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Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science faculty, staff and students who have news to share may submit their announcement here.


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News Releases

03/17/2022

UC San Diego Student Catches Eye of White House
Featuring: Alec Calac, Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health candidate

A student at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science has been invited by the Biden administration to participate in an exclusive group of experts and leaders in the fields of medicine and public health.

A candidate in the university’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) and a high-profile public health advocate, Alec J. Calac is one of several trainees invited to join some of the nation’s leading clinicians and scholars as a participant in the Health Equity Leaders Roundtable Series to discuss health equity in the United States.

“I’ve always had a special focus on education attainment and workforce development, which I’ve carried into my training as an MD/PhD student,” Calac said. “With the support of many students, staff and faculty at UC San Diego and across the entire University of California system, I have continued to advocate for policies aimed at supporting the next generation of American Indian and Alaska Native physicians and allied health professionals. My participation in the Health Equity Leaders Roundtable Series is a function and extension of those efforts.”

Read the full news release here.

 

03/14/2022

UC San Diego Awarded $38 Million USAID Grant to Improve Global Health Equity
Featuring: Holly Shakya Baker, PhD

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded a $38 million, five-year project led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The project is an international, multi-institutional effort to better understand and promote agency for individuals, communities and local organizations in low- and middle-income countries.

The award is the largest ever given to UC San Diego by USAID, a 61-year-old federal program created by President John F. Kennedy to advance humanitarian efforts, reduce poverty and encourage sustained economic and social development throughout the world. 

“This is a spectacular moment,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “With this award, UC San Diego can lead in using research to address important social and health issues that result in beneficial change and new policies that make the world a better place.”

Read the full news release here.

 

03/03/2022

Understanding Caste and the Power of Empathy in Human Health

Empathy is not a weakness, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson told a live audience gathered virtually to hear her insights into an artificial division that continues to plague society known as caste, and its contribution to health injustice.

02/22/2022

Daily Activities Like Washing Dishes Reduced Heart Disease Risk in Senior Women

Featuring: Steven Nguyen, PhD, MPH, postdoctoral scholar, Andrea LaCroix, PhD, Loki Natarajan, PhDJohn Bellettiere, PhD  

Seniors take note, running or brisk walking is not the only way to reduce the risk of heart disease. Simply being “up and about” performing routine activities, referred to as daily life movement, including housework, gardening, cooking and self-care activities like showering can significantly benefit cardiovascular health.

02/07/2022

Adoption of E-cigarettes for Smoking Cessation in 2017 Low and Ineffective

Featuring: John P. Pierce, PhD, and Karen Messer, PhD

Despite the rapid growth in sales of e-cigarettes in 2017, researchers at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego say smokers seeking to quit were not early adopters of the products. The report appears in the February 7, 2022 online edition of the journal Tobacco Control.

02/02/2022

Social Isolation and Loneliness Increase Heart Disease Risk in Senior Women

Featuring: John Bellettiere, PhD and Natalie Golaszewski, Ph.D., postdoctoral scholar

During the current pandemic, social distancing has been one tool used to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But data from a new study point to as much as a 27% increase in heart disease risk in postmenopausal women who experience both high levels of social isolation and loneliness.

The findings of the prospective study, published in the February 2, 2022 online issue of JAMA Network Open, reveal that social isolation and loneliness independently increased cardiovascular disease risk by 8% and 5% respectively. If women experienced high levels of both, their risk rose 13% to 27% compared to women who reported low levels of social isolation and low levels of loneliness.

01/20/2022

Step Up: Walking May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk for Adults 65 and Older

Featuring: John Bellettiere, PhD and Alexis C. Garduno, PhD student

Walking regularly and at greater intensity may help prevent Type 2 diabetes among 70 and 80 year olds, according to one of the first studies measuring steps and pace among this population.

The more steps a person takes, and the more intense, the lower their risk for developing diabetes, report researchers in a study published in the Jan. 20, 2022 issue of Diabetes Care.

 01/20/2022

UC San Diego Receives $14M to Drive Precision Nutrition with Gut Microbiome Data

Featuring: Rebecca Fielding-Miller, PhD, MSPH and Camille Nebeker, EdD

The NIH is now awarding $170 million in grant funding to centers across the country to create a new consortium known as Nutrition for Precision Health, powered by the All of Us Research Program®. The consortium will recruit a diverse pool of 10,000 All of Us Research Program participants to develop algorithms to predict individual responses to food and inform more personalized nutrition recommendations. 

