University of Washington School of Public Health

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SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

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Understanding the climate impacts of 1.5 and 2 degrees of global warming

A central goal of the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to only 1.5 degrees. A new research paper shows that each pathway to achieve a 1.5-degree-warmer world would likely result in vastly different regional temperatures. (June 14, 2018)

Public health as a superpower

Nearly 3,500 people gathered at the Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday, June 10, to celebrate the graduating class of the University of Washington School of Public Health. Speaker Benjamin Danielson, a distinguished pediatrician and social justice activist, praised the public health perspective as a superpower and called graduates “equity’s greatest hope.” (June 14, 2018)

Higher carbon dioxide levels reduce rice’s nutritional value

Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide are associated with reductions in protein and multiple key nutrients in rice, according to a new field study by an international team that included scientists from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (June 13, 2018)

SPH biostatistician named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association

Kenneth Rice, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has been named a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the nation’s pre-eminent professional statistical society. (June 12, 2018)

Read Ben Danielson's 2018 UW School of Public Health Graduation Speech

Dr. Benjamin Danielson was chosen to speak at the UW School of Public Health's graduation celebration on June 10, 2018. Read his full speech. (June 11, 2018)

Gun storage study makes impact in policy sphere

An SPH study found that 63 percent of firearm-owning households in Washington state do not store their firearms locked and unloaded. The study, led by the Department of Epidemiology, received widespread local media coverage and was highlighted by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a legislative proposal to the Seattle City Council to require safe storage of guns. (June 4, 2018)

School hires first Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Victoria Gardner, EdD, MEd, was hired as the School’s inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Gardner, who will also use the title of Chief Diversity Officer, comes to SPH with nearly three decades of experience at the UW School of Medicine, where she served as director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. (May 31, 2018)

Janet Baseman named new associate dean

Interim Dean Joel Kaufman appointed Janet Baseman (PhD, Epidemiology ’05) as acting associate dean for public health practice. (May 31, 2018)

Pamela Collins, director of global mental health

After eight years at the National Institute of Mental Health, Pamela Collins joined the UW in January to lead its global mental health program, a joint effort of the Departments of Global Health and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. (May 31, 2018)

Breaking ground on new population health building

The UW broke ground this spring on a new population health facility that will house much of the School of Public Health, including the Department of Global Health. (May 31, 2018)

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar named Bartley Dobb Professor

Associate Professor Ali Rowhani-Rahbar (PhD, Epidemiology ’09) was selected for the Bartley Dobb Professorship for the Study and Prevention of Violence, effective July 1. (May 31, 2018)

Grayston Society creates impact

In founding our School of Public Health in 1970, Emeritus Dean Dr. J. Thomas Grayston laid the foundation for more than 40 years of leadership, building a towering legacy in public health education and research.  To honor Tom’s impact, the Grayston Society was established in 2014. (May 31, 2018)

Alumni Q&A: Kung-Yee Liang makes it to the top in Taiwan

Kung-Yee Liang (PhD, Biostatistics ’82) is the new president of Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes (a blend of the CDC and NIH). One of the world’s preeminent biostatisticians, he pioneered statistical methods that have yielded new insights into disease risk factors and genetic epidemiology. He also led the country’s first medical university. (May 31, 2018)

Hilary Godwin named next dean of SPH

Hilary Godwin, PhD, has been named the next dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, effective July 15. (May 31, 2018)

Grayston-Day Fellows find ways to boost health equity

The Grayston-Day awards seek to increase the number of health professionals from diverse communities by funding the education of underrepresented students in the public health field. The 2017-18 fellows are Ali N'Simbo and Dajzsa McDaniel. (May 31, 2018)

How one SPH department recruits students who 'look like the people we serve'

Every year, the Department of Health Services selects a student from each of its eight graduate programs to receive a grant known as the Health Services equity, Excellence and Distinction Award, or HSEED. Created by Chair Jeffrey Harris, the award helps the department to recruit students who look like the people we serve. (May 31, 2018)

UW student tackles biggest barrier to tobacco control you've never heard of

Believe it or not, some local communities cannot pass local tobacco control laws that are stronger than state-level policies. This is due to a relatively unknown rule, called preemption, which keeps local governments in Washington state from effectively regulating menthol and flavored tobacco products or from raising the tobacco-buying age to 21. (May 30, 2018)

New grant to study alcohol use in transgender community

Emily Williams, associate professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a two-year, $456,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study alcohol use among transgender adults. (May 30, 2018)

Rising CO2 Levels Reduce Nutritional Value of Rice

Higher levels of carbon dioxide were shown to reduce the nutritional quality of rice, researchers from the UW School of Public Health and an international team of experts found. (May 25, 2018)

