SPH Weekly E-News

August 18

News Posted week of Aug. 4 – Aug. 15, 2014

Gentry leads preparedness training exercise in NC’s Vance County

This was the day-long preparedness exercise that faced 245 emergency first-responders who came to practice their rescue skills at Vance County’s Henderson Point State Park on August 8. Bill Gentry, MPA, director of the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management (CPDM) program at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, facilitated and evaluated the exercise. Read more.

UNC and MUSC collaborate to test diabetes outreach program

The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research (SCTR) Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) are partnering to decrease diabetes prevalence and complications in Bamberg County, SC. The Bamberg Diabetes Transitional Care Study will utilize cutting-edge iPad technology to explore the impact and feasibility of different diabetes interventions for patients transitioning from the hospital to home. Read more.

Many older emergency department patients are malnourished, study finds

More than half of emergency department patients ages 65 and older who were seen at UNC Hospitals during an eight-week period were either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition. Read more.

Miller named Gillings School’s associate dean for advancement

Crystal Hinson Miller, MA, CFRE, has been named associate dean for advancement at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. The appointment is effective Sept. 1. Read more.

BIOS students win first prize for original song and video in ASA’s ‘You’ve Got Talent’ contest

Biostatistics graduate students Avner Halevy and Nicolas Ballarini led a Gillings School of Global Public Health production team that tied for first place in the American Statistical Association’s “You’ve Got Talent!” contest. The four finalists performed during the Joint Statistical Meetings Aug. 2-7 in Boston. Read more.

Treating depression improves quality of life for those with HIV, study finds

Antiretroviral treatment has transformed HIV from a death sentence to a chronic condition, enabling infected adults to pay more attention to their quality of life. Yet quality of life is affected strongly by depression, which plagues HIV-infected adults at a higher rate than the general population. Read more.

Characklis to lead new NSF-USDA grant

Gregory Characklis, PhD, professor of environmental sciences and engineering at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, will lead a team that has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Read more.

UNC researchers investigate the unknowns of e-cigarettes

In an Aug. 7 article in Endeavors, Susan Hardy asks the question of the hour: To vape or not to vape? Her article, which draws on the work of health behavior professor Kurt Ribisl, PhD, and health behavior postdoctoral fellow Jessica Pepper, PhD, is partially reprinted below and is available in its entirety here. Read more.

Events and Deadlines for Aug. 18 – Aug. 24, 2014

NORA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Wednesday, Aug. 20
2 – 3:30 p.m.
230 Rosenau Hall (Mayes Center)

Hester Lipscomb, PhD, MPH, Duke University, will present “Prevention of Acute Injuries from Pneumatic Nail Guns: Why is it so hard to fix this Straight-Forward Occupational Safety Problem?”

The lecture is part of the NORA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series and will be webcast. Continuing education credit has been approved (1.5 contact hours).

This lecture is sponsored by the NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center. Contact Susan Randolph, susan.randolph@unc.edu, if you have any questions.

Biomedical Informatics: A Vision for the Next 10 Years of Innovation

Wednesday, Aug. 20
4 – 5 p.m.
328 Health Sciences Library

Dr. Philip R. O. Payne, chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, presents “Biomedical Informatics: A Vision for the Next 10 Years of Innovation.”

In this presentation, the origins and history of the current state-of-the-art in Biomedical Informatics will be reviewed, along with exploration of future opportunities for the pursuit of innovative solutions that are responsive to the preceding priority areas. Critical areas of research and development to be covered include: translational bioinformatics; in silico hypothesis discovery; evidence generating medicine (and the Learning Healthcare System); cognitive and predictive analytics; workflow and human factors; implementation science; and workforce development.

More information is available online. Contact Larissa Rodgers, chipinfo@unc.edu, if you have any questions.

USC Professor to present BIOS Seminar

Thursday, Aug. 21
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
0001 Michael Hooker Research Center (Blue Cross Blue Shield Auditorium)

Yingying Fan, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Data Science and Operation in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, will present “Asymptotic Equivalence of Regularization Methods in Thresholded Parameter Space.” More information is available online (PDF).

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

Health behavior colloquium

Thursday, Aug. 21
4 – 5 p.m.
1301 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

Amanda Richardson, PhD, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health, is a health behavior faculty candidate and current member of Rescue Social Change Group. She will speak on “Surveillance, Communications and Policy: Research to Impact Behavior.”

