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Old and new pandemics — Our impact

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Investing in health systems may stem Ebola outbreak

A broad humanitarian response that includes investments in health care staff, medical resources, and health systems is more likely to be effective in halting the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and creating sustainable models for responding to future infectious disease outbreaks…

Improving cancer care around the world

With cancer now the leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries, it’s important to urge leaders around the world to address global disparities in cancer care, according to health economist Felicia Knaul. Knaul, director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative and…

‘Multiple failures’ in handling of first U.S. Ebola patient

Health officials’ handling of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. appeared to involve “literally multiple failures,” according to Harvard School of Public Health’s Ashish Jha. Jha, professor of health policy and management, was quoted in an October 3, 2014 New…

Ebola epidemic is stoppable

The Ebola epidemic is stoppable—if health professionals use procedures that are known to be effective in quelling such outbreaks, and by widening the international response to Ebola in West Africa, according to Atul Gawande. Writing in The New Yorker on October 3,…

Ebola’s disastrous effects could ramp up significantly

West African nations like Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia could suffer exponentially more disastrous effects from the Ebola virus if the international response to the epidemic isn’t improved, according to a panel of experts speaking Sept. 23, 2014 at Harvard University’s Barker…

Premature deaths could be reduced by 40%

The number of premature deaths worldwide could be reduced by 40% by 2030 with political commitment and sustained international efforts, according to a new study in The Lancet. The study suggests that half of all deaths under age 50 and a third…

Predicting Ebola’s spread using cell phone data

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) epidemiologist Caroline Buckee and her team are using cell phone data to track travel patterns across West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic. Such data—including unique cell phone “pings” from cell phone towers—can show where…

Ebola containment requires international collaboration

Pardis Sabeti, associate professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health and senior associate member of the Broad Institute, supervised a recent study that traced the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone to 14 women who attended…

Ebola epidemic could lead to broader humanitarian crisis

The rush to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa is not only about saving lives, it’s also about keeping the epidemic from growing into a broader humanitarian crisis, according to a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) panel that included two Harvard…

Outbreak of Ebola virus in Sierra Leone traced to funeral

Ebola spread to Sierra Leone via fourteen women who attended a funeral in Guinea and carried the virus back to Sierra Leone, researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, together with colleagues from West Africa, revealed in a study published August…

Ebola epidemic in U.S. unlikely

While Ebola continues to spread in West Africa, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials call the risk of an outbreak in the United States very low. Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Professor Michael VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian…

Ebola outbreak: African officials join Harvard experts to strategize

Harvard-affiliated experts in humanitarian disaster response recently met with officials from African countries affected by the current Ebola outbreak to discuss strategies for easing the crisis. Convened by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the August 14, 2014 session, held at the Radcliffe Institute’s…

HIV/AIDS: Promising prevention method

In the years since a 2011 study found that early treatment with antiretroviral drugs could reduce HIV transmission between couples in which one partner has the virus and the other does not, “Treatment as Prevention” (TasP) has become a major focus for…

Malaria parasite can hide in bone marrow

Parasites that transmit the deadliest form of malaria are able to hide in their host’s bone marrow during development. A research team led by Matthias Marti, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard School of Public Health, is the first…

Widely used HIV drug linked to higher suicide risk

People infected with HIV whose treatment includes the widely used antiretroviral drug efavirenz appear to have double the risk of suicidal thoughts, attempts, and completion compared to HIV patients not taking the medication, according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health…

Experiments with potential pandemic flu strains pose deadly risk

In the wake of the recent accidental exposure of at least 75 workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to anthrax, Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) [[Marc Lipsitch]] argues that experiments aimed at creating deadly pathogens—particularly those that could…

Influenza forecasting system wins prize from CDC

A new system for predicting seasonal peaks of influenza in cities across the U.S., developed by a team of scientists including Marc Lipsitch of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), has won first place out of 11 teams in the Centers for…

Talking the talk on vaccines

June 23, 2014 —  Recent disease outbreaks have been traced to deliberately unvaccinated Americans—and anti-vaccine sentiment is a serious health concern. Barry Bloom, an infectious diseases expert at Harvard School of Public Health, thinks health care providers need better strategies—based on solid…