Passion for public health passed down within UW sorority

Sisters of the UW's Alpha Chapter of Chi Omega pass the baton in more ways than one. A dozen current sorority members were inspired by six recent graduates to pursue their undergraduate studies in public health. (May 14, 2018)

Study seeks to understand crash risk among older adults

The fatal crash rate tends to increase when drivers turn 65 – but there are few validated tools available for predicting when an individual driver’s risk may start to increase. (May 11, 2018)

SPH researcher receives $2.4 million to test healthy food program for American Indians

Amanda Fretts, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UW School of Public Health, has received a $2.4 million grant to test a program to improve the dietary habits of American Indians with type 2 diabetes. (May 2, 2018)

Close Up: Mauricio Sadinle

A first-generation college student from the Colombian coffee belt, Mauricio Sadinle deviated from the family business to pursue higher education. With help from an unlikely pen pal, he used statistics to quantify the toll of Colombia’s war with rebels. Now, he uses statistics to improve the quality of data and to unlock data's full potential. (April 25, 2018)

Researchers help guide research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication

University of Washington researchers took part in a collaboration that recently set forth a new research agenda to accelerate malaria elimination and, in the long term, global eradication. (April 25, 2018)

Emerging contaminants may affect Puget Sound chinook salmon, UW researchers find

Juvenile chinook salmon migrating through contaminated estuaries in Puget Sound pick up drugs that may affect their survival and growth when it matters most. (April 23, 2018)

SPH researchers study air quality near U.S.-Mexico border region

Edmund Seto, of the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a $100,000 grant to further study air quality near one of the busiest land border crossings in the world – the San Ysidro Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana. (April 16, 2018)

Finding links between disability and death among U.S. vets

New research shows that veterans born in 1958 or later, who sustained service-related illnesses or injuries, are dying at the average age of 43 from causes mostly due to suicide, assault or accidents. The findings did not include fatalities in the field of combat. (April 12, 2018)

SPH researchers take part in largest-ever genetic study of stroke

An international group of researchers, including scientists at the University of Washington School of Public Health, studied more than 520,000 people from around the world and identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke. (April 2, 2018)

Champion for child health Ben Danielson to be 2018 SPH graduation speaker

Dr. Ben Danielson, a distinguished pediatrician who heads the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle’s Central District, will speak at the UW School of Public Health’s graduation celebration on June 10. (April 2, 2018)

Oral cholera vaccine may miss the mark for younger children

Oral cholera vaccine provides significantly less protection for children under 5 compared to older children and adults, according to a re-analysis of data from a vaccine trial in India. Findings published in BMC Infectious Diseases suggest re-vaccination is key when children are older. (March 29, 2018)

UW course gets students fired up about food and nutrition

A University of Washington course brings students out of the lecture hall and into the kitchen to learn about food science and nutrition. (March 27, 2018)

UW Biostatistics Ranks No. 1

The Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health maintained its top national ranking among biostatistics programs. (March 20, 2018)

New evidence links neighborhood environment to mental health

People who live in disadvantaged areas are at greater risk for depression, according to a study led by researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (March 13, 2018)

Gabino Abarca: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Agricultural Work

Gabino Abarca, a senior at the UW School of Public Health, studies agricultural workers and their vulnerability to heat illnesses. (March 12, 2018)

New project wins $25,000 stamp of approval from innovation fund

A new service-learning exchange program co-led by Joseph Zunt, professor of global health at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine, has won a $25,000 grant from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. (March 5, 2018)

Mapping the time and place of West Oakland's air pollution

Adam Szpiro, associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a $110,176 grant from the Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. to produce fine-scale maps at an hourly time scale of ambient black carbon levels across West Oakland. (March 5, 2018)

Victoria Gardner bio

Maria Victoria Arceo Dequina Gardner, EdD, MEd, is an anti-racist educator and community organizer with 27 years plus experience in higher education from the University of Washington. (March 2, 2018)

UW SPH Announces Inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Victoria Gardner, EdD, MEd, is 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)

Ebola had significant collateral damage to Liberians' health

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa rapidly became the deadliest occurrence of the disease — claiming 4,809 lives in Liberia alone. Now new research from the University of Washington suggests Ebola's collateral effects on that nation's health system likely caused more deaths than Ebola did directly. (February 28, 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)

Close Up: Jessica Jones-Smith

From casinos to the recession and expansions to our social safety net, Jessica Jones-Smith investigates how these economic and community resources impact obesity risk in both children and adults. As a strategic hire and core faculty member in the Nutritional Sciences Program, she brings obesity researchers together to enhance collaboration and arms students with tools to tackle today's most challenging issues in public health nutrition. (February 23, 2018)

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)

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)

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