SPH Weekly E-News

April 14, 2014


News Posted week of April 7 – April 11, 2014


Hard times could be coming for breastfeeding, maternal and child health expert says

The resignation of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could mean hard times for advancing policies about breastfeeding, says Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH. [complete article]


Bentley elected to Consortium of Universities for Global Health board

Margaret (Peggy) Bentley, PhD, Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of nutrition and associate dean for global health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been elected to the board of directors of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. [complete article]


Weber, Aelion to be honored at Foard Lecture

Prestigious awards established at the Gillings School to honor outstanding alumni and faculty members will be presented on April 10 to C. Marjorie Aelion, PhD, and David Weber, MD. The presentation will precede the 46th annual Fred T. Foard Jr. Memorial Lecture, delivered this year by drinking water expert and advocate Gregory Allgood, PhD. [complete article]


Severe obesity on the rise among children in the U.S.

A new University of North Carolina finds little to cheer about in the fight against childhood obesity, despite a recent report to the contrary.

The study, published online April 7 in JAMA Pediatrics, found that all classes of obesity in U.S. children have increased over the last 14 years. Perhaps most troubling, the study found an upward trend in the more severe forms of obesity – those in which children have a body mass index (BMI) that is 120 to 140 percent higher than their peers. [complete article]


Study links prenatal exposure to arsenic to disease susceptibility later in life

Protein changes associated with prenatal exposure to arsenic may hold the key to understanding the workings of adult-onset diseases tied to arsenic in the environment, a study at UNC has found. [complete article]


NAP SACC program educates care providers and parents; improves children’s health, study finds

Educating parents and child-care providers about nutrition and physical activity can reap benefits for obese preschoolers, according to a study conducted by a research team that included Jonathan B. Kotch, MD, MPH, research professor of maternal and child health at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. [complete article]


Events and Deadlines for April 14 – April 20, 2014


BEBES to host screening and panel discussion

Monday, April 14
5:30 – 8 p.m.
1301 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

Carolina Breastfeeding Evidence-Based Education and Support (BEBES) will screen “The Business of Being Born,” a 2008 documentary that explores the contemporary experience of childbirth in the United States. A panel discussion will follow the screening. The suggested donation is $5.


CUBE to sponsor leadership workshop

Tuesday, April 15
5 – 7 p.m.
Anne Queen Lounge, Campus Y

Lyndon Rego, global director of Leadership Beyond Boundaries at the Center for Creative Leadership, will discuss launching and scaling social ventures, as well as leaving a legacy behind through social entrepreneurial efforts. This is a hands-on, interactive leadership workshop led by one of the world’s leading experts on effective and creative leadership. The workshop includes a free buffet. Register online.

Contact Mathilde Verdier, mverdier@email.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Institute of African-American Research to present Caldwell and Fray talk

Wednesday, April 16
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Incubator Room, Hyde Hall

Kia Caldwell, associate professor of African, African-American and Diaspora Studies, and Niasha Fray, doctoral student at Gillings School of Global Public Health, will present “Middle Socioeconomic Status Black Women and Healthcare Provider Communication about HIV Testing: The Importance of Self-Advocacy.”

Contact Karla Slocum, kslocum@unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Memorial Sloan-Kettering researcher to present BIOS seminar

Wednesday, April 16
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
1301 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

Colin Begg, PhD, chairman and attending biostatistician of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will present “The Study of Double Primary Malignancies: Statistical Ideas that can Provide Unique Insights for Interpreting Epidemiologic Data.”

More information is available online (PDF).

Contact Christine Kantner, ckantner@email.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


UNC FACE AIDS to host panel discussion

Wednesday, April 16
5 – 6:30 p.m.
116 Murphey Hall

UNC FACE AIDS aims to fight HIV/AIDS by building a movement of leaders dedicated to global health equity and social justice. Dr. Ronald Strauss will moderate a panel discussion by speakers living with HIV/AIDS. The panel will discuss how to become a greater advocate of equal treatment and access to HIV/AIDS care.


