SPH in the News

Headlines featuring UW SPH people and research.

October 20, 2021
If nightlife was shut down so urgently at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, should we be going out at all while it continues? The strict and simple answer from public health experts is no, not yet.

“I think being public about infection, letting people know — that’s a great example of community care. Talking about testing openly is one of the key ways to help reduce stigma. And that is super important to promote testing and eventually isolating, and quarantining if they need to.” Jennifer Balkus, an assistant professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
October 18, 2021
National Academy of Medicine
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) today announced the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPh, professor emeritus, University of Washington School of Public Health. For his work on health impacts from the environment, including those from climate change and other planetary processes, and on healthy pathways to sustainability.
October 15, 2021
MIT Technology Review
With all the uncertainty, the epidemiologist’s role during the pandemic proved confusingly complex. A more pragmatic, problem-solving mindset might help in making good decisions. Ruth Etzioni, affiliate professor of biostatistics and of health service at the UW, is quoted.
October 14, 2021
Scientific American
Population growth, climate change and the urban heat island effect are combining to put more people at risk. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
October 7, 2021
Los Angeles Times
“We have a real challenge in front of us in how to get people to understand,” said Kristie Ebi, a professor in the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington. “Yes, you’ve been through heat waves before. But these heat waves are hotter, they’re more intense, they last longer, they’re more deadly.”
October 7, 2021
The Seattle Times
Public health experts say the change to an open-for-all system is good news, but caution that, at least immediately following what has been coined Vax Day, patience and persistence will be required as appointments are quickly swept up. Janet Baseman, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
October 5, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS researchers with Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units develop comic strips in nine languages to promote safer cleaning habits for families. “We wanted to set up families with information so that when they're making decisions—from buying products to using them in the house—they can keep their children safer,” said DEOHS Clinical Assistant Professor Esther Min, who managed the project along with Professor Catherine Karr, director of Northwest PEHSU, and Nancy Beaudet, the organization's codirector.
October 5, 2021
UW News
To better identify and prevent future pandemics, the University of Washington has become a partner in a five-year global, collaborative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development. The newly launched Discovery & Exploration of Emerging Pathogens – Viral Zoonoses, or DEEP VZN project, has approximately $125 million in anticipated funding and will be led by Washington State University. Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, a co-principal investigator for USAID DEEP VZN and professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
October 5, 2021
Bellingham Herald
The poop doesn’t lie — at least in Lynden, where it has helped guide the city’s pandemic response for over a year. The Whatcom city has become home to one of the most thorough COVID-19 wastewater testing programs in the U.S. Scott Meschke, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, is quoted.
December 2, 2020
The Seattle Times
We’ve all noticed that fellow shopper at the grocery store with a mask snugged over his mouth — but not his nose. Maybe you’ve also got a neighbor who tugs her mask down to talk. Or perhaps you’ve detoured around groups of barefaced teenagers jostling each other in a park. (includes Judith Wasserheit and Brandon Guthrie) 
October 1, 2021
UW News
When you get into the car of the app-based driver you just tapped up on your phone, you expect and hope the driver and the car are safe and capable of getting you where you need to go. Apps rate drivers, which you can see. But what if the driver is sick? Marissa Baker, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
September 30, 2021
DGH News
After 18 months of almost completely remote learning, the UW Department of Global Health (DGH) welcomed 62 new graduate students to campus from around the world. The return to in-person learning is just one of many milestones DGH is celebrating this year. With almost half of new students hailing from outside the United States, including students from 17 countries.
October 1, 2021
With the virus defanged by high vaccination rates, the Danish government dropped all remaining restrictions this month. Dr. Elizabeth Halloran, professor of biostatistics and of epidemiology at the UW, is referenced.
October 1, 2021
Geek Wire
Trevor Bedford, affiliate associate professor of genome sciences and of epidemiology at the UW; David Veesler, associate professor of biochemistry at the UW; and Frederick Matsen IV of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are among the 2021 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. [This is part of a roundup of news]
September 29, 2021
UW News
For researchers around the world working to understand and treat Alzheimer’s and eventually find a cure, data from clinical exams of patients suffering from this complex neurodegenerative disease needs to be standardized and accessible. Since 1999, that’s what the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC), housed in the UW School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, has been doing.
September 28, 2021
Fred Hutch News
Dr. Trevor Bedford, an infectious disease scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, was selected as a recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. Also known as the MacArthur “genius grant,” the honor is awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and provides $625,000 in “no-strings-attached” funding over five years to allow recipients to pursue creative, intellectual and professional endeavors.

