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University of Rochester Lactation Research Consortium

Several PHS faculty are members of a newly launched University of Rochester Lactation Research Consortium that brings together researchers from across the translational continuum. Drs. Todd Jusko, Camille Martina and Ann Dozier join faculty collaborators from Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Environmental Medicine, Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology, Neonatology and OB/GYN in this endeavor.

University of Rochester Lactation Research Consortium

Congratulations to Edwin van Wijngaarden, PhD

Dr. Edwin van Wijngaarden has been selected to receive the 2018 Graduate Alumni Award!

The award will be presented to Edwin at the School of Medicine and Dentistry Convocation Ceremony on Thursday, September 6th at 4:00pm in the Class of 1962 Auditorium.

University of Rochester newest member of ASPPH

ASPPH is the voice of accredited academic public health, representing schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) is a 501c3 membership organization located in Washington, DC.

Our mission is to strengthen the capacity of members by advancing leadership, excellence, and collaboration for academic public health. Our members are CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health as well as schools and programs in applicant status for CEPH-accreditation.

Congratulations 2017-2018 Graduates

Congratulations to Chelsea Katz and Alina Denham!

Congratulations to HSRP PhD students Chelsea Katz and Alina Denham for their awards at the 2018 annual conference of the Upstate Chapters of the American Statistical Association Chelsea received a bronze medal best student research award in theory and methodology. Alina received young scientific leader award.

In Memoriam: Stephen J. Kunitz »

The emeritus professor of Public Health Sciences, who served as the department's acting chair from 1994 to 1997, passed away April 5. He had a distinguished and prolific academic career during which he authored many acclaimed books and papers and mentored many graduate students.

Public Health Sciences Faculty and Students in the Spotlight

18th Annual Saward-Berg Honorary Lecture

The Department of Public Health Sciences is pleased to announce that this year’s Saward-Berg Honorary Lecture titled “The uses of Hippocratic epidemiology” will be delivered by Albert Hofman, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized scientific leader in the epidemiology of common neurologic and vascular diseases, particularly dementia and stroke. This annual event will be held on Friday, April 6th, 2018, from 10.30-11.50 am in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Registration is not required to attend this event.  All are welcome to attend!

International Partners in Seychelles Study Gather in Rochester


Congratulations to Wei Song on having two!! abstracts accepted to AcademyHealth for oral presentation!

  • Fewer Falls after Antihypertensive Drug De-Intensification in VHA Community Living Centers.
  • Evaluating the Impact of VHA COACH Program

Congratulations to Huiwen Xu on having an abstract concocted last minute and very well done accepted to AcademyHealth for oral presentation!

  • Impact of States’ Medicaid Spending on HCBS and Nursing Home Reimbursement Rates on Successful Discharge of SNF Residents to Community.

Congratulations to Zhiqiu Ye for having one abstract accepted to AcademyHealth for oral presentation and another for poster presentation!

  • Oral presentation: Impact of Hospital Share of Nursing Home-Originating Hospitalizations on 30-Day Risk Adjusted CMS Hospital Readmission Rates.
  • Poster presentation: Do Hospitals Serving Nursing Homes with Better Quality Experience Lower 30-Day Readmission Rates?

Deborah J. Ossip, PhD

In recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of Nicotine and Tobacco Research, the Board of Directors of The Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco congratulates Deborah J. Ossip, PhD for being named an SRNT Fellow.  Fellows are listed at

Helena Temkin-Greener, PhD received the Weiler Award

At the annual meeting of the APHA,  Helena Temkin-Greener, PhD received the Weiler Award for Leadership in Aging and Public Health. This is an award from the Aging and Public Health Section of the APHA which, according to a statement from the APHA “recognizes the best of past and present leadership concerned with ensuring the highest quality of life for our older population. Recipients are individuals and organizations who have provided leadership in the field of genrontological health, and include, but are not limited to, public officials, policy-makers, practitioners, teachers, and researchers."


New Study will Explore Air Pollution’s Impact on the Developing Fetus

The new $2.49 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-sponsored study will be led by David Rich, Sc.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Public Health Sciences, and Jim Zhang, Ph.D., with Duke University.

