University of Washington School of Public Health

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SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

* Related links: SPH in the News | SPH Research News | SPH Close Up

Students win University-wide global health case competition

Six students from the UW School of Public Health placed among the top teams in the Global Health Business Case Competition last month, where they pitched ideas for getting life-saving vaccines to children in hard-to-reach communities. (February 16, 2018)

Remembering Victor Sidel

The SPH community, including Senior Lecturer Stephen Bezruchka, mourns the loss of Victor Sidel, former president of the American Public Health Association and a founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. (February 16, 2018)

UW SPH Announces Inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Victoria Gardner, EdD, MEd, will become the UW School of Public Health’s inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and will serve as the School’s Chief Diversity Officer, effective March 1. (February 16, 2018)

2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Bruce M. Psaty, the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, his made great efforts in the public arena to uncover the sideeffects of commonly used drugs and to advocate for increased FDA power to require drug safety testing. Psaty will talk about some of his own drug safety research on Feb. 27 when he delivers the School’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award lecture (7:30pm, Kane 220). (January 17, 2018)

New research identifies emerging drug resistance in yaws bacteria

In a new study published online Feb. 7 in The Lancet, researchers challenge the long-term efficacy of the World Health Organization's approach to eradicate yaws. (February 14, 2018)

Report finds e-cigs may be harmful to teens, helpful for adults

An expert committee, led by David Eaton of the University of Washington School of Public Health, has found that using electronic cigarettes may lead youth to start smoking regular cigarettes, but is helpful for adult smokers trying to kick their habit. (February 8, 2018)

New UW course fueled by food truck craze

University of Washington students can learn about the mobile food industry as it relates to the larger food system in a new course from the UW School of Public Health called “Food Truck Rodeo.” (February 7, 2018)

Distinct vaginal bacteria linked to HIV risk

A group of scientists, including several from the University of Washington School of Public Health, has found that certain types of vaginal bacterial are associated with an increased risk of HIV infection among women. (February 7, 2018)

2017-18 Magnuson Scholar uncovering a great enigma in women's health

A doctoral candidate at the UW School of Public Health, Erica Lokken has focused her passion for global health and health equity on uncovering one of the greatest enigmas in women's health. (February 2, 2018)

Boosting research into emerging environmental health hazards

The Bruce A. Fowler Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Student Support in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences was established this year to provide broad-based direct financial support to undergraduate students in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. (January 17, 2018)

Researching the health benefits of nature

REI recently committed more than $150,000 to support Professor and former SPH Dean Howard Frumkin’s work to research the benefits of nature hikes to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. This research is an example of work being done by a growing community of doctors, scientists, educators, landscape architects and recreation advocates interested in exploring how experiences in nature benefit human health and well-being. (January 17, 2018)

Air quality study takes off

Communities near Sea-Tac International Airport want to know if jet traffic is affecting their health. With funding from the Washington State Legislature, the UW School of Public Health seeks to help answer that question. (January 17, 2018)

SPH center works to protect populations from emerging health impacts

The Center for Health and the Global Environment, or CHanGE, is working at the forefront of understanding and managing environmental threats to ensure healthy, productive lives for all. One of the few university research centers of its kind, the center is a partnership between the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and of Global Health, bridging the UW Schools of Public Health and of Medicine. (January 17, 2018)

New Chair of Epidemiology Named

Interim Dean Joel Kaufman has named Stephen Hawes, PhD, MS, the new Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, effective Feb. 16. (January 26, 2018)

UW, Seattle & King County join forces for new academic health department

The University of Washington Schools of Public Health and of Nursing have formalized an alliance with Public Health – Seattle & King County that seeks to encourage collaboration and resource sharing through a new academic health department. (January 26, 2018)

Exploring the diverse roots of the 2017-18 Master's Fellowship winners

The UW School of Public Health remains committed to building a more diverse and welcoming institution. To that end, six master’s fellowships were awarded this academic year by the School to promising scholars from diverse backgrounds. Each of these outstanding students receives $20,000 over two years. (January 18, 2018)

Grant supports studies on the health of atomic bomb survivors

Parveen Bhatti and Amanda Phipps, from the University of Washington School of Public Health, have received $250,000 from the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) to support investigative and educational efforts focused on the health effects of atomic bomb radiation. (January 22, 2018)