Infection in malaria-transmitting mosquito discovered

Finding could lead to new strategies for malaria control For immediate release: June 6, 2014 Boston, MA – Researchers have found the first evidence of an intercellular bacterial infection in natural populations of two species of Anopheles mosquitoes, the major vectors of…

A passion for science—and fighting malaria

May 22, 2014 -- Before Perrine Marcenac even enrolled at Harvard School of Public Health, the institution changed her life. During an interview for the PhD Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health, Marcenac found herself fascinated by her faculty interviewers’ work…

Bird flu experiments pose risk of accidental release

Research in mammals that aims to prevent future influenza pandemics raises ethical, public health concerns For immediate release: May 20, 2014 Boston, MA — Experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from…

High blood pressure top risk factor in heart disease deaths

High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) around the world, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. The report provides a global view of how blood pressure, cholesterol,…

Screening childhood cancer survivors for heart problems

Simulations find improved outcomes but suggest less frequent screening may be as beneficial For immediate release: May 19, 2014 Boston, MA — One of the first studies to analyze the effectiveness of screening survivors of childhood cancer for early signs of impending…

Students raise malaria awareness with flash mobs

Harvard’s Defeating Malaria initiative, spearheaded by Harvard School of Public Health, sponsored a student-led event called “Mob Malaria” in commemoration of World Malaria Day on April 25. Two hundred students gathered in the Science Center Plaza to participate in a synchronized flash…

Global child TB infection estimates doubled

Approximately one million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually, with 32,000 suffering from a multi-drug resistant (MDR) strain, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers and colleagues. These findings are double previous childhood TB estimates. The study,…

MRSA spreads to the barnyard

From farm animals to family pets, the deadly bacteria may lurk where you least expect it March 20, 2014—If you think the drug-resistant infectious bacteria MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is just a hospital or nursing home problem—think again. In recent years the stealth-like…

Rethinking HIV prevention

Daniel Halperin, Lecturer on International Health, on why HIV prevention strategies need a fresh look. (May 2008, 18:46) Please click the player icon above to play this podcast in your browser. Alternatively, you may download the podcast in mp3 format by right-clicking…

AIDS in 1982: Buried in the back pages

August, 1982. Robin Herman, who is currently assistant dean for research communications at HSPH, was then a metro reporter for The New York Times. She was assigned to cover a cluster of cases in New York City of a frightening new disease primarily afflicting…

New findings in battle against drug-resistant tuberculosis

Sarah Fortune, Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases, on why some people infected with some "bad actor" strains of M. tuberculosis are at very high risk of getting drug resistant TB, regardless of whether they…

Youth born with HIV appear at increased risk for heart disease

About 50% of adolescents born HIV-positive may be at increased risk for heart disease, including stroke and heart attack, later in life, according to a National Institutes of Health study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. While previous studies…

TB, HIV targeted by student researchers

February 18, 2014 — When people who have been cured of tuberculosis (TB) re-develop the disease, are they relapsing or fighting a new strain? How often should HIV/AIDS patients be tested to see if antiretroviral treatment is working? These questions are being…

Role of lung lesions in tuberculosis explored

For years scientists have sought to unravel the mystery of why about 90% of people infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), remain symptom-free for years, while the remaining 10% become sick and may die. A December 15, 2013…

Paving the way to the polio vaccine

The iron lung, invented by HSPH’s Philip Drinker in 1928, pulled thousands of polio sufferers back from the brink of death. But with polio still ravaging the world, scientists in the 1930s and 1940s were frantically working on a polio vaccine. The…

Polio

[Winter 2009] Remembering the late HSPH Nobel Laureate, Thomas Weller As the polio virus swept across the United States in 1948, 32-year-old Thomas Weller was logging long hours in a Harvard Medical School laboratory, working to develop a new way to culture…

TB superstrains

[ Fall 2008 ] Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis is research focus Covering 200 square kilometers of arid scrubland in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province, the rural district of Tugela Ferry seems to swallow its inhabitants, its parched mountain ridges shutting out the world beyond. Within the…

Happiness & health

[ Winter 2011] The biology of emotion—and what it may teach us about helping people to live longer Could a sunny outlook mean fewer colds and less heart disease? Do hope and curiosity somehow protect against hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections? Do…

When infection won't quit

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] TB, AIDS, and malaria are finding new ways to resist treatment Recent headlines paint an insidious trend in infectious disease. In San Francisco, 60 percent of new HIV infections are drug resistant. In Europe and the U.S., a deadly new form of tuberculosis —…