12/22/2021

Homelessness Increases Serious Illness, Emergency Room Visits During Heat Waves
Featuring: Tarik Benmarhnia, PhD, MSc, MEng

In a study published online on Dec. 22, 2021 in the American Journal of Public Health, University of California San Diego researchers in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity ScienceScripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Emergency Medicine, provide the first epidemiological evidence of the health impacts of heat waves on people experiencing homelessness, visits to emergency departments and which characteristics make them particularly at-risk.

11/29/2021

Havacado or Two. Study Finds Eating Lots of the Fruit Hass Public Health Import
Featuring: Lorena Pacheco, PhD, Matt Allison, MD, MPH and Cheryl A.M. Anderson, PhD, MPH

In a novel study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing the potential health effects between families that consumed a low allotment of avocados (three per week) and families that consumed a high allotment (14 per week) over six months. All families were of Mexican descent. They found that the high avocado allotment families self-reported lower caloric consumption, reducing their intake of other foods, including dairy, meats and refined grains and their associated negative nutrients, such as saturated fat and sodium. 

10/19/2021

UC San Diego Study: E-cigarettes Don’t Help Smokers Stay Off Cigarettes
Featuring: John P. Pierce, PhD, and Karen Messer, PhD

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have suggested that smokers who are unable to quit smoking may benefit by switching from smoking cigarettes to vaping e-cigarettes if they switch completely and are able to avoid relapsing to cigarette smoking.

However, there have been few studies on whether smokers are able to transition to e-cigarettes—battery-operated devices that heat a liquid made of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals to make an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs—without relapsing back to cigarette smoking.

Published in the Oct. 19, 2021 online issue of JAMA Network Open, an analysis by the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center reports that e-cigarette use—even on a daily basis—did not help smokers successfully stay off cigarettes.

 

09/13/2021

John and Sally Hood Family Foundation Gives $3 Million to UC San Diego
Featuring: Cheryl A.M. Anderson, PhD, MPH

The John and Sally Hood Family Foundation have given $3 million to establish the Hood Family Endowed Dean’s Chair in Public Health at University of California San Diego. The gift is intended to support excellence in research, education and practice of public health at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego.

Cheryl A.M. Anderson, Ph.D., MPH, founding dean of Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health, has been named the inaugural chair holder. An endowed chair is one of the highest honors that an academic institution can confer upon a faculty member. It recognizes excellence in their research and clinical practice.

09/01/2021
With Time and Without Masks, COVID-19 Vaccines Wane in Protection
Featuring: Nancy Binkin, MD, MPH

In a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine, publishing online September 1, 2021, an interdisciplinary team of physicians and public health experts at University of California San Diego measured the effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines among health workers at UC San Diego Health, most notably during the emergence of the highly transmissible delta virus variant and coincident with the end of the state’s mask mandate, allowing fully vaccinated persons to forgo face coverings in most places.

08/05/2021
Public Health Leaders Urge HPV Immunization in Time for Back to School 
Featuring:
Jesse Nodora, DrPH

As the start of school approaches, local public health leaders are calling on parents to protect children from preventable diseases, in particular the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is responsible for 36,000 new cancer diagnosis each year. 

08/04/2021
Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packaging Changes Perceptions
Featuring: David Strong, PhD, John P. Pierce, PhD, and Karen Messer, PhD

Purchase a pack of cigarettes in Australia and be prepared to be accosted with graphic warning labels depicting the dangers of tobacco use — including images of gangrene of the foot, a newborn with a breathing tube and throat cancer. In a paper published online in JAMA Network Open on Aug. 4, 2021, Strong and colleagues at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, California State University San Marcos, San Diego County Public Health Services, and San Diego State University, demonstrated that graphic warning labels are effective reminders of the negative health consequences of smoking.

 

07/15/2021
Common Medication Used to Reduce Cholesterol Levels May Reduce COVID-19 Severity
Featuring: Karen Messer, PhD

In a new study from University of California San Diego School of Medicine, researchers have confirmed that patients taking statin medications had a 41 percent lower risk of in-hospital death from COVID-19. The findings were published July 15, 2021 in PLOS ONE  and expand upon prior research conducted at UC San Diego Health in 2020.

07/07/2021
How to Reduce Obesity among Latino Children, with Precision
Featuring: Eric Hekler, PhD

As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s newly budgeted California Comeback Plan and the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM), researchers at UC San Diego, led by the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI), will receive approximately $3 million to create a precision, community-based program to address specific health problems related to adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, a term that describes potentially traumatic events that affect children, such as family violence, abuse or neglect.

06/30/2021
UC San Diego Wildfire Experts Directory
Featuring: Tarik Benmarhnia, PhD, MSc, MEng

As California faces wildfire season following drought in much of the state, experts at UC San Diego are available to discuss wildfires, drought, and California climate across an array of topics, including climate science, technology, public health, and economics and policy.