Bedford uses powerful computers and complex statistical methods to study the spread and evolution of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Ebola and Zika viruses. Bedford and his collaborators have been instrumental in tracking and understanding SARS-CoV-2 in real-time.
September 23, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS Associate Professor Edmund Seto and collaborators tracked stress and anxiety during Washington’s stay-at-home orders.
September 22, 2021
The Independent
Regularly walking your dog could protect its brain against dementia, a new University of Washington study suggests. Dogs who have little physical activity are more than six times more likely to develop canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), a condition related to the aging of a dogs brain which leads to memory loss. Sarah Yarborough, who led the study while a master's student in epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
September 20, 2021
Associated Press
COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did approximately 675,000. Dr. Ann Marie Kimball, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
September 17, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS researcher will help lead new research hub pairing Pacific NW scientists and coastal communities on earthquake and climate change research. Assistant Professor Nicole Errett will co-lead teams focused on community engagement, outreach and co-production of scientific research on disaster risk and risk management.
September 15, 2021
Nutritional Sciences Program
The University of Washington Nutritional Sciences Program is pleased to welcome Dr. Alissa Bilfield as a new member of our core faculty and growing team of food systems faculty. Her interdisciplinary background in food systems includes work and research in the government, nonprofit and academic sectors that has spanned the United States and 14 different countries, ranging from Guatemala to Sri Lanka.
September 13, 2021
The Seattle Times
Two weeks after Seattle-area kids went back to class, hundreds of area students and school employees have either tested positive for the coronavirus or have been pulled out of school because they had close contact with someone who had the virus. Janet Baseman, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
September 10, 2021
DGH News
Like our peers at institutions of higher education across the globe, the Department of Global Health rapidly adapted to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We extended what we hope felt like boundless compassion and found myriad new ways to support student success. Article by Todd Faubion, faculty director for undergraduate programs, Department of Global Health and Noura Youssoufa, academic advisor.
September 10, 2021
A team of more than 70 scientists from all around the world tallied up the death toll of wildfire smoke in a first-of-its-kind study published Wednesday in the journal Lancet Planet Health. Their estimate? Smoke from the worlds worsening wildfires is now killing 33,510 people every year. Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, of epidemiology and of medicine, is quoted.
September 2, 2021
The Conversation
As many children head back to school, "The Conversation Weekly" podcast looks at what really works to help stop COVID-19 transmission in the classroom. Brandon Guthrie, assistant professor of global health and of epidemiology at the UW, is interviewed.
August 26, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS researchers partner with communities of color across Washington to assess health equity and food security in the pandemic. The team, led by DEOHS Research Consultant Esther Min and Associate Professor Edmund Seto, interviewed key community groups serving farmworkers, immigrants and others in central and eastern Washington.
August 24, 2021
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people 16 and older. Doctors say they hope this will make more people get the vaccine. One hesitation people had before that's now removed, is the FDA approval. Dr. Anna Wald, professor of medicine, of epidemiology, and of laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW, is interviewed.
August 23, 2021
DGH News
The University of Washington Department of Global Health (DGH) and Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine announced the formation of a new joint Global Cardiovascular Health Program (GCHP) dedicated to global cardiovascular disease prevention and care.

