NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for January, 2014

Pitt Competition Aims to Solve Health Problems through Patient Engagement

Just as a reality TV show gives contestants an opportunity to share their inventions, the Pitt Innovation Challenge, or PInCH, aims to give scientists and other community members a venue to be creative and develop new answers to the question: “How do we empower individuals to take control of their own health outcomes?”

The University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute(CTSI), in collaboration with the university’s Office of the Provost and the Innovation Institute, is offering $300,000 in funding to three winners and also will provide them with project managers to implement the best ideas.

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New Pitt Public Health Lab Pavilion Builds on History

At yesterday’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s laboratory pavilion, it was a 60-year-old story from Arthur Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor for Pitt’s health sciences, that captivated the standing-room-only crowd of hundreds.
He recalled an experiment conducted by former faculty member Dr. C.C. Li, a noted population geneticist, to select the bricks used for Parran Hall, which was built in the 1950s to house the growing school of public health. Dr. Li had the contractors build several small walls around the construction site to help the builders decide which bricks to use. (more…)

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Is the Polar Vortex Messing With Your Mood?

Feeling a little stir crazy this winter?  You’re not alone, says Dr. Dorothy Sit, assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and researcher at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.

Approximately 14 percent of U.S. adults suffer from seasonal mood changes – the “winter blues” – with 6 percent suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  SAD can be related to the shortened length of daylight and the longer periods of darkness we experience in the winter. Also, having a pre-existing risk for depression, plus added stressors from seasonal job loss or holidays, can contribute to a depressed mood.

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UPMC CancerCenter One of First in Country to Use New Cyberknife

UPMC CancerCenter radiation oncologists have begun to treat cancer patients with the newest generation CyberKnife® System, a radiosurgery system with the ability to more precisely shape radiation beams to the form of tumors, maximize dose delivered while also keeping surrounding healthy tissue intact and dramatically decrease the length of treatments.

Known as the M6, the newest generation Cyberknife System is being used at the Mary Hillman Jennings Radiation Oncology Center at UPMC Shadyside. It’s one of five currently in use in the U.S. (more…)

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Nutrition and Cancer: Celebrating Healthy Weight Week

This week marks Healthy Weight Week, a time to celebrate healthy living habits that include eating nutritiously and being active.
A healthy diet is important for every person, and especially for cancer patients. Regular exercise and nutritious foods have shown to lower the chance of developing many cancers. It also may benefit patients during and after treatment.

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