SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

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.

Among patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, receiving end-of-life care focused on life extension rather than comfort was linked with lower family satisfaction with care, according to new research led by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the University of Washington. The study was published Aug. 29 in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology. 

Most people learn they have a cancer-causing genetic mutation, called a pathogenic variant, only after a cancer diagnosis.  Carmen Ng, an MPH student in Public Health Genetics at the UW School of Public Health, considers this a failure of testing.

“If all these people knew they had this variant, there’s things they could do,” she says, such as more frequent cancer screenings and, sometimes, prophylactic medication or surgery.

Mauricio Sadinle, an assistant professor of biostatistics from the University of Washington School of Public Health, received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop tools to identify and link information on individuals who appear in different datasets. Sadinle’s methodologies will allow researchers to confidently combine pre-existing files to conduct powerful, larger scale analyses.

A University of Washington School of Public Health researcher has adapted a text-mining tool to identify new patterns in the electronic health records (EHR) of sepsis patients.  The methodology could lead to more precise treatment of patients with this life-threatening response to infection.

Air pollution—especially ozone air pollution, which is increasing with climate change—accelerates the progression of emphysema of the lung, according to a new study led by the University of Washington, Columbia University and the University at Buffalo.

Moving to a new residence during the first three months of pregnancy is linked to a heightened risk of premature birth and low birthweight, as well as a slightly higher risk of a smaller-than-expected-size baby, according to new research from the University of Washington School of Public Health published online July 30 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Still, it’s too soon to raise warning flags.

With the Population Health Facility a little over half way to completion, a second new building is coming. Design planning has kicked off for the Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB), which is slated to open in summer 2022. This new $100 million building will be located just west of T-Wing and in front of the Rotunda.  The four story, almost 100,000 sq. ft. HSEB will be focused entirely on teaching, housing multiple large (128 person), medium (72 person) and small (16-24 person) active learning classrooms, as well as student gathering/study spaces.

More than 4 million reports of child maltreatment involving about 7.5 million children were made in 2017 to Child Protective Services. While much work has been done to reduce these high rates of child abuse and neglect in the United States, few programs have been consistently effective.

Marvin Oliver, the renowned Native American artist who designed the University of Washington School of Public Health's distinctive Soul Catcher logo, has died at 73.

Oliver, of Quinault and Isleta-Pueblo heritage, was an amazing artist whose work has had a profound impact on the School. The Soul Catcher logo has been an important part of our visual identity for the last 40 years. It is a beautiful design based on the belief that cultural, spiritual and traditional practice are important components of health.