2015 ASPPH Friday Letter Archive

12/11/15
When a person dies in a developed nation, more often than not the cause of death is known and recorded. But that is not the case in many low- and middle-income countries around the world. This lack of information makes it difficult for governments, public health leaders, and aid organizations to prioritize funding and resources that can ultimately save lives.
11/19/15
Dr. Jean Wactawski-Wende has a new title to add to her list. The dean of the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions has been appointed to the rank of State University of New York Distinguished Professor. The SUNY Board of Trustees announced its Distinguished Faculty Rank appointments, 10 in all, on Monday.
11/13/15
The University at Buffalo has received a five-year extension of its involvement with the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a groundbreaking, federally funded study that has yielded major discoveries on chronic diseases that affect postmenopausal women. UB was awarded $6.2 million for its WHI Extension Study through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant runs through October 2020.
10/30/15
When Dale Fish interviewed for a teaching position in what was then UB’s School of Health Related Professions in the mid-1970s, the dean’s office was in Diefendorf Annex on the South Campus and some classes were taught in houses along Winspear Avenue.
10/23/15
The School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) at the University at Buffalo will host its 27 annual J. Warren Perry Lecture on Friday, Nov. 6. This year’s distinguished lecturer is Dean Donna Petersen (South Florida).  Dean Petersen will present a lecture entitled Maternal and Child Health:  The “New” Population Health.
10/16/15
Dr. Marianthi Markatou, associate chair of research and healthcare informatics and professor of biostatistics in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been appointed to an influential advisory committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
10/9/15
While it is natural for women to experience an increased level of cholesterol during pregnancy, women with pre-existing high cholesterol before pregnancy either due to genetic or dietary factors experience a condition known as Maternal Supraphysiological Hypercholesterolemia. This excessive level of cholesterol has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease in both mother and child. Even more concerning is the fact that there are limited safe and effective treatment options currently on the market to treat women suffering from this condition.
9/25/15
The University at Buffalo has been awarded a prestigious, four-year, $16 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices to patients. The grant will establish the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center as the hub of the Buffalo Translational Consortium. UB is the lead institution of the consortium in partnership with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Great Lakes Health System, UBMD and community health organizations.
9/17/15
Mood disorders like depression are common among U.S. adults. Still, such disorders remain challenging for clinicians to diagnose and treat effectively.
9/11/15

Most people know smoking is risky. But that’s not news smokers can use.

What they can benefit from is knowing the varying levels of risk associated with different tobacco products, according to public health researchers at the University at Buffalo, who found that a large number of people aren’t aware of the differences.

9/3/15
In a paper published recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology online, Dr. Amy Millen, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, and her team found that women who are deficient in vitamin D and have a specific high-risk genotype are 6.7 times more likely to develop AMD than women with sufficient vitamin D status and no high risk genotype.
8/28/15
Dr. John Violanti, research professor of epidemiology and environmental health in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, is the lead investigator on a four-year, $2.5 million study, which will continue previous work Dr. Violanti, himself a former law enforcement officer, has conducted on the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress Study (BCOPS).
8/14/15
Dr. Albert Vexler, associate professor of biostatistics in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been named to the editorial board of Biometrics as associate editor. Biometrics is one of the premier biostatistical journals in the field.  Dr. Vexler will serve for Biometrics for the period, October 1 until June 30, 2017, with 6 months follow-up until December 31, 2017.
8/6/15
Faculty at the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Public Health and Health Professions hosted over 30 undergraduate students working as research assistants in faculty research labs during the summer of 2015. Faculty from all five of the school’s departments involved undergraduate students in their research during the summer.
7/24/15
Joseph Lane, MBPA, director of the University at Buffalo’s Center for Assistive Technology (CAT), acted as editor for a special issue of the journal Assistive Technology Outcome and Benefits (AOTB). The journal, which is open-access and peer reviewed, focuses on the outcomes and benefits of assistive technology for students and persons with disabilities across their lifespan.
7/16/15
A variety of alternatives to “traditional” cigarettes are on the market today, including smokeless tobacco and the growing market segment of vape or electronic cigarettes – or e-cigs. Although use of both of these products may be associated with health risks, those risks are much lower than the substantial health risks associated with daily smoking of “traditional” tobacco cigarettes. Given this, harm reduction approaches to addressing tobacco health concerns argue that adopting an alternative product may alleviate some health risks when a person is unwilling or unable to completely cease tobacco use.
7/4/15
Dr. James Lenker, associate professor in the department of rehabilitation science at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, is a co-principal investigator on two grants recently awarded by the Champion Bus Company and Dallas Smith Corporation.  The study will compare the usability of two shuttle buses utilizing two different boarding systems for persons with mobility disabilities.
6/11/15
When coping with a serious illness, people selectively activate network ties for tailored health-related information, resources and support according to a recent study by researchers at the University at Buffalo and Columbia University.
6/4/15

The University at Buffalo is investing $25 million in an initiative that will harness the strengths of faculty from disciplines across the university to confront grand challenges facing humankind. This establishment of three new Communities of Excellence is an innovative and integrated approach to addressing critical societal challenges through impactful interdisciplinary research, education, and engagement.

