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Faculty Profiles & Research News

Faculty Profiles and Research News

Pitt Biostatistics to co-host conference on Lifetime Data Science

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Sponsored by the American Statistical Association's Section on Lifetime Data Science (LiDS) with support from Pitt's Department of BIostatistics, this conference will explore the foundations and frontiers of the field, featuring renowned speakers from around the globe in  3 workshops, 3 plenary talks, and 45+ invited sessions on a broad range of topics in lifetime data science. A poster session, student paper competition, and reception will be h... 

Gellad on Memorial Sloan Kettering curbing executives' ties to industry after COI scandals

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NEW YORK TIMES - HPM's Walid Gellad calls the policy changes a "watershed moment" and went on to say, "This is highly significant, espeically at such a high-profile academic center. Leadership matters, and the institution has decided that their leaders should not also be concurrently leading for-profit health companies."   

Albert on program that helps seniors continue to live independently

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REUTERS - "You really want to see people be independent and able to manage without help from their families or from paid services," said BCHS's Steve Albert. "Presumably if you can improve function with the activities of daily life, you reduce the risk of nursing home placement."   

Garcia-Bates says timing of immunotherapy crucial to outcomes

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MEDICAL RESEARCH - "HIV infection is a manageable disease with the advent and availability of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). But, when ART is interrupted, the virus quickly rebounds to high levels and again targets the immune system. Therefore, new immunotherapeutic treatments are sought to re-program the immune system to control the virus after ART interruption," said IDM's Tatiana Garcia-Bates.   

Hernandez's research says prescription drug costs driven by manufacturer price hikes, not innovation

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WESA - The skyrocketing cost of many prescription drugs in the U.S. can be blamed primarily on price increases, not expensive new therapies or improvements in existing medications as drug companies frequently claim, says a new study published in Health Affairs by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16).   

Hartman Researches Virus Even More Dangerous than Zika to Pregnant Women 

Hartman Researches Virus Even More Dangerous than Zika to Pregnant Women

THE NEW YORK TIMES - The mosquito-borne virus that causes Rift Valley fever may severely injure human fetuses if contracted by mothers during pregnancy, according to new research by IDM's Amy Hartman. "Zika caught everybody by surprise," said Hartman. "If doctors had known about Zika's birth effect... (01/09/2019)

Ask FRED for a better opioid response 

Ask FRED for a better opioid response

PITT MED - The Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), is being adapted to a more general tool for modeling population dynamics. "Drugs aren't infectious organisms," says Dean Don Burke. "But they do have transmitting properties to them. If we could take the same simulation me... (01/09/2019)

Breastfeeding linked to less belly fat and smaller waist size 

Breastfeeding linked to less belly fat and smaller waist size

MEDICALRESEARCH.COM  - Work by Gabrielle Snyder (EPI '15) tests the association between breastfeeding duration and maternal waist circumference while controlling for race, socioeconomic status, and behavioral factors like better diet and more physical activity. The study found that women who breast... (01/04/2019)

Maseru co-writes Birth Equity Consensus Statement 

Maseru co-writes Birth Equity Consensus Statement

MARCH OF DIMES - BCHS's Noble Maseru co-authored "Birth Equity for Moms and Babies Concensus Statement" to advance social determinants pathways for research, policy, and practice. Among the recommendations: improve maternal death surveillance, expand research, engage in health system reform, empowe... (01/02/2019)

To reduce falls and fracture risk, improve sleep quality and length, Cauley says 

To reduce falls and fracture risk, improve sleep quality and length, Cauley says

PT PRODUCTS - "Even though falls are caused by a number of factors, our paper focuses on a novel risk factor: sleep. Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls." says EPI's Jane Cauley.  (01/02/2019)

Nachega recognized by African Science Institutions 

Nachega recognized by African Science Institutions

The African Academy of Sciences elected Jean Nachega (IDM and EPI) fellow in recognition of his efforts to develop patient care, teaching, and research around epidemiology and infectious diseases in Africa. In addition, the Academy of Sciences of South Africa - which aims to provide evidence-based ... (12/19/2018)

Study by Catov and colleagues finds breast-feeding tied to smaller waist size in mother 

Study by Catov and colleagues finds breast-feeding tied to smaller waist size in mother

NEW YORK TIMES - Breast-feeding for longer than six months may lead to a smaller waist size for the mother. “There are three wins here,” said EPI's Janet Catov. “There are short-term benefits for the mother — weight after pregnancy is something women care about. And there are long-term benefits for... (12/19/2018)

Fabisiak comments on the region's cancer risk related to air pollution 

Fabisiak comments on the region's cancer risk related to air pollution

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - Around one in three Americans gets a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. "If someone chooses to smoke, most of the risk will only impact them," said James Fabisiak. "When we think about air pollution, on the other hand, the risk is smaller than smoking but that risk ... (12/18/2018)

Contrasting roles of the PD-1 signaling pathway in dendritic cell-mediated induction and regulation of HIV-1-specific effector T cell functions 

Contrasting roles of the PD-1 signaling pathway in dendritic cell-mediated induction and regulation of HIV-1-specific effector T cell functions

JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY - Using samples from participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort study, Garcia-Bates, Palma, Shen, Gambotto, Macatangay, Ferris, Rinaldo, and Mailliard showed that PD-1 activation plays a positive role in initiating the primary T cell response. But later blocking of that pathway... (12/13/2018)

Marroquin is leading a team of data analysts whose work is facilitating intensive efforts around readmissions 

Marroquin is leading a team of data analysts whose work is facilitating intensive efforts around readmissions

HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS - EPI's Oscar Marroquin, a practicing cardiologist, was interviewed as part of the fourth-quarter 2018 Healthcare Informatics cover story for helping to lead a team of clinical data experts at the vast, 40-hospital UPMC health system in Pittsburgh. (12/11/2018)

Buchanich comments on new method to predict heroin overdose  

Buchanich comments on new method to predict heroin overdose

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN - Internet searches have emerged as a data source to predict overdose clusters in cities or even specific neighborhoods—information that could aid local interventions that save lives. BIOST's Jeanine Buchanich says that this research “highlights the need for new, innovative appr... (12/11/2018)

Talbott interviewed on new study linking air pollution and emergency room visits 

Talbott interviewed on new study linking air pollution and emergency room visits

THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - A new study finds that primary pollutants were linked with emergency room visits for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. EPI's Evelyn Talbott says that the study incorporates data from 48 air monitors in the greater Pittsburgh region, and data from the area’s major health... (12/11/2018)

Windber the latest chosen to join WalkWorks network 

Windber the latest chosen to join WalkWorks network

THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - Steps are being taken to add a state-promoted walking route through Windber Recreation Park, as part of an effort to build healthier communities across PA. Windber and two other western PA communities were chosen to join the WalkWorks network – created by the Department of He... (12/11/2018)

Schulz research on life after bereavement is highlighted in 'Starts at 60' 

Schulz research on life after bereavement is highlighted in 'Starts at 60'

STARTS AT 60 - EPI and BCHS's Richard Schulz led a 2008 study on life after bereavement and found that 10 to 15% of carers would experience chronic depression after the death of the person they cared for. Interestingly, this percentage doubled for carers of people affected by dementia. The reason f... (12/11/2018)

Hartman and team study tropical mosquito-borne virus linked to miscarriage, stillbirth in animals 

Hartman and team study tropical mosquito-borne virus linked to miscarriage, stillbirth in animals

WESA-FM - Research suggests the Rift Valley Fever can affect developing human fetuses. IDM's Amy Hartman, along with first author Cynthia McMillen who is an IDM postdoc, chose to study Rift Valley’s effects on pregnant rats, since humans and rats have similar placental structures. They found that 6... (12/06/2018)

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Research Videos

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Burke and team tried a new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (VIDEO) 

Burke and team tried a new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (VIDEO)

Post-doctoral researcher Robert Coulter (BCHS '17), BCHS's Jessica Burke, and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) tried using a video approach to share highlights of Coulter's recent research on how welcoming school environments reduce drinking among both LGBT+ -identified students and their heterosexual count... (11/24/2018)
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Burke updates Pitt Public Health community on state of the opioid epidemic (VIDEO) 

Burke updates Pitt Public Health community on state of the opioid epidemic (VIDEO)

Dean Donald S. Burke's third annual address to the school on the state of the nation's opioid overdose epidemic looks at one of the most pressing issues facing our region. Burke highlights his team's research recently published in  Science  ( Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in t... (10/04/2018)
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Newman and colleagues' new study uses local participants to look at aspirin use in older adults (video) 

Newman and colleagues' new study uses local participants to look at aspirin use in older adults (video)

WPXI - TV - We've long heard that an aspirin a day can help lower the risk of heart disease. A new study using participants from Pittsburgh suggests that isn't always the case. The study looked at 19,000 people worldwide, including 178 people from Pittsburgh. "People who took aspirin and people who... (09/19/2018)
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Flatt discusses dementia prevalence in sexual minority older adults (video) 

Flatt discusses dementia prevalence in sexual minority older adults (video)

ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION - The first dementia prevalence data from a large population of lesbian, gay, and bisexual older adults was reported at the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago by JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) and colleagues. "We really need to think about providing mor... (07/27/2018)
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IDM’s Rinaldo discusses HIV wonder drugs and curing HIV in 1998 World AIDS Day interview (VIDEO) 

IDM’s Rinaldo discusses HIV wonder drugs and curing HIV in 1998 World AIDS Day interview (VIDEO)

UPMC HEALTH NEWS – In the late 1990s, new and highly potent anti-HIV drugs emerged— including protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors—which could for the first time control HIV infection. For this 1998 World AIDS Day, Pitt IDM AIDS researcher Charles Rinaldo and the late Bridget Murtagh of th... (07/17/2018)
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Pitt Public Health study helps inform new legislation sponsored by Sen Toomey (video) 

Pitt Public Health study helps inform new legislation sponsored by Sen Toomey (video)

In Sen Toomey's weekly e-newsletter, he announces that the Senate Finance Committee adopted his amendment, the Encouraging Appropriate Prescribing for Victims of Overdose in Medicare Act, to require Medicare to notify a doctor if their patient has suffered a non-fatal opioid overdose. Toomey refere... (06/26/2018)
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