Dean CurranDean James W. Curran
Another record start

The academic year is off to another great start with new students and an increase in research funding. The RSPH set a record for new enrollment, with 530 incoming MPH and MSPH students representing 43 states and 28 countries. Our new class includes 70 Career MPH and 54 dual-degree students (medicine, nursing, law, business, theology, physician assistant, and physical therapy).

We set another record by welcoming 114 international students, who represent 19% of our incoming class and who speak 70 languages and dialects. Among them are 40 students from China and the first eight King Abdullah Fellows from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With 450 returning students, 135 doctoral students, and 20 postdoctoral fellows, our total enrollment stands at 1,135 students.

Our faculty members continue to excel. As of August 1, sponsored research totaled $62.5 million for 2011, up 28% from this time last year. We now have 185 full-time faculty, including 19 new faculty members who joined us this past year. Read more about them below.

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Rollins accreditation

Last fall, a steering committee comprised of approximately 30 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners was assembled to ensure a broad representation in our self-assessment process for accreditation, which expires after seven years in 2012.

This fall, the committee will continue to evaluate the quality of our teaching, research, and service efforts. Our self-assessment document is due to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) by November 2011. The CEPH will conduct a three-day site visit in April 2012 to validate our self-study findings.

For more information on the current accreditation process, click here.

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RollinsteersRollins-teers volunteering at MedShare International

5th Annual Rollins-teer day of service

On August 18,the RSPH connected more than 500 incoming students with local organizations for our annual Rollins-teer Day of Service. The students volunteered with 25 charities including AID Atlanta, The Friendship Ministries, MedShare International, Senior Citizen Services, Project Open Hand, and others. The Rollins-teer Day of Service gives incoming students the opportunity to immediately connect with the Atlanta community and experience aspects of their field that may not be apparent in traditional coursework. To learn more about the Rollins-teer Service Learning Program, click here.

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Sullivan leads AIDSVu, Testing Together

In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic in June, Rollins researchers unveiled a new interactive online map called AIDSVu. The site is the most detailed publicly available view of the number of people living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States by state and county.  

AIDSVu features data obtained from the CDC and compiled by researchers at Rollins, led by principal investigator Patrick Sullivan, associate professor of epidemiology. It is the first online tool to link state and county-level HIV prevalence data with local HIV testing sites, information about state AIDS drug assistance programs, and estimates of the percentage of HIV diagnoses that are made late in the course of the disease.

As new data and information become available, AIDSVu will be updated regularly, guided by a technical advisory group of experts from federal agencies, state health departments, and nongovernmental organizations working in HIV prevention care and research. Gilead Sciences Inc. provided financial support for AIDSVu.

Sullivan also leads Testing Together, a groundbreaking HIV testing and counseling service for male couples that will be offered for a year in Atlanta and Chicago. A symposium on Testing Together was held on August 16 prior to the official study launch on September 1. Supported by the MAC AIDS Fund, this initiative brings a previous study, based in Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle, out of the research setting and into actual public health practice. Initial study results were published online in the February 2011 edition of AIDS and Behavior. Titled "Attitudes Towards Couple-Based HIV Testing Among MSM in Three U.S. Cities," the article was written by Sullivan, Rob Stephenson, Laura Salazar, Beau Gratzer, Susan Allen, and Erick Seelbach.

Study: Benefits of DHA during pregnancy

Usha Ramakrishnan, associate professor of global health, served as lead author of a study published in Pediatrics suggesting that the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy helps protect babies against illness during early infancy. The article, "Prenatal Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation and Infant Morbidity: Randomized Controlled Trial," is online and will be published in the September 2011 issue of Pediatrics. Rolllins co-authors include Beth Imhoff-Kunsch, Aryeh Stein, and Rey Martorell.

