Faculty News and NotesDECEMBER 19, 2008
Several CCEB faculty have appeared in the news recently. A brief summary dating from late Sept. follows in alphabetical order.Kurt Barnhart, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, CCEB Senior Scholar, and Director of Clinical Research for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was interviewed by CBS3 TV's Eyewitness News on the 17th of November. In response to questions about a new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that cites a two- to four-fold increased risk of developing birth defects in babies conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART) as opposed to naturally conceived children, Dr. Barnhart stressed that the overall risk associated with ART is still relatively low (about 1 – 3%). The text of the interview can be read at the above link.
§Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, CCEB Senior Scholar, and Director of the Ambulatory Drug Use & Effects Program, was quoted on the 10th of October in an article by the Associated Press in which he questioned the rationale for the FDA setting 4 years old as the age limit for recommending cough and cold remedies even though several pediatricians had requested banning such medications for anyone under the age of six. Dr. Hennessy suggested that there is a lack of evidence to show that these drugs are even effective for children under 12 years old. The AP story was disseminated online through MSNBC as well as other media outlets. Dr. Hennessy was also quoted in The New York Times on the 11th of December in an article about the vote of an FDA panel to ban the asthma drugs Serevent and Foradil. In citing problems associated with Advair and the nearly $8 billion in revenue earned from the drug, Dr. Hennessy, a member of the FDA panel, called for GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of Advair, to initiate a large safety study of this asthma medication that, along with Symbicort, the FDA panel recommended for continued usage.
§Joshua Metlay, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, CCEB Senior Scholar, was quoted in an article published by UPI.com on the 27th of October. As the lead author of "Patient reported receipt of medication instructions for warfarin is associated with reduced risk of serious bleeding events," published in the October issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Metlay suggested that improving communication about medications increases drug adherence as well as the likelihood of earlier recognition of drug side effects. Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD, A. Russell Localio, JD, PhD, Xiaoyan Han, MS, Wei Yang, MS, Abigail Cohen, PhD, Charles E. Leonard, PharmD, Kevin Haynes, PharmD, Stephen E. Kimmel, MD, MSCE, Harold I. Feldman, MD, MSCE, and Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH, contributed to the article.
Jesse M. Pines, MD, MBA, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at HUP, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, CCEB Senior Scholar, Associate Director, Division of Emergency Care Policy and Research Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Fellow, Institute of Aging, University of Pennsylvania, was quoted on December 8th in The New York Times article, "Uninsured Put a Strain on Hospitals." In a story that focused on the systemic burdens of widespread increases in the number of patients – uninsured as well as insured with minimal access to a regular doctor – visiting emergency rooms on an annual basis, Dr. Pines said, "Crowding is a national public health problem."
Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, CCEB Senior Scholar, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times in the article "Cancer patients are making their bodies strong again," published on the 20th of October. Discussing the exercise routines of some cancer patients, Dr. Schmitz noted, "This is a population that is not unlike people who have cardiac disease – they have a damaged body system that can be helped by exercise."
Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania SOM, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and CCEB Senior Scholar, accepted the position of Chief of the General Internal Medicine Division in the Department of Medicine, effective December 1, 2008. Dr. Armstrong, who is also Associate Director of the Abramson Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, will succeed Solomon Katz Professor of General Medicine Sankey Williams in the post as head of the division.
Joseph Gallo, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Family Practice and Community Medicine, University of Pennsylvania SOM, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, and CCEB Senior Scholar, received the Steve Bank Award for Mentoring on the 27th of October in San Diego, CA at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Gallo was acknowledged for his demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentorship and, in particular, sharing his time and experience to those he mentors in order to help them attain their professional as well as personal goals.
Joshua Metlay, MD, PhD, was one of two School of Medicine recipients of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, which was created with help from the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation in 1961 to acknowledge highly rated teaching at the University of Pennsylvania as assessed by students. Dr. Metlay received this award in April, and was featured in the University of Pennsylvania Almanac, which the CCEB Newsletter is acknowledging belatedly, with apologies.
Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Reduction Program Leader, Abramson Cancer Center, Director, Center for Genetics and Complex Traits, Director, Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, and CCEB Senior Scholar, received the Potamkin Award at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Annual Conference on the 8th of October. Dr. Rebbeck was acknowledged for his research on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 as well as non-BRCA cancers.
Dr. Rebbeck was also recently appointed as Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, is the 2008 recipient of the Marjorie A. Bowman New Investigator Research Award, which was established in 2006 to annually recognize a junior faculty member for research that has shed light on a fundamental clinical problem or enhanced health care organization and delivery. Dr. Schmitz has been acknowledged for publishing in 2005 the first ever meta-analysis on the effects of exercise on various outcomes in cancer survivors. She has continued to focus on improving the health of cancer survivors and, in the process, committed to expanding the awareness among oncologists of the importance of exercise for cancer patients and survivors.
Thomas Ten Have, PhD, MPH, Professor of Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania SOM, CCEB Senior Scholar, is the 2008 recipient of the Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award, which was established in 1996 in memory of Samuel P. Martin, III, MD, former professor of medicine, executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and chair of the Health Care Systems Unit of the Wharton School. The award recognizes a faculty member of the School of Medicine for a body of work, particularly in health services research, conducted primarily at Penn during the last five years.