AnnaLynn Williams, a doctoral candidate in Epidemiology, received a F99/K00 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Transition Award from the National Cancer Institute.

Ms. Williams will examine the potential impact of cancer treatment and inflammation on cancer-related cognitive impairment and other psychosocial symptoms. This award will provide a pre- and post-doctoral translational and multidisciplinary research training experience for Ms. Williams, who intends to pursue a career in cancer survivorship research that addresses questions of direct clinical relevance using an innovative research paradigm that combines public health, clinical, and basic science approaches. This is of emerging importance as the number of cancer survivors is expected to reach 18 million by 2022. Ms. Williams primary co-mentors are Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D. and Michelle Janelsins, Ph.D. (Divisions of Epidemiology and Cancer Control and Survivorship respectively); in addition she is mentored by Christopher Seplaki, Ph.D. (Division of Epidemiology)  and Clive Zent, M.D. (Dept. of Hematology/Oncology).


  • Rochester will create a new coordinating center for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program with funding from the National Institutes of Health. The new Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration will coordinate over 50 of the nation’s top biomedical research institutes, including the University’s own Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Read more…   

Medical Center to Lead State-Funded Breastfeeding Initiative 

The Medical Center is embarking on a five-year initiative to encourage more mothers in high-need areas of Monroe County to breastfeed exclusively at the beginning of a child’s life. Read more…

Yue Li, PhD, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Editor in Chief for Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology (HSORM), was recently interviewed by CNBC and by Reuters Health for a recent study he and his colleagues published in the 2017 July issue of Health Affairs. This study examined racial disparity in hospital readmissions among Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare beneficiaries undergoing one of several surgical procedures.

Link to the Reuters Health report:


Public Health Sciences is celebrating the 2017 PhD graduating class as one of it's largest, see 2017 Graduates for list of all graduates


Peter Veazie, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences,  has recently published a new book titled “What Makes Variables Random: Probability for the Applied Researcher.”  This book provides an introduction to the foundations of probability that underlie the statistical analyses used in applied research. By explaining the structure of probability in terms of measure theory, it gives the applied researchers a conceptual framework to guide statistical modeling and analysis, and to better understand and interpret results.   It is intended to augment existing calculus-based textbooks on probability and statistics and is specifically targeted to researchers and advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the applied research fields of the social sciences, psychology, and health and healthcare sciences.

 Related sites of interest below:


17th Annual Saward-Berg Honorary Lecture was held on March 29th, 2017, R. Tamara Konetzka, PhD presented “Two Decades of Nursing Home Compare: What Have We Learned.   Events Saward-Berg Lecture


Amina Alio, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences, has been awarded the J. William Fulbright Scholarship grant to study HIV among women (sex workers) in Niger.


Deborah J. Ossip, PhD, Professor, Director Smoking Research Program, has been appointed to the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC)


Scott Steele, PhD, Director of the CTSI Regulatory Science Core has been selected to serve on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Science Board.  The Board provides advice to the Commissioner and other FDA offcials, exploring issues from gene editing or regulation of opioids to food safety, and aims to help the FDA keep pace with technical and scientific developments.


AAMC Taps URMC for National Community Health and Equity Initiative. Theresa Green, PHD, MBA, spearheaded the proposal which led to URMC being selected as just one of eight institutions chosen by the Association of American Medical Colleges to join the collaboration, which will map our community health activities, evaluate their impacts, help us share best practices and foster the development of targeted actions.


Ashley Holub, PhD student of Public Health Sciences received 3rd place honors in the National Lipid Association Young Investigator Competition for an abstract entitled: The Effects of Aspirin in Combination with EPA and DHA on HDL Cholesterol and ApoA1 Exchange in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


Xi Cen, PhD student of Public Health Sciences, has been selected as a recipient of the student travel award from Academy Health.  Xi will present "Medicare Bundled Payments for Post-Acute Care", a research paper with Yue Li, PhD and Helena Temkin-Greener, PhD at the 2017 Academy Health Long Term Services and Supports Interest Group meeting on June 24 in New Orleans


Deborah Ossip, PhD, Elected President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.