Additional Studies and Grants:

  • BSHE
    Debra Gardner Morris – South Dakota Native American Toolkits (Black Hills Special Services Cooperative)

  • EH
    Justin Remais Models for Improving Surveillance of Environmentally Mediated Infectious Diseases in China (NIH)

    Yang Liu Improving Satellite Aerosol Remote Sensing Data for Air Pollution Health Research (NASA)

  • EPI
    Bradley Pearce – 2/2 Schizophrenia Heterogeneity and Toxoplasma Exposure (NIH)

    Patrick Sullivan  –
    Comprehensive HIV Prevention Package for MSM in Southern Africa (NIH)

  • HGH
    Keith Klugman Field of Study in Africa of Maternal Influenza Immunization (WTS Health Consortium)

  • HPM
    Enid Chung Roemer Maintain and Expand the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (AHRQ-HCUP) (Thomson Reuters)

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Jeremy Sarnat


Sarnat Receives Outstanding Young Scientist Award
Jeremy Sarnat was awarded the 2011 Joan M. Daisey Outstanding Young Scientist Award by the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES). The award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the science of human exposure analysis by a young scientist. He will receive the award during the annual ISES meeting in October.

Sarnat, associate professor of environmental health, was chosen for the award based on the scientific quality of his publications, the significance of his research in the field of exposure analysis, and his potential for making future contributions to the science of exposure analysis.

Kutner Honored for Contributions to Statistical Practice
Michael H. Kutner, Rollins Professor and former chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, is the 2011 recipient of the W.J. Dixon Award for Excellence in Statistical Consulting. The award was established through a gift by the family of William Dixon and is conferred by the American Statistical Association. It recognizes a distinguished individual who has demonstrated excellence in statistical consulting or developed and contributed new methods, software, or ways of thinking that improve statistical practice in general.

Curran Named to State Public Health Board
RSPH Dean James Curran was recently appointed (along with eight colleagues) to the State of Georgia's Board of Public Health by Governor Nathan Deal.

Del Rio Garners Research Mentoring Honor
Carlos del Rio is the 2011 recipient of the School of Medicine's Silver Pear Award. The honor recognizes outstanding research mentoring of junior faculty in the Department of Medicine. It is granted on the merit of how successful mentors are in advising junior faculty and fellows on teaching, scholarship, and service. Del Rio serves as Hubert Professor and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health.

Michelle Kegler,
director of the EPRC

Prevention Center Wins Best Practice Award
The Emory Prevention Research Center (EPRC) has received the inaugural Community Based-Participatory Research Best Practice Award in recognition of its strong community partnerships in Georgia and commitment to engaging communities in its research. The award, developed and presented for the first time during the national Prevention Research Centers Conference in April, is given by the National Community Committee, a body that represents community partners of Prevention Research Centers. Directed by Michelle Kegler, the EPRC collaborates closely with the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition to reduce cancer rates in 31 rural counties.

Waller Serves on National Academy of Sciences Committee
Lance Waller, Rollins Professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, has been appointed to a National Academy of Sciences committee tasked with providing an assessment of cancer risks in populations living near U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed nuclear facilities.

K.M. Venkat Narayan

Narayan Recognized for Diabetes Research
K.M. Venkat Narayan recently received the 18th Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre (DMDSC) Gold Medal Oration and Distinguished Scientist Award for his extensive diabetes research.

The oration carries with it a gold medal, citation, and a certificate. Narayan, Ruth and O.C. Hubert Professor of Global Health, accepted the award in July in Chennai, India. Past award recipients include doctors and professors from the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Belgium, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Students Make an Impact
Kristin Wall, a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology, has received the ARCS (Achievement and Rewards for College Scientists) Global Impact Award, a gift of $10,000. This annual award is given to student scholars whose research focuses on global issues and impacts society at large.

Emily Mitchell, a student in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, received an honorable mention for the American Statistical Association's annual Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship. The scholarship was established in 1989 to encourage more women to enter statistically oriented professions.

The Claudia Nance Rollins Building

Rollins Buildings Earn Accolades
On June 21, the RSPH received recognition during the 2011 Project Achievement Awards presented by the South Atlantic Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America. The award honors excellence in construction management and was given for the Rollins complex expansion construction project (valued from $50 million to $100 million) led by Whiting-Turner. The firm was the general contractor for the new Claudia Nance Rollins Building and renovation of the Grace Crum Rollins Building.