Report shows need for smarter occupational health surveillance system

A new report authored by a national committee of experts, including members from the University of Washington School of Public Health, says the United States needs a robust surveillance system to better understand the impact of working conditions on the health of working Americans. (January 22, 2018)

Acculturation accounts for ethnic variation in beliefs about obesity causes

Hispanic women living in the United States experience higher rates of obesity than non-Hispanic white women. Now, new research from the University of Washington School of Public Health suggests that Hispanic women are less likely to believe that genetics is a trigger for the chronic disease – largely due to cultural variation in health beliefs. (January 17, 2018)

Student collective to undo racism wins 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Award

A group of graduate students from the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) program has received the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award for work to move the COPHP program toward anti-racist practice. The group, selected by the UW School of Public Health, received the award at an MLK celebration last Thursday, Jan. 18, in the Magnuson Health Sciences Center. (January 12, 2018)

Night sweats and hot flashes tied to diabetes risk

Women who experience common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, may have an 18 percent greater risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study led by researchers from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington School of Public Health. (January 8, 2018)

Former Dean Robert Day Remembered

Former Dean Dr. Robert W. Day, one of the early leaders and shapers of the School of Public Health, passed away Saturday, Jan. 6, after a long battle with cancer. (January 8, 2018)

Top stories of 2017

In 2017, SPH received a No. 3 world ranking emphasizing scientific impact. The making of a health care card for LGBTQ youth shed light on one of the School's most popular graduate programs. A study on the health impact of cooking at home received significant national interest. And students spearheaded the evaluation of hosting Tent City 3 on campus. These stories are among your favorites of 2017. Here is the full hit list: (January 3, 2018)

Close Up: Rhea Coler

Under the mentorship of great scientists, Rhea Coler has become a thought leader in vaccine development. An alumna of UW's pathobiology program, she has risen in the ranks at the Infectious Disease Research Institute and oversees scientists searching for new solutions to the world’s most devastating infectious diseases. Now, Coler is committed to paying it forward by mentoring the next generation of global health scientists. (December 20, 2017)

Gene variants for HIV infection risk give new hope for targeted treatment

Researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health have pinpointed genetic variants that markedly increase HIV infection risk among people exposed to the virus. (December 8, 2017)

UW establishes a new center for musculoskeletal research

A team of investigators from the University of Washington has received a five-year, $3.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a Core Center for Clinical Research (CCCR) to support diverse research efforts to effectively diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions. (December 4, 2017)

Bringing toxic chemicals home from work

Children in farm worker families are exposed to higher amounts of harmful pesticides from dust in the home than other children, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health. This is most notable in the thinning season, when farm workers are in direct contact with pesticide-treated fruit, and they transport residue into their homes on their skin or clothing. (December 4, 2017)

Could a long-acting injectable drug lower risk of HIV?

UW biostatistician Thomas R. Fleming is part of two new large clinical trials engaging more than 6,000 people at high risk for acquiring HIV infection. The trials aim to determine whether an injectable medication, given only about every eight weeks, has effectiveness in reducing the risk of HIV infection that is similar or superior to that of a daily antiretroviral pill known as Truvada. (November 29, 2017)

UW biostatisticians studying HIV and prevention

Several faculty members of the School's Department of Biostatistics are actively involved in leading the research for preventing the spread of HIV, including James Hughes, Peter Gilbert and Barbra Richardson. To mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, we highlight their efforts to improve population health. (November 27, 2017)

Funding supports novel studies of population and forensic genetics

Bruce Weir, professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a four-year, $1.6 million award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to develop new statistical methods to describe the genetic structure of populations in a way that encompasses their evolutionary history. (November 20, 2017)

Enquobahrie wins national award for leadership in maternal and child health

Daniel Enquobahrie received the 2017 Loretta P. Lacey Academic Leadership Award for excellence in teaching and leadership in maternal and child health (MCH). The award was presented by the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health at an event in Atlanta on Nov. 5. (November 20, 2017)

SPH welcomes Latino Center for Health

The University of Washington's Latino Center for Health has moved to the Department of Health Services within the School of Public Health. (November 20, 2017)

Paper wins inaugural Stanford Medicine WellMD Center award

A paper by Christian Helfrich, from the University of Washington School of Public Health, received the Stanford Medicine WellMD Center’s inaugural Physician Well-being Article Award. The paper reports on the association of staffing and workload with odds of burnout among primary health care providers for veterans. (November 17, 2017)