Registration due for Genetics and Environmental Mutagenesis Society spring meeting

Monday, April 28 (Register by Friday, April 18 to insure adequate webinar capacity)
8:50 a.m. – 3 p.m.
U.S. EPA, RTP Campus Auditorium

To register for the meeting, email Dr. William Ward, ward.william@epa.gov. Please include your name and whether you plan to attend the meeting in person or via webinar. The webinar information will be provided prior to the meeting on the GEMS website.

Detailed directions to the EPA campus are available online.

More information about the meeting is available online.

Contact Dr. William Ward, ward.william@epa.gov, if you have any questions.


New Announcements


UW Professor to present BIOS seminar

Wednesday, April 23
3:30 – 4:30
1301 McGavran-Greenberg

Thomas Richardson, PhD, director, Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences and Professor, Department of Statistics at the University of Washington, will present “Unifying the Counterfactual and Graphical Approaches to Causality via Single World Intervention Graphs (SWIGs).”

More information is available online (PDF).

Contact Christine Kantner, ckantner@email.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


7th Annual Harry Guess Memorial Lecture

Wednesday, April 23
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
136 Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building

Dr. Malcolm Maclure, professor and chair, Department of Anesthesiology, University of British Columbia, will present “Compromising on Rigor to Encourage Participation? Applying Epidemiologic Methods in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement.” The lecture is sponsored by the UNC student chapter of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology, the UNC Center of Excellence in Pharmacoepidemiology and the Department of Epidemiology.

A reception will follow in 2102 McGavran-Greenberg Hall.

Contact Erline Miller, erlinem@unc.edu, if you have any questions.


RJR Consulting President to present lecture

Thursday, April 24
9 – 11 a.m.

219 Brinkhous-Bullit

Robert J. Russell, president of RJR Consulting, Inc., will present “In Vitro Diagnostics: Policy Considerations and more.” The lecture will discuss how personalized medicine and targeting therapies have moved into the research setting, as well as the challenges posed. The event is sponsored by NC TraCS and RTI.

Register online.


Thurston Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center speaker series

Wednesday, April 30
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

3300 Thurston Building, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, 3200 Dickson Conference Room

Tracey Revenson, PhD, professor and deputy executive of the Office of Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, will present “Are Close Relationships Good Medicine for People Coping with Chronic Illness?”

Contact Betsy Hackney, bshackne@email.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Student scholarships and volunteer positions available for IMCL Conference

June 8 – 12
Portland, Oregon

Application deadline: May 1

A limited number of student scholarships for PhD students, and volunteer positions for graduate students are available for the 51st International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) Conference.

The Conference will be a gathering of the world’s renowned experts in planning, urban design, public health, social sciences and allied fields. Please see the website for more details.

Interested students should send their resume, a short statement (250 words) and to which program they are applying before May 1st to suzanne.lennard@livablecities.org.


UNC ECHO Interdisciplinary Certificate in Health Disparities program accepting applications

Applications for the certificate program are due Friday, May 9.

More information is available online.


Orientation for new clinical research personnel

Wednesday, May 7
1 – 3 p.m.
219 Brinkhous-Bullitt

This four-part orientation is strongly recommended for all clinical research personnel new to UNC or new to research. The objectives are to introduce research personnel to the UNC offices involved in clinical trials, discuss the federal and local regulations governing conduct of research and provide an overview of best practices utilized in the implementation of clinical research.

More information is available online.

Contact Claudia Christy, cgc@med.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Repeat Announcements


School of Public Health to offer free yoga classes

Every Wednesday
12:40 – 1:40 p.m.
0003/0004 Michael Hooker Research Center

Last Sessions: April 16, April 23 and April 30

Students in the nutrition department are offering a free lunchtime yoga class for students, staff and faculty every Wednesday. All levels are welcome. Please bring your mat if you have one.

More information is available online.

Contact Lisa Englander, ljengla@live.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Applications due for American Mock World Health Organization

Friday, Oct. 10 – Sunday, Oct. 12
2 p.m.
133 Rosenau Hall

Application deadline: Monday, April 21 at 5 p.m.