Where DNA meets daily life

[Fall 2010] The intersection of genes and the environment is the new target of public health research. Red hair is a genetically determined trait. And when redheads with Celtic roots move to sun-drenched countries near the equator, their risk of skin cancer…

HIV/AIDS studies in Africa

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] The School’s fieldwork in HIV/AIDS, which has received support from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH, and other private philanthropists, is concentrated in three…

Chasing epidemics in real time

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] As the AIDS epidemic tragically demonstrated, public health has usually been a step behind infections on the run. But today, with sophisticated molecular and communications tools, practitioners can virtually keep up stride for stride with emerging epidemics. In…

Infectious diseases & pandemics

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Today, noncommunicable diseases account for two-thirds of all deaths globally. But in low-income nations, three largely preventable infectious diseases—lower respiratory infections, diarrheal infections, and HIV/AIDS—are the leading killers, with malaria, tuberculosis, and neonatal infections close behind. And as…

One man's stand against HIV/AIDS

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] When the Botswana–Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) was launched in 1996, the official goal was collaborative research and training between the Republic of Botswana and the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative. But for Dichaba Siane—a 40-year-old…

AIDS at 30: Hard lessons and hope

[ Spring/Summer 2011 ] Thirty years after the first official reports about HIV/AIDS, we look back on the human devastation and forward to a changed social landscape. The infection has killed more people so far than has any other discrete epidemic, except…

A boost for gene-based malaria research

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] A two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, totaling nearly $833,000, will help boost research at Harvard School of Public Health aimed at identifying the genes in red blood cells essential for the malaria parasite to survive. Manoj Duraisingh, associate…

Carrying on the quest for an HIV vaccine

Donald Francis, SD ’79, has been in the front lines of the battle against AIDS since 1981 and was one of the first scientists to suggest that the then-mysterious disease was caused by an infectious agent. In the early 1980s, Francis directed…

Shrinking the effects of the obesity epidemic

[ Winter 2011] If we can’t stop Americans from getting heavier, can we at least develop drugs that prevent them from getting sick with obesity-related diseases? The research career of Gökhan Hotamisligil, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Genetics and…

Cancer is on the rise in developing countries

[Fall 2009] by Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD Dean, Harvard School of Public Health While it's well known that cancer is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, what is less recognized and understood is the significant growth of cancer in the developing…

Obesity in China portends a diabetic disaster

[ Spring 2009 ] Like a runaway train, type 2 diabetes is speeding through many rapidly developing countries, including China. Could a seemingly simple change in diet—from white rice to brown rice—slow the spread of this disease? Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) hope…

Returning home, with a plan to thwart killer TB

[ Fall 2011 ] In Kenya’s arid Wajir district, across the border from Somalia, attending school is not a given. Though some children learn to read while sitting on the floor in crowded classrooms or gathered on the dusty red ground under…

Why do we age? Surprising revelations from a worm

[ Fall 2012 ] HSPH’s Will Mair hopes his work in worms will identify molecules that have an effect on aging-related diseases—and which could ultimately be tested as treatments for humans. “How old you are is immutable—you can’t change how old an…

Tracking the long-term effects of lifesaving drugs

For more than 20 years, George Seage, associate professor of epidemiology, has explored the behavioral and biological aspects of HIV transmission. In September 2010, he received an $82.2 million, five-year grant—the second-largest award to the School, after the federal PEPFAR grant—to study two…

The cost of South Africa's misguided AIDS policies

[ Spring 2009 ] The human cost of South Africa's misguided AIDS policies AIDS activists and researchers argued for years that the negligent HIV/AIDS policies of former South African President Thabo Mbeki were causing a massive, unconscionable loss of human life. Now, thanks to the doctoral…

HSPH investigators help lead H1N1 research and response

[Fall 2009] Catching the flu before it catches the world As a new influenza pandemic this spring set off alarms in the global health community, Harvard School of Public Health scholars helped illuminate the crisis and lead a practical response. In a…

Unlocking the secrets of drug resistance in malaria parasites

[ Fall 2011 ] New Gene Search Tool Opens “Endless Possibilities” During a half-century of global efforts to conquer malaria, scientists have developed a series of antimalarial drugs, only to see them defanged, one by one, by the shape-shifting parasite’s ability to…