Identifying differences in tumor, survival in metastatic breast cancers

Researchers have identified differences in tumor characteristics and survival in women diagnosed with de novo stage IV metastatic breast cancer compared to those with recurrent metastatic breast cancer, according to a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. (November 17, 2017)

How air pollution clouds mental health

Research shows that dirty air can impair breathing and aggravate various lung diseases. Other potential effects are being investigated, too, as scientists examine connections between toxic air and obesity, diabetes, and dementia. (November 14, 2017)

Decoding NewsCatcher acronyms and abbreviations

What follows is a key to decode the acronyms and abbreviations used in the School of Public Health's twice-monthly newsletter, called NewsCatcher. (November 6, 2017)

Saluting our veterans and their continued legacy of service

At the UW School of Public Health, we value the unique perspectives and experiences veterans and military-affiliated students bring to our diverse learning environment. In celebration of Veterans Day, on Nov. 11, here are stories of five of our current student veterans and their passions for public health. (November 3, 2017)

Epi professor wins national award for lifelong excellence in teaching epidemiology

Noel Weiss, professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has won the American Public Health Association's (APHA) Abraham Lilienfeld Award for lifelong excellence in teaching epidemiology. (September 6, 2017)

New global approach to tracking climate change and its impact on public health

Professor Howard Frumkin co-authored a major new report in The Lancet tracking how climate change threatens human health. (October 30, 2017)

Researchers find 3 million Americans carry loaded handguns daily

An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their primary reason for carrying a firearm. (November 2, 2017)

Contact with Nature Tied to Better Mental Health and Sleep

Spending more time outdoors in nature, particularly in green spaces such as gardens, is tied to better mental health and fewer sleepless nights, according to new research from an international group of scientists. (October 25, 2017)

Close Up: Eric Larson

Eric Larson is driven to find ways to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, and to delay cognitive decline in old age. For more than 30 years, he has studied thousands of people, 80 years and older, to understand how the body, especially the brain, ages. Now, Larson uses decades’ worth of research results to propose a path for growing old in the healthiest possible way, while also highlighting the importance of public health for an aging society. (September 27, 2017)

Study Suggests Lead Exposure Could Have Significant Effects on Grown-Ups too

Lead exposure during adulthood may cause persistent deficits in certain forms of learning and memory, according to a new study from the UW School of Public Health. (October 18, 2017)

SPH Faculty Member Receives $350,000 NIH Grant to Study Air Pollution and Autism

Lucio G. Costa, a professor in the department of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW School of Public Health, will receive $350,000 a year for five years from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study the links between traffic-related air pollution exposure and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). (October 13, 2017)

Testing Interventions to Reduce Mental Health Disparities among Latina Immigrants

India Ornelas, associate professor of health services at the UW School of Public Health, has received three million dollars from the National Institutes of Health to test an innovative program aimed at reducing mental health disparities among Mexican immigrant women. (October 13, 2017)

Biostatistics Chair Receives $2.8 Million NIH Grant to Lead Data Coordinating Center

Patrick Heagerty, of the UW School of Public Health, has received $2.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead the data coordinating center for a study of non-drug approaches for preventing chronic low back pain, which could lead to reduced opioid use. (October 13, 2017)

Alumni Profile: Mike Krause

Mike Krause (MSPH '83), a senior industrial hygienist for Veritox, has worked to identify health hazards in workplaces for more than 30 years. We caught up with Krause to learn how his studies in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences prepared him to protect the health and safety of people at work and in their communities. (September 28, 2017)

New Gift to Bring Global Maternal & Child Health Experts to UW

This spring, an anonymous donor couple established the DDD Endowed Visiting Lectureship in Global Health of Women, Adolescents and Children. (September 28, 2017)

John A. H. Lee’s Legacy Lives on Through Endowed Fellowship

Not long before he died in late August, John A. H. Lee, professor emeritus of epidemiology, and his wife, Anne, established an endowed fellowship in honor of his family’s passions for higher education, teaching and scientific research around public health. (September 28, 2017)

Former US Rep. McDermott Endows Global Health Fellowship

Select graduate students in the UW School of Public Health will be able to travel around the world to engage communities in health promotion, thanks to a new fellowship established by former U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, the long-time Seattle Congressman. (September 28, 2017)

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