Todd Jusko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, was awarded a one year research contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall objective of the project is to examine the relationship between in utero and postnatal blood lead concentrations and children's immune system function.  


Robert Block, MD, MPH, was awarded a 2-year research grant from the international Atherosclerosis Society and Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation.  The overall goal is to partner with patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (a genetic disease that causes very premature heart attacks and strokes) and physicians in order to build and test educational/motivational information about this disease within the University of Rochester's electronic health record.


Helena Temkin-Greener, PhD was awarded a two-year research grant from the Donaghue Foundation.  The overall goal of the research project is to develop process and outcome-based measures of care quality for nursing home residents with mental health and behavioral disorders, and to explain variations in these measures across facilities and regions/states. Locally, findings will provide a benchmark performance measure for nursing homes participating in the NYS Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.


Kelly Thevenet-Morrison, M.S., Lead Programmer Analyst in the Department of Public Health Sciences, awarded Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher award at the Opening Convocation for the School of Medicine & Dentistry on September 8, 2016.


Ann M. Dozier, PhD, Professor Public Health Sciences, in the Center for Community Health, and of Clinical Nursing, named Albert David Kaiser Chair of Public Health Sciences at the Opening Convocation for the School of Medicine & Dentistry on September 8, 2016.


Hayley Martin, MD-PhD student in Epidemiology received a student scholarship to attend the 2016 Family Medicine Education Consortium Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.  This meeting is aimed at family medicine physicians, residents and medical students in the north east interested in "improving the health of the community by strengthening Family Medicine / Primary Care services and medical education."


Dr. Diana Fernandez, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences, is assuming the co-chair position of the Latino Health Coalition convened by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency


Yareni Sime, a University of Rochester rising junior and Scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, was hosted this summer by Dr. Ann Dozier and her team that is studying infant feeding, health and safety. Ms. Sime's summer research project was entitled Suboptimal Infant Feeding Practices Among Hispanic/Latino Women in Monroe County.


Todd Jusko, PhD and Kelly Thevenet-Morrison paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives


Todd Jusko, PhD, Division of Epidemiology and Lead Programmer Analyst Kelly Thevenet-Morrison, reported poorer responses to infant BCG vaccination amongst infants with higher PCB and DDT exposures in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.


Yue Li, PhD awarded grant from the Donaghue Foundation

Yue Li, working with the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency,  has received a grant from the Donahue Foundation to reduce avoidable transfers from nursing homes to hospitals.  Click here for further information.


2016 Graduating Class

We had 22 total graduates this year: 1 Epidemiology PHD, 17 Masters’ in Public Health, 3 Masters’ in Clinical Investigation and 1 Masters in Health Services Research and Policy. Congratulations to all of our graduates!


Sean Frey, Ann Dozier and Jim Dolan

Sean Frey, Ann Dozier and Jim Dolan

Sean Frey Wins Emeritus Award

Congratulations to Sean Frey, MD, MPH winner of this year's Emeritus Award given to students who have conducted an outstanding research project while obtaining a Master's degree.


Ann Dozier Inducted into American Academy of Nursing

October 2015.  Ann Dozer, Ph.D. was selected as one of 163 nurse leaders to be inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for 2015. Academy fellows represent all 50 states, District of Columbia, and 24 countries and include government and hospital administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers. 


Amir Abdolahi's Research Sheds Light on Addiction

September 8, 2015.  Amir Abdolahi, Ph.D., M.P.H. headed a pair of studies that suggests that the insular cortex region of the brain may play a key role in addition.  Dr. Abdolahi's research is described in URMC's Newsroom.


Deborah Ossip Interviewed 

In August, 2015, Deborah Ossip, Ph.D., Director of the URMC Smoking Research Program, appeared on multiple news outlets, including Good Day Rochester, MedPage Today (8/18/15 and 10/2/15) to talk about a recent e-cigarette study published in JAMA that links teen use of e-cigarettes with future cigarette use.  Dr. Ossip is also President Elect for the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco and Associate Editor of the Journal of Smoking Cessation.