06/03/2021
Social Justice as Part of the Remedy for What Ails Us
Featuring:
 Cinnamon Bloss, PhD

The T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion has opened its newest center, focused on addressing issues of social justice in health care.

In the News

04/25/2022
Commuting To Work Can Be Bad For Your Health, Research Shows. Here’s Why.
Faculty featured: James Sallis, PhD

04/19/2022
Heart Inflammation Very Rare After COVID Vaccination
Faculty featured: Margaret Ryan, MD, MPH

03/30/2022
Eating 2 servings a week of 1 fatty fruit can reduce heart attack risk, study says
Faculty featured: Cheryl A.M. Anderson, PhD, MPH

03/24/2022
White House invites UCSD student to talk about health equity
Student featured: Alec Calac, Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health candidate

03/22/2022
These were the best and worst places for air quality in 2021, new report shows
Faculty featured: Tarik Benmarhnia, PhD, MSc

03/15/2022
Plot Twist: Boring Chores Like Washing Dishes Might Actually Benefit Heart Health
Student featured: Steven Nguyen, PhD, MPH, postdoctoral scholar

03/14/2022
UC San Diego Awarded $38 Million USAID Grant to Improve Global Health Equity
Faculty featured: Holly Shakya, PhD

03/07/2022
AHA News: Break Up Binge-Watching by Taking a Stand
Faculty featured: Andrea LaCroix, PhD, MPH

03/07/2022
E-Cigarettes Are Not Helping People Quit Smoking
Faculty featured: John P. Pierce, PhD

02/28/2022
Social Isolation and Loneliness Linked to Heart Disease
Faculty featured: John Bellettiere, PhD and Natalie Golaszewski, PhD, postdoctoral scholar

02/25/2022
New CDC guidance recommends some communities still wear masks in San Diego County
Faculty featured: Rebecca Fielding-Miller, PhD

02/24/2022
UCSD heart patient beats odds one pedal at a time
Faculty featured: Lori Daniels, MD

02/15/2022
How to Reduce Inflammation in the Body Fast
Faculty featured: Suzi Hong, PhD

02/14/2022
When will CA’s school mask mandate end? Not for at least two more weeks
Faculty featured: Rebecca Fielding-Miller, PhD

02/08/2022
Proposed pay bump for Medicare Advantage could keep market strong
Faculty featured: Richard Kronick, PhD

02/07/2022
Loneliness Can Be Unhealthy Heartbreaker for Older Women
Featuring: John Bellettiere, PhD and Natalie Golaszewski, PhD, postdoctoral scholar

02/07/2022
E-cigarettes were less effective than gum and other nicotine replacement aids, study says
Featuring: John P. Pierce, PhD, and Karen Messer, PhD

02/07/2022
E-cigarettes are NO more effective at helping smokers quit than going cold turkey, study reveals
Featuring: John P. Pierce, PhD, and Karen Messer, PhD

02/03/2022
County officials say virus activity higher than lab-reported cases
Faculty featured: Rebecca Fielding-Miller, PhD

02/03/2022
In-Depth: Data shows omicron surge in San Diego fueled by high case rates, few severe outcomes
Faculty featured: David Bazzo, MD

02/02/2022
Lonely older women at greater risk of heart disease, new research suggests
Faculty featured: John Bellettiere, PhD and Natalie Golaszewski, PhD, postdoctoral scholar

02/01/2022
Fitness trackers are improving our physical health, but what about our mental wellbeing?
Faculty featured: Elizabeth Eikey, PhD

01/14/2022
COLUMN-A quiet experiment is testing broader privatization of U.S. Medicare
Faculty featured: Richard Kronick, PhD

01/04/2022

Some GOP leaders are scornful or silent about booster shots seen as key to fighting omicron
Faculty featured: Richard Garfein, PhD, MPH



For older "In the News' content, visit the News Archives Page

Spotlight

Announcements

Fall 2020
  • Celebration of our 1st Academic Year: Our celebration of the 1st Academic Year in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science was held virtually on October 16th. Learn more. 

  • California COVID Notify Pilot Program: An exposure notification system from Google and Apple has been adopted on campus to help alert individuals when they may have been exposed to COVID-19. UC San Diego is one of the first campuses to participate in this statewide program. Find out more about the program and how to install CA COVID Notify on your phone.

  • Campus Return to Learn Updates: To promote the health and safety of our campus community, staff, students, and faculty are able to:
    • Complete daily screening for symptoms of COVID-19
    • Schedule COVID-19 testing at no-cost
    • Hear routine updates and ask questions at monthly Town HallsPlease continue to maintain physical distancing, wear masks, and proper hygiene.
    • Learn More