This Week @ Gillings: The Abstract

November 15, 2021

Whether you’re local or global, student or alumni, the Abstract’s weekly news digest will help you stay in the loop with our amazing Gillings School community.

Brathwaite earns second place in 3 Minute Thesis competition

Danielle Brathwaite

Danielle Brathwaite

Danielle Brathwaite, a doctoral student in health policy and management, received second place in The Graduate School’s annual Three Minute Thesis competition finals for her presentation focusing on the role the emergency department can play in providing pediatric behavioral health care to younger patients facing mental health challenges. Brathwaite is an MD/PhD candidate in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and at the UNC School of Medicine.

The Three Minute Thesis competition helps graduate students distill their research topics in only three minutes for a non-academic audience in order to present their groundbreaking research in an easy-to-understand way.

Brathwaite said the COVID-19 pandemic—and the pressing need for graduate students to be flexible and build resilience—prepared her for the 3MT competition.

“Resiliency isn’t built in comfort,” Brathwaite said. “Being okay with going out of your comfort zone, trying something different; it’s about recording a video rather than giving a presentation in person and embracing new limitations and opportunities that come with that.”

Read more and view the presentation.

Batsis participates in National Council on Aging roundtable

John Batsis, MD, associate professor of nutrition, was a recent participant in a National Council on Aging Roundtable titled “Roundtable on Obesity and Equitable Aging.” This 15-person stakeholder meeting focused on the critical challenges that obesity and other chronic medical conditions pose in older adults.

Like never before, equitable aging has been put to the test with challenges presented by the pandemic and a severe toll taken by millions who faced social injustices,” the council wrote. “Among the most vulnerable are those we exist to serve – older adults who are living with obesity and other chronic diseases who don’t have access to care and treatment and who lack what they need to age with dignity.”

In the roundtable, leading national experts discussed possible solutions and policy recommendations to build a holistic and equitable approach to obesity prevention and management among older adults, including expanded Medicare coverage. The roundtable participants plan to develop a white paper addressing the health inequities related to obesity and potential policy changes that could have the greatest impact on treatment and coverage gaps, risk factors, chronic disease management, stigma and inequities.

Read more.

Mayer-Davis named a world expert in Type 1 diabetes research

Dr. Elizabeth Mayer Davis

Dr. Beth Mayer-Davis

Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Medicine and chair of the Department of Nutrition, has been named a world expert in Type 1 diabetes research by Expertscape. Her research addresses the many ways in which nutrition can impact the risk for development of diabetes and on the risk of complications of either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Her primary focus now is on Type 1 diabetes in youth and young adults, with a focus on overall diabetes self-management and on energy balance and weight management for individuals with Type 1 diabetes.

Mayer-Davis, whose research is in the top 0.1 percent of scholars writing about Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus over the past 10 years, was recognized as part of World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14.

Learn more and see the list.

Lee named among top leaders in the public sector

Mark Lee

Mark Lee

WashingtonExec, a professional organization for executives in the Washington, D.C., area, named Mark Lee, MS ’97 (environmental sciences and engineering), among its Top 25 Public Sector Leaders to Watch in 2021.

The distinction honors public sector leaders who have risen to meet the moment during the COVID-19 pandemic and adapted to provide necessary support to the U.S. government.

Lee has worked with ICF International through the pandemic to help public-sector clients meet critical missions in public health and digital transformation, including the modernization of public health surveillance systems.

As well as senior vice president and group lead for the public sector at ICF International, Lee is a committed member of the Gillings School Alumni Association Board. He is dedicated to advancing the long-term success of the School by building and maintaining a strong alumni network. Along with his leadership and financial support of the School, he helps place recent graduates in positions at ICF.

Young receives postdoctoral award for research excellence

Dr. Jessica Young

Dr. Jessica Young

Jessica C. Young, MSPH, PhD, is one of five postdoctoral scholars to receive UNC’s 2021 Postdoc Awards for Research Excellence (PARE).

Young is a pharmacoepidemiologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Her overarching goal is to develop methods for leveraging observational data to conduct timely research improving public health. Young earned her doctoral degree in epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2020, where she used linked electronic medical records and insurance claims data to examine opioid prescribing for post-surgical pain and the risk of prolonged postoperative opioid use.

She is currently funded by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, and her work focuses on developing methods to combat challenges inherent in using large data, increasing the capability for large health systems to evolve their practice using evidence-based research, ultimately delivering higher-quality care to their patients. Prior to coming to UNC, Jessica worked as a policy analyst at a non-profit public policy firm and received a B.A. in mathematics from Emory University.

Read more.

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