

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service providers, users, and experts via a content-mapping research methodology to isolate what matters most and to establish metrics for monitoring this vit... 

Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award

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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 exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. Gellad was nominated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who he previously worked w... 

Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it

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INSIDE UPMC - Rural Pennsylvania Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with opioid use disorder are driving an average of four times as far as their nearest prescriber to receive medication-assisted treatment, according to an analysis led by HPM's Evan Cole. The study, published in the  Journal of General Internal Medicine , also found that the farther people have to travel, the less likely they are to adhere to medication-assisted treatment to relieve o... 

MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center receives $14.2 million to extend efforts into 2024

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INSIDE UPMC - Public health alumnae & RPCVs Marilyn Blasingame (IDM '16) and Ingrid Godfrey (IDM '18), and IDM professor Linda Rose Frank discuss their work on the prevention and treatment  of HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities through the MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center (MAAETC), which recently was awarded $14.2 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue the center’s work for the next five years  

Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance teams up with Amazon Web Services

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UPMC — The PHDA announced a new machine-learning research sponsorship with Amazon Web Services to advance innovation and transform the way that diseases are treated and prevented. This alliance of Pitt, UPMC, and UMPC works to use the “big data” generated in health care, such as electronic health records, diagnostic imaging, prescriptions, genomic profiles, and insurance records.  

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

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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, rather than days. And time is of the essence:  The sooner we detect airborne disease-causing particles, the better the mines can protect their workers' he... 

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Research Videos

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Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities 

Computer simulation just predicted a huge measles outbreak in texas, with 4,000 percent increase predicted in some communities

NEWSWEEK - David Sinclair, a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt's Public Health Dynamics Laboratory and lead author of the study said, "I was surprised at how large measles outbreaks could be in Texas at current vaccination rates, according to our forecasts. The clustering of unvaccinated children in ... (08/25/2019)
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As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate 

As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate

WDAM - U.S. health officials have reported 971 measles cases so far this year, the highest tally in 27 years, and experts say it's not clear when the wave of illnesses will stop. "What's causing these outbreaks is lack of vaccination," said HPM Chair Mark Roberts.  (05/31/2019)
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Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video) 

Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video)

WPXI - Antivaxxers left negative business reviews for Kids First Pediatrics after they posted a social media video encouraging HPV vaccination. So, they teamed up with researchers at Pitt including Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) who found that we have to "...start thinking about how to deliver tailor... (04/29/2019)
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Scientists uncover dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei (video) 

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

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 throug... (02/19/2019)
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Hartman among researchers trying to prevent virus more dangerous than Zika (video) 

Hartman among researchers trying to prevent virus more dangerous than Zika (video)

WPXI - Pitt researchers are looking to lessons learned about Zika when preparing for the possibility of Rift Valley Fever virus, noting that it's important to develop therapies and vaccines now. "We saw the ffects of Zika when it got into a larger population and so our work highlights the need to r... (02/11/2019)
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Hernandez's research adds to pharmaceutical industry's growing pressure over high price of drugs 

Hernandez's research adds to pharmaceutical industry's growing pressure over high price of drugs

FOX NEWS - "It's not about innovation, it's about inflation in existing products," explains Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "They are the same companies that operate in other countries and they don't show this behavior and that's because in other countries they are lucky to have this regulatory env... (01/24/2019)
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