The American Mock World Health Organization (AMWHO) is America’s first model WHO Conference set at UNC. This year’s theme, “Health in Times of Conflict,” deals with the responsibilities member countries have to protect the health of their citizens in times of warfare.

Undergraduate and graduate participants from across the nation will have the opportunity to represent either a WHO ambassador of a member nation, non-governmental actor or media representative, and will work to create a working resolution within their regional block to be sent to the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The application is available online.

Contact Neha Acharya, acharya@live.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Academy of Educators to sponsor forum

Wednesday, April 23
5 – 7:30 p.m.
321 MacNider Hall, UNC School of Medicine

The Frank Wilson Professionalism Forum is designed to think seriously about professionalism in the context of the TEC Curriculum and medical education. Dr. Alice Chuang will summarize the findings of focus groups pertaining to professionalism at UNC and provide the keynote address to frame the professionalism breakout sessions. This focused discussion among faculty, residents and medical students will provide an opportunity to meaningfully incorporate professionalism into the TEC curriculum and medical education.

More information is available online.

Contact Alison Siler, alison_siler@med.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


2014 Water and Health Conference announces abstract deadline

Verbal and poster presentation abstracts deadline: April 30

The Conference will be held October 13–17 in Chapel Hill. To submit an abstract, visit whconference.unc.edu.


2014 Water Microbiology Conference

May 5 – 7
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

The 2014 Water Microbiology Conference creates a forum for researchers and practitioners focused on microbiology and public health issues to come together around the intersection of the two.

More information is available online.


L’Oréal grants available for women postdoctoral researchers

Applications are due Monday, May 19.

The L’Oréal for Women in Science program will award five postdoctoral women scientists in the U.S. with grants of up to $60,000 each.

The program recognizes and rewards contributions made by women in the STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations. Applicants are welcome from a variety of fields, including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering and mathematics. More than 2,000 researchers in more than 100 countries have been recognized since the program began in 1998.

More information on the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program can be found online.

For additional information not covered online, e‐mail Myriam Coneim at mconeim@us.loreal.com.


Grand Challenges Explorations opens applications

Grand Challenges Explorations Round 13 is now open. GCE supports early-stage research projects and funds innovative ideas to improve global health. Applications will be accepted until May 6 at 11:30 a.m. PDT.

More information, including rules and guidelines, may be found online.


Our School in the News


Marketplace (American Public Media) – When rural hospitals close, towns struggle to stay open

There’s a healthcare crisis in America that you might not have heard about: rural hospitals are closing at a rate that’s starting to get some politicians’ attention. University of North Carolina professor Mark Holmes studied the economic impact of 140 rural hospital closures nationwide. He found that three years out, losing a hospital costs a community, on average, “about 1.6 percentage points in unemployment, about $700 in per capita income, and that was in [year] 2000 dollars so that’d be probably about $1,000 currently.” [complete article]


The Chicago Tribune (Column) – Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet soda?

When I was director of the Congressional Budget Office, I was testifying so frequently to the Senate Finance Committee that the chairman granted me a special exception to the committee rules: He allowed me to drink diet soda rather than just water during hearings. A careful analysis of the research by Richard Mattes of Purdue University and Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina found that long-term randomized controlled trials are essential, because almost every existing study is subject to concerns about correlation versus causation. [complete article]


The Charlotte Observer (Column) – On the table: Asparagus season is sprouting

Spring has arrived and so has the asparagus. This is the time of year when the vegetable is most plentiful. [complete article]


WRAL – Doodling UNC student invents waterless porta-potty

Porta-potties can be pretty gross. But where some see a problem, Liz Morris sees a solution. Liz Morris, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has developed a portable toilet that doesn’t require water. [complete article]


Reuters – US childhood obesity rates have increased since 1999: study

U.S. childhood obesity rates have increased over the past 14 years, according to a study published on Monday, casting doubt on a recent analysis by government health researchers that found a sharp drop in preschool obesity rates over the past decade. Asheley Cockrell Skinner of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the new study, said the main message of her analysis is that childhood obesity rates have not improved. (Note: Interviews with NBC News and Fox News were conducted in the Carolina News Studio). [complete article]


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