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NCID director joins Emory

In April, James Hughes, director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) at CDC and an Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service, joins Emory University School of Medicine as a professor of medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health as professor of international health. He will direct the Emory Center for Global Safe Water as well as develop a new program in Global Infectious Diseases. At CDC, Hughes directed the Hospital Infections Program from 1983 to1988, was deputy director of NCID from 1988 to1992, and served as director of NCID from 1992 to 2005. His many awards include membership in the Institute of Medicine, fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians, and Distinguished and Meritorious Service Medals and the Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service.

New faculty

The Department of Biostatistics has added eight new members to its faculty, including:
  • Andre Rogatko, professor of biostatistics and associate director of biostatistics in the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI), applies Bayesian methods to cancer clinical trials design, genetic epidemiology, and risk prediction.
  • Mourad Tighiouart, research assistant professor and a collaborator with Rogatko at WCI, works with Bayesian multilevel modeling, adaptive designs in cancer phase I clinical trials, and nonparametric Bayesian survival analysis.
  • Eugene Huang, associate professor of biostatistics, works on theory and methods for censored outcomes, such as survival data and contaminated covariates.
  • Lily Zhang, assistant professor, focuses on the design and evaluation of medical tests and predictive markers studies that may be used for prognosis, diagnosis, and disease screening.
  • Mary Kelley, research assistant professor, is a collaborating statistician with extensive experience in both psychiatry and health services research.
  • Ying Guo, research assistant professor, develops new statistical methods to characterize and model agreement among survival times, and she works with medical researchers in the areas of psychology, epidemiology, and oncology.
  • V Jose Binongo, lecturer, conducts research in stylometry -- the statistical analysis of literary style -- and is particularly interested in techniques for classification.
  • Jennifer Favaloro-Sabatier, associate faculty, is a biostatistician in the Biostatistics Consulting Center.

Other new faculty appointments at the RSPH include Kristin Dunkle, research assistant professor, behavioral sciences and health education (BSHE); Laura Salazar, research assistant professor, BSHE; and Rob Stephenson, assistant professor, global health.

Promotions

Congratulations to the following faculty who have received promotions: George Cotsonis, senior associate in biostatistics; Ann DiGirolamo, assistant professor of global health; Cam Escoffery, clinical assistant professor of BSHE; and Mitchell Klein, research assistant professor of environmental and occupational health.

New doctoral programs

The first students in two new doctoral programs at the RSPH will arrive on campus this fall. The BSHE PhD program will teach the application of behavioral and social sciences to promote healthy living, prevent disease, and improve the quality of life of persons with impaired health. The PhD in Health Services Research and Health Policy (HSRHP), offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management, will train students in the field of health services research, encouraging original research and communication skills for teaching and disseminating research findings. Applications for the BSHE program came from 72 students across the United States as well as South Africa, India, China and Taiwan, Colombia, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Applicants' backgrounds included psychology, environmental health, global health, minority health, HIV/AIDS training, and epidemiology. The HSRHP program drew 25 applicants from the United States as well as China and Taiwan, France, Korea, and Senegal with backgrounds in English, anthropology, elementary education, biochemistry, psychology, public health, health care management, and other fields. The RSPH also offers three additional PhD programs: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Nutrition and Health Sciences (the latter, a collaborative program between RSPH and the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences).

Honors for Foege

Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, Emeritus William H. Foege has received the most prestigious award given by the National Academy of Sciences, its Public Welfare Medal. Established in 1914, the medal is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. The Academy chose Foege for his dedication to eradicating global disease and his leadership in redefining the scope of public health policy in the United States. Foege also has received additional recognition this spring as the recipient of the Thomas Francis Jr. Medal in Global Public Health from the University of Michigan.

