Top 10 in 2012: The year's most-read news stories

Top 10 in 2012: The year’s most-read news stories
January 02, 2013
One of the most-read news articles on the Gillings School of Global Public Health website in 2012 was accompanied by a photograph of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shaking the hand of a Gillings faculty member. The faculty member in the photo was Jamie Bartram, PhD, Holzworth Professor of environmental sciences and engineering and director of The Water Institute at UNC, which is based at the Gillings School of Global Public Health.The article, posted in March, announced the U.S. Water Partnership, a public-private group formed to share knowledge, mobilize resources, and facilitate partnerships to solve water accessibility challenges around the world, especially in developing countries. The Water Institute is a founding member of the partnership. The announcement came as UNC officially had launched a new two-year, campus-wide academic theme on water and helped confirm The Water Institute’s international leadership in water and sanitation issues.

Other sought-after news announced publications and other achievements by members of the School community. Unfortunately, we also had to report the deaths of two beloved faculty members, whose obituaries were read by colleagues and students far and wide. Dr. Robert Millikan, professor of epidemiology, and Dr. John Vernon, assistant professor of health policy and management, both left us far too soon.

Join us as we count down the School’s top 10 news stories in 2012, based on number of readers.



Sept. 10, 2012
The merit scholarships, established in 2010, are awarded to students of exceptional promise through a gift from Dennis Gillings and Joan Gillings. The 2012 awardees were Maria Priscilla Brietzke, Eboneé Butler, Rachel Clad, Daniel Douthit, Heidi Harkins, Erika Helgeson, Shane Khan, Virginia Moye, Julia Naman, Gina Tripicchio, Meredith Webb and Lei Zhou.



Weighing the difference: Switching to water, diet beverages can tip the scales

Feb. 13, 2012
Making a simple substitution of water or diet soft drinks for drinks with calories can help people lose four to five pounds, reported a study led by Dr. Deborah Tate. Her findings were published in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.



Feb. 1, 2012
An article by lead author and then biostatistics doctoral student Yingqi Zhao won the “Best Paper in Biometrics” award, presented by the International Biometric Society (IBS), which publishes the journal Biometrics.




Hiding emotions may exacerbate depression among black men who confront racial discrimination

March 14, 2012

Dr. Wizdom Powell Hammond’s study, “Taking it Like a Man: Masculine Role Norms as Moderators of the Racial Discrimination-Depressive Symptoms Association Among African-American Men,” examines how African-American men who believe they should respond to stress with stoicism and emotional control experience more symptoms of depression. The study was published online March 8 in American Journal of Public Health.




UNC biostatistics study deepens understanding of genomic puzzle

June 1, 2012

School researchers helped usher in a new understanding of genetic variants and disease by conducting one of the largest population studies of genome sequencing to date. Dr. Matthew R. Nelson, adjunct associate professor of biostatistics and principal scientific investigator at GlaxoSmithKline, led a study, published in Science, describing that ‘rare’ variants in the human genome actually are quite common and may contribute to diabetes, bipolar disorder, cancer and Alzheimer’s.




Aug. 27, 2012
We were all proud to claim Tara Seshan, a senior Bachelor of Science in Public Health student in the environmental sciences and engineering department, who received a $100,000 Thiel fellowship to launch the innovative health services company, chekUp, which aims to provide better health monitoring and evaluation in low-resource settings.



Lytle to lead health behavior department

May 25, 2012

Dr. Leslie Lytle, formerly professor of epidemiology and community health in the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, joined the health behavior department as chair this fall. Lytle, who succeeds Dr. Jo Anne Earp, longtime faculty member who retires this year, holds a joint professorship in nutrition at the School.




Eight faculty members win inaugural Teaching Innovation Awards
Feb. 7, 2012
‘Celebrate Teaching!’ Month was inaugurated in February 2011, and students voted for teachers who were most innovative in the classroom. Awardees were Drs. Linda Adair, Rebecca Fry, Sherri Green, Amy Herring, Diane Kelly, John Paul, Charles Poole and Kurt Ribisl.



July 23, 2012
Historically, women have been the focus of attention when it comes to prenatal care — and appropriately so. After all, they are the ones carrying the baby. But fathers-to-be are not off the hook. A study led by Dr. Tania Desrosiers and published July 9 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that certain jobs held by men before they conceive a child may increase the risk of various birth defects.



UNC water experts are among key members of a new initiative announced on Water Day 2012 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that aims to solve water problems around the globe.

As we review our top 10 list of most-read news articles, it is apparent that people still love a good human-interest story about success, awards and rewards. But innovative research is what keeps our School in the limelight and helps us improve public health, promote individual well-being, and eliminate health disparities across North Carolina and around the world.
Our other most-read research stories in 2012 were:



UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or
Last updated January 03, 2013