Contact Helena Mullen, hkm@unc.edu, if you have any questions.

New Announcements

SPA Supervisors and Employees: Performance Management Training

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) has revised the SPA Performance Management program and policy, effective July 1, 2014. The goals of this program redesign are to increase accuracy and consistency campus-wide on performance expectations and evaluations.

Separate Training sessions have been designed for SPA Supervisors and the SPA General Employee population.

The School of Global Public Health Performance Management Training for SPA employees and supervisors has been scheduled as follows:

SPA Supervisors Only:
Tuesday, Sept 2
1 – 3 p.m.
133 Rosenau Hall

SPA General Non-Supervisory Employee Population:
Wednesday, Sept. 3
1 – 2:30 p.m.
133 Rosenau Hall

Due to the significant updates in the process and forms that will be utilized for future performance reviews, every effort should be made to attend the appropriate session as scheduled.

MCH’s Bennett to retire this fall

Trude Bennett, DrPH, associate professor of maternal and child health, is retiring on Sept. 12. She joined the Gillings School faculty as assistant professor in 1992. Bennett welcomes students and colleagues to keep in touch by emailing trude_bennett@unc.edu.

A/V Services announces classroom summer upgrades

A number of upgrades will be available for various rooms throughout the School. For more detailed information about each room, including the reservation process, please visit the Rooms and Spaces page.

  • Faster computer performance
  • Hotline phones
  • Conference phone connections
  • Digital connections for laptops
  • Blu-ray players
  • New Collaborative Classroom, 2306 McGavran-Greenberg Hall (under construction)
  • New Command Center (under construction)

Contact A/V Services at (919) 966-6536 if you have any questions.

Research data security update

The School’s Information Security Liaison, Bryan C. Andregg, has a new role in the IRB Information System (IRBIS) that allows him access to information about extensive research data. This process will help promote research data security awareness with departmental IT contacts across the School.

Contact the School Information Security Liaison, bryan.andregg@unc.edu, if you have any questions or comments.

Orientation for new clinical research personnel

Wednesday, Aug. 27

1 – 3:30 p.m.
219 Brinkhous-Bullitt Building (TraCS Conference Room)

Orientation for new clinical research personnel will be held on five consecutive Wednesdays from Aug. 27 to Sept. 24. This five-part orientation is strongly recommended for all clinical research personnel who are new to UNC or new to research.

More information, including registration, is available online.

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

BCERP to perform pilot test of interactive web-tool

Thursday, Aug. 28
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Europa Center, 100 Europa Drive, Suite 490, Chapel Hill

The UNC Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) is conducting a pilot test of its interactive website that informs young African-American women (ages 18 to 50) about breast cancer risk. Parking is free and light refreshments will be served. More information is available online (PDF).

Contact Neasha Graves, neasha_graves@unc.edu, if you have any questions.

NC TraCS Team Science Series: Session 3

Tuesday, Sept. 30
10:30 a.m. – noon
219 Brinkhous-Bullitt Building (TraCS Conference Room)

Ronald J. Falk, MD, Allan Brewster Distinguished Professor; director, UNC Kidney Center; director, UNC Center for Transplant Care; chief, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, will speak on “Writing Interdisciplinary Research Proposals: Views from Study Section Members’ Perspectives.” More information is available online.

Contact Karen Demby, Karen_Demby@med.unc.edu, if you have any questions.

Pilot grants request for information

Deadline: Oct. 31

The Duke University Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI) and North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS) are interested in promoting inter-institutional collaborations and pilot funds are now available for eligible new investigator teams.

Grants for $25,000 are available for clinical and translational research that applies or accelerates discovery into testing in clinical or population settings. More information is available online (PDF).

To find a Duke counterpart, contact Research and Innovation Solutions: (919) 966-0123

Faculty and Staff: Date changed for Dec. meeting

The December Faculty and Staff meeting has been shifted from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16. The updated event details are as follows:

Tuesday, Dec. 16
9 – 10:30 a.m.
2308 McGavern-Greenberg Hall

2014 One Medicine Symposium

Dec. 10 – 11
Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, Durham, NC

The eleventh annual One Medicine Symposium will feature a broad range of topics related to disasters and emerging and zoonotic diseases. The conference provides professionals from a variety of backgrounds with current information and take-home tools to improve awareness and understanding of the topics from a One Medicine perspective, promote collaboration across professional disciplines, and enhance preparedness for natural or man-made disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and other challenges affecting human and animal health. Registration is required.

