Briefs

The Abstract: November 21, 2022

This Week @ Gillings: The Abstract

November 21, 2022

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.

New grants awarded to Gillings faculty researchers

A number of new grants have been awarded to faculty members at the Gillings School for upcoming research projects, which include interdisciplinary work both locally and globally. They include:

  • Mollie Wood (Epidemiology): Race and place: understanding maternal health inequities in the rural South – funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Jennifer Smith (Epidemiology) and Michael Hudgens (Biostatistics): UNC CASCADE Network Research Base – funded by the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
  • Beth Moracco (Health Behavior): Creating a Peer Harm Reduction Network Across Central Appalachia – funded by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health
  • Stephen Hursting (Nutrition): Combining Intermittent Energy Restriction and Anti-Inflammatory Regimens to Mimic the Anticancer Effects of Bariatric Surgery – funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Jessica Soldavini (Nutrition): Healthy School Meals for All in North Carolina – funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
  • Joanna “Asia” Maselko (Epidemiology): Risk and resilience: Evaluating the multigenerational effect of a psychosocial maternal depression intervention against COVID-19-related stressors – funded by NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
  • Musa Manga (Environmental Sciences and Engineering): Pathogen Flow Planning Grant UNC – funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Shabbar Ranapurwala (Epidemiology): Risk and Protective factors of Polydrug Overdose in North Carolina – funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Becky Naumann (Epidemiology): Building Capacity for Vision Zero in NC Communities – funded by Governor’s Highway Safety Program
  • Emily Gower (Epidemiology): Using Image Recognition Technology and Smartphones to Improve Trichiasis Surgery Outcomes – funded by NIH/National Eye Institute
  • Sean Sylvia (Health Policy and Management): Understanding the Drivers of Antibiotic use in the Treatment of Childhood Diarrhea and Relationship to Antibiotic Resistance in China – funded by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Daza named one of 10 innovators shaping the future of health

Dr. Eric Daza

Dr. Eric Daza

Eric J. Daza, DrPH ’15 (biostatistics) has received broad recognition within the health care industry for his innovative approaches to statistics and health. Fortune Well recently named him to its list of 10 innovators shaping the future of health.

This inaugural list is meant to spotlight “10 people and teams creating the future of health care.” It focuses on people who have made major contributions in the past year and who are addressing problems in health care at the systems level that promise improvements to individual wellness, access to care and equity.

Daza is focused on the insights that can be gained from personal health data collected by wearable devices. He focuses on statistical analysis that can unlock useful information about an individual person, rather than a group – the focus of more traditional approaches. He is being recognized for his work on the Stats-of-1 blog, which he created with the goal of building a community around this concept of using personal data to develop actionable information about personal health trends.

Fortune Well is a collaboration between CVS Health and Fortune Magazine designed to provide insights about health, wellness and lifestyle aimed at business leaders.


Environmental sciences and engineering researchers win “Best Paper” honors from Environmental Sciences and Technology

Two doctoral students and three faculty members from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (ESE) have been named winners of the 2021 Best Paper Awards from the premier journal Environmental Sciences and Technology.

The winners include:

First Joint Winner. Haley E. Plaas and Hans W. Paerl. Toxic Cyanobacteria: A Growing Threat to Water and Air Quality. Environ. Sci. Technol.2021, 55 (1), pp 44–64. Read the full paper.

Haley Plaas is a doctoral student in ESE, and Hans Paerl, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor in ESE and earth, marine and environmental sciences.

Second Joint Winner. Clara M. A. Eichler, Elaine A. Cohen Hubal, Ying Xu, Jianping Cao, Chenyang Bi, Charles J. Weschler, Tunga Salthammer, Glenn C. Morrison, Antti Joonas Koivisto, Yinping Zhang, Corinne Mandin, Wenjuan Wei, Patrice Blondeau, Dustin Poppendieck, Xiaoyu Liu, Christiaan J. E. Delmaar, Peter Fantke, Olivier Jolliet, Hyeong-Moo Shin, Miriam L. Diamond, Manabu Shiraiwa, Andreas Zuend, Philip K. Hopke, Natalie von Goetz, Markku Kulmala, and John C. Little. Assessing Human Exposure to SVOCs in Materials, Products, and Articles: A Modular Mechanistic Framework. Environ. Sci. Technol.2021, 55 (1), pp 25–43. Read the full paper.

Clara Eichler is a doctoral student in ESE, and Glenn Morrison, PhD, is a professor in ESE.

First Joint Runner-Up. Mark A. Borchardt, Alexandria B. Boehm, Marc Salit, Susan K. Spencer, Krista R. Wigginton, and Rachel T. Noble. The Environmental Microbiology Minimum Information (EMMI) Guidelines: qPCR and dPCR Quality and Reporting for Environmental Microbiology. Environ. Sci. Technol.2021, 55 (15), pp 10210–10223. Read the full paper.

Rachel Noble, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor in ESE and earth, marine and environmental sciences.


Gillings students win 2o22 Kenan-Flagler Business School Healthcare Conference Case Competition

These are the winners of the KFBS Case Competition.

These are the winners of the KFBS Case Competition.

Congratulations to first-year Master of Healthcare Administration students Emma Carlson, Austin Harllee, Rexx Hallyburton and Macy Blake, along with their teammate Sophie from the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, in winning the 2022 Kenan-Flagler Business School (KFBS) Healthcare Conference Case Competition.

Five teams from around the country made it to the finals.  The UNC portion of the case competition featured MHA student members among teams that won second and third-place teams had MHA student members, as well. A huge congratulations goes out to all of the winners for this incredible honor.

See the photos of the competition from Kenan-Flagler.


Maternal and child health research published in special supplement of Journal of Adolescent Health

Dr. Carolyn Halpern

Dr. Carolyn Halpern

Kathie Harris, former director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), and Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and chair of maternal and child health at the Gillings School and former deputy director of Add Health, co-edited a special supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health to provide an overview of the many research contributions Add Health has supported via its data.

The article also features research on substance use from Gillings school students and faculty, including Anna Austin, PhD, assistant professor of maternal and child health, and Becky Naumann, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology.

Read the supplement online.