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NIH-Fogarty Grants Train Indian Researchers on Modeling

The PHDL is collaborating with SHARE-India and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) Institute of Public Health in Hyderabad to train Indian researchers in simulation and modeling. Funded by the Fogarty Institute, NIH, the goal of the initiative, "Empowering Indian Health Researchers with Computational Modeling Tools," is to enhance evidence-based, data-driven decision-making in India through innovations in information and communication technology. As part of this program, we organized an International Symposium on Health Analytics and Disease Modeling in Hyderabad, India.

Group Photo International Symposium on Health Analytics and Disease Modeling

Two groups of attendees to the symposium received small development grants to develop a workshop and curricula to teach modeling in India. The Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata (PI: Indranil Mukhopadhyay) received the first grant to host a four-day workshop on health analytics and computational modeling from a public health perspective for participants from West Bengal and the northeastern states in India. St. Joseph's College of Arts and Science, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu (PI: Joseph Daniel) received the second grant to develop curriculum for capacity building in disease modeling. Computational modeling experts will consult with the grantee to help prepare curriculum modules to train faculty and students. In December 2016, six trainees from India will be hosted by the PHDL, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, for a one week hands-on workshop to learn to use agent-based models of Indian populations. Questions on this program may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Michelle Dunn from NIH BD2K Visits University of Pittsburgh

Michelle Dunn seminarData science is increasingly necessary for biomedical science and requires established leadership and increased funds for research and training. This was the message of the first lecture of the 2016-2017 PHDL Seminar Series by guest speaker, Dr. Michelle Dunn, Senior Advisor of Data Science Training, Diversity and Outreach, Office of the Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS) at the National Institutes of Health.

Group attending Michelle Dunn PHDL seminarOn September 12th, over 130 people attended Dr. Dunn's lecture at the University Club in Pittsburgh, sponsored by the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL), University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health. She described a major trans-NIH program, the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative, led by the NIH ADDS Office, as well as the additional efforts toward enabling the efficient management of biomedical Big Data. Among the aims of the BD2K Initiative are to increase training and funding for research grants and support of a data ecosystem that accelerates discovery as part of a digital enterprise. Dr. Wilbert van Panhuis, lead researcher of Project Tycho, received a BD2K training grant in 2015 which will build on Project Tycho as a global scale population health information system, improving the use of information to counter epidemic threats around the world.

For more information on Dr. Dunn's lecture and the information exchange, visit the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory Seminar Series page.

New Post-doctoral Associate Joins the PHDL

Angel Paternina, MD, MScThe Public Health Dynamics Laboratory is pleased to introduce Angel Paternina, MD, MSc, who has joined the department of Health Policy and Management as a post-doctoral associate. Dr. Paternina will work to develop a research program on the acquisition, integration and analysis of public health data to expand Project Tycho into a global, open access resource. His work will also include development of new analytical methods to visualize large scale disease data to detect patterns of associations between disease transmission and climate/demographic determinants.

Dr. Paternina earned his MD degree from the University of Cartagena, Colombia, and his MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from the National University of Colombia. He started his global health work in his native Colombia by studying the impact of rotavirus vaccination on child disease, reporting the effectiveness, impact and cost-effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine to prevent rotavirus diarrheal disease and deaths in Colombia, Latin America and low and middle income countries worldwide. Since then, he has focused his research on the impact of different interventions in children and special populations, assessing in Colombia the cost-effectiveness of the varicella vaccine in children, HAART in HIV/AIDS population, mass pneumococcal vaccination in the elderly population, and the burden of H1N1 in pregnant women in Colombia during the pandemic. Currently, Dr. Paternina is an expert collaborator for the Global Burden of Disease study with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and is working with researchers from Latin America to identify the severity profile of some vector-borne diseases in Colombian children, including dengue and chikungunya.

NIH BD2K Career Grant Opportunities

On September 12th, Michelle Dunn, PhD, will visit the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Dunn is senior advisor for Data Science Training, Diversity and Outreach in the Office of the Associate Director for Data Science at the NIH. She will host an afternoon Q & A session on Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) career grant opportunities at the NIH. This session is open to all interested doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty.

NIH BD2KDate: Monday, September 12, 2016

Time: 3:00-4:30 pm

Location: 109 Parran Hall, Pitt Public Health

Passing of a Public Health Giant

donald hendersonDonald "D.A." Henderson, an American epidemiologist who led the international war on smallpox that resulted in its eradication in 1980, passed away on August 19, 2016 at the age of 87. For decades a towering figure in the world of public health, Dr. Henderson led the campaign that ultimately eradicated smallpox from the world. At the time of his death, he held the position of Distinguished Scholar at the UPMC Center for Health Security and Professor of Public Health and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2009, Henderson's book "Smallpox: The Death of a Disease" was the inaugural selection for the school's Pitt Public Health | One Book, One Community program. He was a friend and mentor of Pitt Public Health Dean Donald S. Burke, who is quoted on the book's dust jacket, "D.A. Henderson pulls no punches as he tells the inside story of the global eradication of smallpox.......This is the heroic stuff of true public health leadership!"

Pitt Launches Program for New Approaches to Opioid Epidemic

Six researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will be part of a pilot program launched by Dean Donald Burke to answer new questions on the opioid epidemic. Jeanine Buchanich, Zan Dodson, Julie Donohue, Mary Hawk, Christina Mair and Tom Songer, researchers with expertise ranging from Injury epidemiology to health geography, will collect data using various sources such as social media and on-the-ground research. A computer model of the epidemic will be created from the findings of this multidisciplinary program, allowing researchers to better understand the factors that lead to addiction and its progression and to consider interventions and policy options to address this ever-growing epidemic. Read more

donald burkejeanine buchanichzan dodsonjulie donohue
mary hawkchristina mairtom songer
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