Dr. Chris Longenecker will serve as the inaugural program director. He will hold faculty appointments in both global health and cardiology.
August 20, 2021
The Oregonian
With Oregon in the grip of a full-fledged health care capacity crisis due to a tidal wave of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Kate Brown is making incremental changes to stem the surge. Indoor masking requirements in public spaces. Vaccine mandates for health care workers, state employees, and as of Thursday, teachers. Janet Baseman, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
August 20, 2021
UW News
In a new series on increasingly common extreme heat waves and their impact on human health published Thursday in the British medical journal The Lancet, a University of Washington climate change and health expert joined more than a dozen international experts to warn that we better prepare. Series co-lead author Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
August 17, 2021
More than 400 people likely died during a single week of the heat wave in Washington state last month. That's according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Steve Mooney, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UW, and Dr. Howard Frumkin, professor emeritus of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW, are quoted.
August 17, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS researchers analyze public health impacts of climate change in light of this summer’s extreme heat. Jeremy Hess a professor in the UW Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) is quoted.
August 16, 2021
The Washington Post
What happened to Iceland? The island nation that has been praised for its coronavirus response and its world-leading vaccination rate is now seeing its highest levels of infection since the start of the pandemic. Brandon Guthrie, assistant professor of global health and of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
August 16, 2021
The Conversation
"As an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Washington, I have spent the past year and a half working with a group of epidemiologists and health professionals to collect, review and evaluate the scientific evidence about COVID-19 for state and local public health agencies," writes Brandon Guthrie, assistant professor of global health and of epidemiology at the UW. "Our group concluded that vaccines and masking work well for preventing COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, but other strategies like plexiglass barriers and temperature checks are probably not worth the effort."
August 11, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS PhD student and Castner Award winner Joe Lim explores the connections between exposure to flame retardants and the microbiome.
August 5, 2021
DEOHS blog
DEOHS MPH student and Castner Award winner Joycelyn Chui wants to transform food waste from local restaurants into compost for community gardeners in Seattle’s International District. Her practicum project is advised by DEOHS Associate Teaching Professor Tania Busch Isaksen
August 4, 2021
UW News
Using data from two large, long-running study projects in the Puget Sound region — one that began in the late 1970s measuring air pollution and another on risk factors for dementia that began in 1994 — University of Washington researchers identified a link between air pollution and dementia. 
“Having reliable address histories let us obtain more precise air pollution estimates for study participants,” said senior author Lianne Sheppard, a UW professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and of biostatistics.
July 30, 2021
UW News
Washington residents continue to experience a dramatically higher level of food insecurity — from 10% before the COVID-19 pandemic to 27%, according to the latest University of Washington and Washington State University research on food insecurity and food assistance in the state.
“Agencies are doing what they can, but these are exceptionally difficult times for marginalized and economically insecure families,” said Jennifer Otten, one of the leaders of the survey team, UW food systems director and associate professor of nutritional sciences in the UW School of Public Health.
July 28, 2021
Martha Stewart Living
Eating healthy meals and getting ample exercise are two ways to boost brain health over the years. But according to a new study, there's another key part of this equation: Improved air quality can positively impact the brain and prevent dementia, too. Christina Park, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
July 26, 2021
Improving air quality may also improve cognitive function and reduce risk for dementia, according to a series of studies that will be presented this week at the Alzheimer Association International Conference. Christina Park, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
July 23, 2021
UW News
Public health researchers have learned a lot about how the pandemic affected workers and exacerbated existing health disparities that exist in many communities. However, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the experience of workers deemed essential in the food industry and who were at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, such those working in grocery stores, restaurants, delivery and factories. Anjum Hajat, a lead investigator in the study and associate professor in the UW Department of Epidemiology, is quoted.
July 20, 2021
The Seattle Times
The long anticipated return of cruising in Seattle continues this month as seven cruise lines resume sailing, among them Seattle-based Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. But this resumption also highlights the complexities of cruising in the current stage of the global pandemic. Janet Baseman, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
July 20, 2021
E&E News
Opponents of the Mountain Valley pipeline extension project say developers have not done enough to analyze the facilitys health impacts on the low-income and majority Black Banister District in Pittsylvania County, Va. The outcome of the Mountain Valley battle could influence how pipeline emissions are measured in Virginia, which observers say could shift the environmental justice debate in other states. Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, of epidemiology and of medicine, is quoted.
July 15, 2021
The New York Times
The Delta variant is more contagious. It does not appear to be more severe. Janet Baseman, professor of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
July 9, 2021
UW News
Understanding how law enforcement impacts the mental, physical, social and structural health and wellbeing of a community is a complex challenge, involving many academic and research disciplines such as criminology, sociology, psychology, public health and research into social justice, the environment, economics and history.

“We needed a map for how to think about the complex issues at the intersection of policing and health,” said lead author Maayan Simckes, a recent doctoral graduate from UW’s Department of Epidemiology who worked on this study as part of her dissertation.
July 7, 2021
Judith Malmgren, affiliate assistant professor of epidemiology at the UW, says that that areas with high rates of vaccination have no cases and areas with low vaccination rates still have cases.
July 7, 2021
At the , research is underway into how to prevent domestic violence and related gun violence from harming a generation of children. Alice Ellyson, acting assistant professor of pediatrics at the UW, is interviewed. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, associate professor of epidemiology at the UW, is mentioned.
July 2, 2021
Now that COVID-19 vaccines of all brands are widely available, some doctors are telling people who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot to get a Pfizer or Moderna booster for even more protection, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to provide official guidance on the practice. Dr. Anna Wald, professor of medicine, of epidemiology, and of laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW, is interviewed. Dr. Vin Gupta, affiliate assistant professor of health metrics sciences at the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, is quoted.
July 1, 2021
Business Insider
The number of people infected with the Delta variant has sky-rocketed in four US states, a virus expert said. Trevor Bedford, affiliate associate professor of genome sciences and of epidemiology at the UW, is quoted.
June 27, 2021
The Seattle Times
Food bank staff and public health officials predict it will take households several years to recover from food insecurity made worse by the economic instability of the pandemic. Ongoing research led by the UW Center for Public Health Nutrition in partnership with Washington State University and Tacoma Community College is highlighted.
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