More information, including a full agenda, is available online.

Repeat Announcements

Gillings online store now open

UNC Student Stores has collaborated with the School to launch a dedicated page for Gillings gear. Until Aug. 31, all online purchases will receive a 20 percent discount by entering “GILLINGS” in the gift certificate box at check out. Visit the store at store.unc.edu/gillings.

Registration opens for TCHC Annual Conference

Sept 14 – 15
William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

The first annual Triangle Global Health Consortium Conference (TGHC) presents “Innovation in Global Health: Bridging the innovation gap between research and implementation.”

Founded four years ago, the Consortium is a non-profit member organization representing institutions from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, the international health development NGO community and academia.

More information, including registration, is available online.

Dennis and Mireille Gillings Global Public Health Fellowships now available

Deadline: Friday, September 26

The Institut Pasteur and Office of Research announce the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Global Public Health Fellowships. The program will fund up to two post-doctoral Gillings School students or recent graduates in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health surveillance and global health. More information is available online (PDF).

NPA seeks proposals for 2015 meeting

Deadline: Tuesday, September 30

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is calling for poster session and workshop proposals for their 2015 annual meeting. Proposals should aim to share unique training programs, best practices and success stories from the postdoctoral community. More information is available online.

SHAC accepting applications for volunteer program

The Student Health Action Coalition’s (SHAC) Classroom to Community, a semester long, hands-on health education professional development and teaching experience, is accepting applications for the Fall 2014 semester. Applications are taken on a rolling basis, but space is limited.

Please download the official application (DOCX) for more information. Contact c2c.unc@gmail.com if you have any questions.

IIS Tech Tip: Project SIR

SIR is the University-wide initiative to identify and remediate Sensitive Electronic Information in our computing environment. For more information visit the Project page or contact the School’s Information Security Liaison, Bryan C. Andregg.

Veggie Van to offer weekly produce delivery

Fresh, local produce boxes will soon be available at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Sign up with Veggie Van to receive a box of N.C. grown veggies and fruit every week this summer. More information, including registration, is available online.

Emory to host US Investigators’ Symposium on Global Non-Communicable Diseases Research

September 8 – 9
Emory Conference Center, Emory University (Atlanta)

Join a coalition of U.S. universities and junior and senior investigators whose research focuses on global non-communicable diseases (NCD). This is an opportunity to present your research to U.S. leaders in global NCD research and key stakeholders, including reps from the NIH and CDC.

Abstracts should be submitted to gncd@emory.edu.

More information, including registration, is available online.

Our School in the News

USA Today – Study: Hand sanitizers not shown to cut school absences

Putting alcohol-based hand sanitizers in classrooms in the hopes of reducing school absences due to illness may not be worth the expense in high-income countries where clean water for washing hands is readily available, a study says. The study’s findings are not very surprising, says Allison Aiello, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, in an e-mail. She was not involved in the new research. Read more.

Bloomberg Businessweek – Why seniors don’t eat: It’s complicated

More than half of older adults who visit emergency departments are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, but not because of lack of access to health care, critical illness or dementia. “We were surprised by the levels of malnutrition or risk of it among cognitively intact seniors visiting the ER, and even more surprised that most malnourished patients had never been told they were malnourished,” said lead study author Timothy Platts-Mills, MD, of the University of North Carolina Department of Emergency Medicine in Chapel Hill, N.C. Read more.

CNN International – The lowdown on natural sweeteners

With regular sugar taking a nutritional beating and artificial sweeteners unable to shake their sketchy made-in-the-lab connotations, it’s no wonder newcomers like stevia and agave are conquering our morning coffee (and the world of packaged foods). And though you would expect natural to mean that a product contains nothing artificial, some new sweeteners may have undergone chemical processing to extract them from their original sources, says Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the school of public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read more.

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To submit an event or announcement, please complete the form located at https://sph.unc.edu/comm/announcements-form/.

For all submissions:

  • Events and announcements posted by noon each Friday will be included in the following week’s email and newletter, which is sent on Mondays.
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