SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

For nearly four decades, a thriving relationship between the University of Washington and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System has incubated critical research that has improved health and health care for Veterans and their communities.

This Veterans Day, on Nov. 11, we take a deeper look at the longstanding partnership and spotlight one of the collaboration’s key researchers.

In a new study of more than 3,000 Caribbean Hispanics, researchers from the University of Washington found that individuals with African ancestry at a key Alzheimer’s gene had 39 percent lower odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease than individuals with European ancestry at the gene.

The University of Washington School of Public Health and the Washington State Department of Health are partnering to lead a new Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence. Designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Washington Center of Excellence (CoE) will join four existing national centers working to improve foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigation. 

Marco Carone, an assistant professor of biostatistics and the Norman Breslow Endowed Faculty Fellow at the University of Washington School of Public Health, recently received a $2.7 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop novel statistical tools to more effectively describe the health effects, both intended and unintended, of common medical therapies using data from electronic health records (EHRs).

Dean Hilary Godwin has appointed the following members to the SPH Strategic Planning Committee:

Christine Hurley (MHA ’77) will receive the University of Washington School of Public Health’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award, the School’s highest honor, for her distinguished service and achievement in public health.

Hurley is a trailblazing health care leader and fearless advocate for vulnerable communities in Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Over the last four decades, she has worked tirelessly to reduce barriers to health care, safe and stable housing, and other social services for the elderly, the homeless and LGBTQ individuals, including those suffering from AIDS.

United States action on global pandemics could save lives, address significant foreign policy interests and boost economic prosperity, according to a new analysis from leading researchers, including Kristie Ebi, an expert on global change and health at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Recent estimates in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study show that the combination of air pollution, poor water sanitation, and exposure to lead and radon is responsible for nine million premature deaths each year. Though this figure is large, it captures only a fraction of the real burden, and it doesn’t consider climate change, say a community of scientists led by University of Washington School of Public Health researchers.

Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran, professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine today.

Halloran is a pioneer in the field of designing and analyzing vaccine studies, and her work has helped scientists and public health officials figure how to stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases.

More people in Indonesia are overweight than ever before, with particularly worrying trends among rural and poorer populations, according to a researcher from the University of Washington School of Public Health and partners in Jakarta. To top it off, many adults now have or are at risk for nutrition-related heart disease and diabetes.

Several members of the University of Washington School of Public Health community are being recognized by the Washington State Public Health Association (WSPHA) for their dedication and contribution to public health. Topping the honors is Betty Bekemeier, director of the School’s Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP), who will receive the Public Health Leadership Award.

Awards will be presented this week at WSPHA’s annual conference in Wenatchee.

The Hanford Nuclear Site, built in Southeastern Washington in 1943 to manufacture plutonium for atomic bombs, remains one of the most contaminated worksites in the world. In a new report, students from the University of Washington School of Public Health found that workers injured and exposed to contaminants at the site face many barriers to receiving compensation despite the benefits of a recent state law.

Professor Ebi also named to new Earth Commission

Taking action now to reduce climate change would be much less expensive than the damage it’s expected to inflict on people, infrastructure and ecosystems, says a University of Washington expert and group of international scientists.

Biking and walking data may be useful to understand the impact of a disaster on a community and its recovery progress, according to an interdisciplinary team of University of Washington researchers.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped over 40 inches of rain on parts of Houston over the span of two days. With systems already in place to monitor trail usage, the disaster provided a chance to test how storm damage impacted levels of walking and biking, which may reflect community well-being.

The University of Washington School of Public Health’s Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) has once again been awarded funding as part of a select group of national prevention research centers.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awarding HPRC $3.75 million over five years to conduct research on healthy aging, including core research to expand an evidence-based treatment for late-life depression known as the Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives (PEARLS).

The rate and age at which babies gain height and weight may impact their later risk of age-related diseases, according to a study led by a University of Washington researcher. The study looked at how patterns of early childhood growth affected the length of the telomeres, protective strands of DNA at the end of the chromosomes, of more than 1,500 Filipino adults.

Lurdes Inoue, PhD, MS, has been appointed as the next Chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the University of Washington School of Public Health, effective Sept. 16.

Jalen Smith is the new Manager for Outreach and Scholarships in the Office of the Dean at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Originally from Arkansas, Smith graduated from Seattle University in 2018 before moving across the country to promote student wellness at the University of Vermont. Now, they are back in Seattle and ready to improve the student experience at SPH with an eye toward equity, diversity and inclusion.

A team of University of Washington researchers received a five-year, $4.3 million research project grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health to identify genetic mutations involved in HIV drug resistance.

Globally, 25 percent of new HIV cases occur among young women and adolescent girls in Africa. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, prevents infection when taken consistently, but stigma around the disease keeps some young women from maintaining usage, according to a new review by researchers at the University of Washington.