Congratulations to all!

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Faculty appointments and promotions

Please join me in welcoming new faculty and congratulating those who have been promoted to new positions:

Jeremy Sarnat, Associate Professor (EH)

Rob Stephenson, Associate Professor (GH)

Frank Wong, Associate Professor (BSHE)

New appointments
Michael Caudle
, Assistant Professor (EH)

Howard Chang, Assistant Professor (BIOS)

Lyndsey Darrow, Assistant Professor (EPI)

Jason Hockenberry, Assistant Professor (HPM)

Yijuan Hu, Assistant Professor (BIOS)

Jian Kang, Assistant Professor (BIOS)

Jeanne Kowalski, Associate Professor (BIOS)

Michael Kramer, Assistant Professor (EPI)

Neil K. Mehta, Assistant Professor (GH)

Jennifer G. Mullé, Assistant Professor (EPI)

Zhaohui (Steve) Qin, Associate Professor (BIOS)

Yan Sun, Assistant Professor (EPI)

Hao Wu, Assistant Professor (BIOS)

Linelle Blais
, Research Associate Professor (BSHE)

Dawn Comeau, Research Assistant Professor (BSHE)

Cheryl Day, Research Assistant Professor (GH)

Lara DePadilla, Research Assistant Professor (BSHE)

Ariela Freedman, Research Assistant Professor (BSHE)

Thomas Guillot III
, Research Assistant Professor (EH)

Traci Leong, Research Assistant Professor (BIOS)

Parinya Panuwet, Research Assistant Professor (EH)

Silke Von Esenwein
, Research Assistant Professor (HPM)

Andrea Winquist, Research Assistant Professor (EH)

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Upcoming Events
*View all Rollins events on our new online calendar

Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Reunion & Awards Ceremony
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Faculty and staff are invited to join the celebration and reconnect with our alumni.

4:00 p.m. | Building Tours
Grace Crum Rollins Building Lobby

5:00 p.m. | MD/MPH Reunion
Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon Room

We’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of Emory’s joint MD/MPH program and the 100th graduate of the five-year program!

6:30 p.m. | Presentation of Alumni Awards
Rollins Auditorium
Honoring the accomplishments of Rear Admiral Ali Khan, MD, ‘00MPH, Distinguished Achievement Award recipient, and Melissa Creary, ‘04MPH, Matthew Lee Girvin Award recipient.

7:30 p.m. | All Classes Alumni Reunion
Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon Room

Michael M.E. Johns, MD, Lecture on Health Policy
September 29, 2011
4 p.m. | Rollins Auditorium
Lecturer: Karen Ignagni, President and Chief Executive of America's Health Insurance Plans
RVSP to Jessica Lehrich

Public Health Grand Rounds
October 7, 2011
Noon | Rollins Auditorium
Lecturer: Ken Thorpe

Fall Open House: Destination Public Health
October 15, 2011
8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. | Various locations throughout the RSPH

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Campaign Emory
Campaign Emory

RSPH Support of Campaign Emory Tops $145 million

With 16 months to go, the RSPH has raised more than $145 million—97% of our $150 million goal—as part of Campaign Emory. The university has raised more than $1.2 billion or 78.6% of its $1.6 billion goal. Generous support from friends, faculty, staff, and alumni has enabled the school to fund some of our highest priorities including the Claudia Nance Rollins Building. 

Increasing support for faculty development and student scholarships remains vital to our success, and efforts to reach these goals will continue throughout the campaign and beyond. For more information on making a gift to the RSPH, please contact Kathryn Graves, Associate Dean for Development and External Relations, or make a gift online


Campaign Emory

To view The Dean’s Letter online, visit our web page. To submit news items for future issues, please contact Tarvis Thompson, Rollins Communications Manager, at 727-3516 or tthomp8@emory.edu, or Pam Auchmutey in Health Sciences Publications at 712-9265 or pam.auchmutey@emory.edu.



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