IOM authors

Several RSPH faculty have played instrumental leadership roles in recently published reports and ongoing projects at the Institute of Medicine on a variety of topics, from childhood obesity and uninsurance to AIDS therapies and public financing of HIV care.
  • Jeffrey P. Koplan was the lead co-editor on Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, which provides a broad-based examination of the nature, extent, and consequences of obesity in U.S. children and youth, including social, environmental, and dietary factors responsible for its increased prevalence.
  • I was the lead co-editor on Scaling Up Treatment for the Global AIDS Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities. In recent years, many HIV-infected patients in wealthy nations have enjoyed significantly longer, good-quality lives as a result of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, most infected people live in the poorest regions of the world, where ART is virtually nonexistent. This IOM report is an independent review and assessment of rapid scale-up ART programs, including identification of the components of effective implementation programs.
  • Arthur Kellermann co-chaired the Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance, producing Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations. This report is the sixth and final in a series that synthesizes what is known about the consequences of uninsurance and communicates the extent and urgency of the issue to the public.
  • David Holtgrave participated in the committee that prepared Public Financing and Delivery of HIV/AIDS Care: Securing the Legacy of Ryan White. The report examines the current standard of care for HIV patients and assesses the extent to which the system currently used for financing and delivering care allows people with HIV to actually receive it. It recommends expanded federal funding for the treatment of people with HIV, administered at the state level.
  • Gary Gunderson is part of a currently active IOM committee that is examining the feasibility and usefulness of creating a volunteer corps related to scale-up of antiretroviral treatment for people with HIV/AIDS in severely affected countries. A successful response will require mobilization of funding as well as addressing serious human resource shortages in these countries.

Taking a census of the homeless

On a cold, rainy, and foggy day in February, 30 students from the RSPH and 12 from Emory's medical school took to the streets of Fulton and DeKalb Counties to take a census of the homeless population. While the numbers are still being tallied, the count already passed 2,000 people living on the streets. Brandie Haywood, who coordinated the 2005 Homeless Census Project, recently wrote to thank these students for being "punctual, positive, conscientious, and very kind to their homeless enumerator partners. The contribution that the Emory students made to this project is very significant, and we are grateful." A report of the census will soon be available at www.pcni.org.

The price tag for obesity

A team of researchers, led by Kenneth Thorpe, chair and professor of Health Policy and Management, has found that rising obesity rates accounted for 27% of the growth in health care spending from 1987-2001. The study, published in the October 20, 2004, issue of Health Affairs, attributes the increase to treatment costs for obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and heart disease. The researchers also found that health care expenditures were also affected by the rising prevalence of gallstones, some forms of cancer, and other obesity-linked diseases.

Who's Who

Congratulations to 2004-2005 Who's Who awardees from the RSPH: Lara Hendy (global health), Ardaman-Pal Shergill (epidemiology), Aaron Wallace (global health), Nidhi Prakash (health policy and management), Tarun Gulrajani (biostatistics), Darren Collins (career MPH), and Jenny Clayton (global environmental health).

Fellowship awardees

The O.C. Hubert EIS 50th Anniversary Fellowships enable students to participate in a CDC elective rotation, providing experience in applied epidemiology through a global public health problem. Two Emory MD/MPH students are recipients of the fellowships this year: Krista Powell and Sasapin (Grace) Prakalapakorn. Three RSPH students also were among 12 fellows selected for the 2004 Association of Schools of Public Health/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Health Fellowship Program. They are Kirstin Crowder, Ami Parekh, and Ritu Tuteja. The goal of the program is to provide professional training and opportunities for early-career public health professionals in current and emerging environmental health needs. During this year, the fellows are working on projects at EPA research and development offices in Washington, DC, and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Faculty accolades, awards, and activities

  • Jay Bernhardt (BSHE) was elected vice chair of the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association in November 2004 for a one-year term.
  • Ralph DiClemente (BSHE) and Gina Wingood (BSHE) received the Prevention Pioneer Award in HIV/AIDS from the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Georgia Department of Community Health, Office of Minority Health.
  • A BBC World documentary on pneumococcal disease, which aired in January, featured the research of Keith Klugman (global health) in South Africa.


James W. Curran, MD, MPH








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