5/28/15

The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP), in conjunction with colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, conducts numerous studies and projects in tobacco cessation and tobacco control.

5/22/15
David Hostler, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, was awarded a grant from Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) for $259,964.  The study funded through this grant will examine diver physiology both during and after water immersion activities that are commonplace amongst Navy personnel.
5/13/15
A majority of American adults say they have tried dieting to lose weight at some point in their lives, and at any given time, about one-third of the adult population say they are currently dieting.  Yet 60 percent of American adults are clinically overweight or obese and more than 16 percent of deaths nationwide are related to diet and physical activity.
4/30/15
Donald W. Rowe, PhD, director of the Office of Public Health Practice, and faculty member in the department of community health and health behavior at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP), has been named the 2015 recipient of the Herman M. Biggs Public Health Award by the New York State (NYS) Public Health Association. The award is given annually to an individual who is recognized for their outstanding achievement in public health.
4/23/15
Rachael Hageman Blair, PhD, assistant professor in the department of biostatistics at University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, was recently appointed to and served on a grant proposal review panel for National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Mathematical Biology program within the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS).
4/16/15
Jo Freudenheim, PhD, distinguished professor and interim chair in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been elected to chair the Molecular Epidemiology Group of the American Association for Cancer Research.
4/9/15
Gary Giovino, PhD, professor and chair in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been appointed as a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC).
4/2/15
The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) will recognize National Public Health Week April 3-12 with a series of over 10 events that highlight and celebrate public health efforts in communities across the nation and the world.
3/12/15
Alan Hutson, PhD, a University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute researcher, has been chosen to serve as a statistical reviewer for 2014 grant proposals submitted to the U.S. Department of Defense Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Transplantation Research Program (CRMRP).
3/12/15
Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, professor of epidemiology and environmental health, and interim dean of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions since July 2014, has been appointed dean of the school after a national search. The appointment, effective immediately, was announced by Charles F. Zukoski, PhD, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Michael E. Cain, PhD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
3/4/15
With electronic cigarette (e-cig) use on the rise, there are public health concerns that e-cig use may serve as a “gateway” product causing e-cig users to begin smoking cigarettes, especially among young people. Rather than e-cigs causing subsequent cigarette use, it may be that individuals who are likely to try e-cigs are also more likely than others to try cigarettes and other risky activities like marijuana use or heavy alcohol drinking.
2/26/15
Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, from the University at Buffalo Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, has been elected secretary/treasurer of The Obesity Society’s (TOS) Pediatric Obesity Section for 2014-2015. Thereafter he will become the section’s chair-elect and then chair.
2/19/15
Residents of snowy, northern U.S. cities are at risk of vitamin D deficiency and worse, may not even know it.  During Buffalo’s winter months, nearly 50 percent of people have insufficient amounts of vitamin D and 25 percent may be considered deficient, says nutrition researcher Peter Horvath, PhD, of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
2/12/15
The “Jewels in our Genes” study, led by University at Buffalo researcher Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom, has uncovered previously unknown segments of DNA shared by African American family members who have breast cancer.
2/5/15
Higher levels of depression and negative affect are often thought to go hand-in-hand with less healthy behavior, such as cigarette smoking and low levels of fruit and vegetable consumption. However, in a study recently published in Health Psychology, researchers from the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, department of Community Health and Health Behavior (CHHB) found that depression is only associated with a greater likelihood of smoking and lower fruit and vegetable consumption for White respondents. For Black respondents, there was no relation between negative affective states and these health behaviors.
1/29/15
The first large prospective cohort study to examine the relationship between menopausal symptoms and bone health in postmenopausal women has found that those who experience moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats during menopause tend to have lower bone mineral density and higher rates of hip fracture than peers with no menopausal symptoms.
1/22/15
A University at Buffalo obesity prevention research team headed by epidemiologist and childhood obesity expert Youfa Wang, PhD, is working with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an official collaborative partner in its global Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut program.
1/22/15
Rural health departments across the country are under considerable economic constraint as they try to maintain essential health services. A model program designed to assist rural counties in cutting costs by sharing health services has helped two Western New York counties realize health care savings approaching $840,000 over two years without loss of services or jobs. One developer says the program may help remake the landscape of rural health care in the United States.
1/15/15
Gaspar A. Farkas, PhD, has been named associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
1/15/15
Personal traits such as resilience, satisfaction with life, and a grateful disposition may help shield police officers from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This is the case even though police officers are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events and those events have been found to provoke PTSD. These are the conclusions of a new study that examined police officers in the New Orleans area both during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina.
1/8/15
When it comes to cancer treatment, both education and income levels can influence a patient’s pathways to care at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center (NCI-CCC) according to a recent study by researchers from the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.