ASPPH Friday Letter

Public health wordle.

The Friday Letter is the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health's weekly e-newsletter featuring the latest research, opportunities and developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health.

Latest Articles about the University at Buffalo

The rate of deaths from COVID-19 is more than 6 times higher and the rate of infection more than 3 times higher in predominantly African American counties than predominantly White counties. In Buffalo, NY, the highest rates of COVID cases and deaths have been in predominantly African American neighborhoods. In this webinar we will tackle difficult subjects, including the political and economic decisions and adverse social determinants that created the conditions for our current trajectory.

SPHHP alumni are on the front lines and contributing in other ways in the fight against COVID-19. Their thoughts paint a picture of the myriad ways public health and the health professions are actively working to help, care and protect.  

SPHHP researchers immediately put their skills to use addressing key questions and offering informed expertise around the global pandemic.

Public Health program faculty and alumni have joined the New York State Department of Health to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state, which are the highest in the nation.

Laura E. Smith, PhD was awarded $100,000 from the Gates Foundation for the Round 24 challenge called Innovations for Improving the Impact of Health Campaigns.

Harm reduction strategies have proven effective for use of opioids, alcohol, and tobacco products. University at Buffalo and University of Michigan researchers say harm reduction techniques also have potential for cannabis users – but first, public health practitioners and organizations need to do a better job of making cannabis users aware of those strategies.

“The focus of public health, almost always -- really, almost always -- is on education,” said Jean Wactawski-Wende, an epidemiologist at the University at Buffalo. “We talk about prevention by trying to educate and inform people,” she said. “That’s the strategy.”

The School of Social Work and the Department of Biostatistics will partner with a local behavioral health care collaborative over the next two years to create a data warehouse ─ a system that collects and analyzes information ─ that will improve outcomes and reduce costs for mental health and substance use treatment services in the underserved rural areas of New York State.

Students have been placed with five county health departments from Western New York to Long Island. Among their duties are completing epidemiologic summaries, arranging for COVID-19 testing, placing and monitoring individuals in quarantine or isolation, and communicating state and federal guidelines to providers and to the public.

The Future of Medicine podcast interviews Jean Wactawski-Wende about her insights on COVID’s impact on public health and women’s health.

As social protection programs and systems adapt to mitigate against the COVID-19 crisis, gender considerations are likely to be overlooked in an urgent effort to save lives and provide critical economic support. 

Although COVID-19 has caused increased deaths and health risks in the past several months, we found an unexpected health benefit due to the effectiveness of stricter combustion control polices, especially travel bans.

Research team launches study to understand the impact of the COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place guidelines on overall health.

The study objective was to assess the association between B-vitamin intake and iAs methylation in children with low-level arsenic exposure.

One would think that cannabis enthusiasts attending a marijuana advocacy event would be knowledgeable about cannabinoids.

Peter Rogerson, a University at Buffalo faculty member in geography and biostatistics, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

World-renowned epidemiologist who has brought great prominence to UB through her scholarly pursuits and academic excellence in the area of women’s health.

UB data scientists warn that the community’s ability to maintain the plateau remains sensitive to social distancing.

Dozens of UB faculty, staff and students — plus community partners and research collaborators — have contributed to a new textbook, “Transforming Global Health: Interdisciplinary Challenges, Perspectives, and Strategies” (Springer, 2020/ISBN 978-3-030-32111-6), that provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary look at the field of global health.

The Veggie Van Toolkit was developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo, and funded by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation in Massachusetts. The Toolkit is the result of the Veggie Van Study, funded in part by a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Given the prevalence and magnitude of physical impairments after critical illness, many survivors, including those recovering from COVID-19, could benefit from physical therapist services after hospital discharge. 

Undergraduate students recently spent two weeks in Jamaica finding out about behavior-driven diseases as part of an experiential learning study-abroad program offered through UBThisWinter.

Liquor stores are considered essential businesses, and allowed to stay open in New York State, but not everyone agrees that should be the case.

Along with UB graduate student dietitians, they’re taking “Introduction to Culinary Medicine,” a pilot course in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB that’s helping them understand food and health in a new way.

Public officials are instituting many of the same policies that were put into place in 1918, as a deadly influenza pandemic spread across the world, according to a University at Buffalo professor who has studied that case.

A leading New York health care network is providing clinical samples and expertise, and Gregory Wilding, PhD, chair of the biostatistics department of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, will validate the results. 

Three faculty from the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions have been named to editorships and as conference keynote speakers.

Dr. Jennifer L. Temple, associate professor of nutrition, and director of UB’s Nutrition and Health Research Laboratory, recently offered expert opinion to a question submitted to The Conversation, on whether any level of caffeine is safe for teens to ingest.

The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded the Paul Dudley White International Scholar Award to an abstract co-authored by Dr. Michael LaMonte, research associate professor.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded a one-year, pre-doctoral fellowship to Mr. Zhongzheng (Jason) Niu, a third-year PhD student in epidemiology.

Renewal of the grant allows researchers and clinicians at UB and its partners in the Buffalo Translational Consortium to continue to innovate, speeding the development of new treatments for disease, reducing health disparities and allowing more Western New Yorkers to benefit from clinical research.

Team Epigeniuses won the competition. Their innovation was a multi-day community-based intervention to educate women over the age of 12 in Abuja, Nigeria, on the transgenerational epigenetic effects of exposure to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.

Researchers quizzed cannabis enthusiasts at a marijuana advocacy event about their beliefs on whether the drug is effective in treating certain medical conditions. The majority of the nearly 500 people surveyed failed the quiz, according to the best science available.

A UB epidemiologist and two graduates of the epidemiology PhD program contributed to a significant Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published in the New England Journal of Medicine that links vitamin E acetate as an e-cigarette additive to the outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated lung injury cases.

The three projects selected for pilot grants have the broader aim of understanding how obesity develops and what systems might treat it. The projects include one led by Dr. Elizabeth G. Mietlicki-Baase, assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences, that will look at the peptide hormone amylin, thought to be a promising target for obesity, and how it taps into reward processing. 

UB has launched the Community Health Equity Research Institute, which will conduct research addressing root causes of health disparities among people who live in Buffalo’s East Side.