Strengthening health systems to address New Challenge Diseases (NCDs)

[ Fall 2011 ] Reframing a Public Health Acronym In September 2011, the United Nations General Assembly is holding a High-Level Meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In the following essay, Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the Harvard Global…

Value of mammography questioned in large new study

A large new study suggests that mammograms may not save more women’s lives than physical breast exams alone, and in fact may lead to unnecessary treatment of small breast cancers that would likely pose no harm. The Canadian study, published February 11,…

Low vitamin D levels may increase risk of type 1 diabetes

For immediate release: February 3, 2013 Boston, MA – Having adequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may reduce the risk of adult-onset type 1 diabetes by as much as 50%, according to researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).…

Sleep may protect against prostate cancer

Men who sleep well at night may be at less risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, according to researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. In a study led by Sarah Markt, a doctoral…

Men with prostate cancer more likely to die from other causes

Study Suggests Prostate Cancer Management Should Emphasize Healthy Lifestyle Changes Boston, MA – Men diagnosed with prostate cancer are less likely to die from the disease than from largely preventable conditions such as heart disease, according to a new study from Harvard…

New molecular target for malaria control identified

Blocking egg development in malaria mosquito could reduce transmission of the disease For immediate release: October 29, 2013 Boston, MA – A new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of Perugia (UNIPG) researchers has shown that egg…

HSPH efforts in Africa helped lead to decade of success against AIDS

Government-funded program known as PEPFAR allowed School to scale up efforts February 11, 2013 -- The largest public health initiative in history dedicated to a single disease was announced unexpectedly during President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address in 2003:…

Multivitamin-selenium combo may delay ill health, mortality from AIDS

December 4, 2013 -- A new study co-authored by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) suggests that a special multivitamin preparation that includes selenium can significantly slow the progression to ill health or death in people with HIV infection. The…

Harvard AIDS Initiative: The Movie

November 2013 -- What starts as a story of death and ignorance becomes a chronicle of discovery and success. To mark its 25th anniversary, the Harvard AIDS Initiative created a short video outlining major accomplishments and the work that remains to be…

End to 30-year war against AIDS in sight

Boston, MA -- Thirty years, 30 million deaths and 60 million infections after HIV appeared, medical researchers now have the tools to halt the deadly epidemic. "We have the weapons to win the war against AIDS," says [[Richard G. Marlink]], M.D., Executive…

The dance of the cells: A minuet or a mosh?

For immediate release: May 22, 2011 Boston, MA – The physical forces that guide how cells migrate—how they manage to get from place to place in a coordinated fashion inside the living body— are poorly understood. Scientists at the Harvard School of…

Genetic variants associated with vitamin B12

For immediate release: September 7, 2008 Boston, MA - Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and their collaborators at Tufts University and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have identified a common genetic influence on B12 vitamin levels in the…

Using cell phone data to curb the spread of malaria

For immediate release: Thursday, October 11, 2012 Boston, MA — New research that combines cell phone data from 15 million people in Kenya with detailed information on the regional incidence of malaria has revealed, on the largest scale so far, how human…

Positive feelings may help protect cardiovascular health

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 Boston, MA – Over the last few decades numerous studies have shown negative states, such as depression, anger, anxiety, and hostility, to be detrimental to cardiovascular health. Less is known about how positive psychological characteristics…

Exercise may lower risk of death for men with prostate cancer

For immediate release: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 Boston, MA – A new study of men with prostate cancer finds that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of overall mortality and of death due to prostate cancer. The Harvard School of…

Researchers identify genes causing antimalarial drug resistance

For immediate release: Thursday, April 21, 2011 Boston, MA -- Using a pair of powerful genome-search techniques, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard University, and the Broad Institute have identified several genes that may be implicated in the…

Rethinking Research Biosafety for Potential Pandemic Pathogens

October 2012 -- Laboratory-modified, highly virulent strains of the H5N1 virus were recently developed in such a way that they can be passed from one mammal to another (ferrets), suggesting that the new and potentially dangerous strain might easily be transferrable between…

Vaccinating boys against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) not cost-effective

Cervical Cancer Prevention Efforts Should Prioritize Vaccinating Pre-Adolescent Girls and Continued Cervical Cancer Screening For immediate release: Thursday, October 8, 2009 Boston, MA -- Persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus, is known to be a…

2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza: Perspectives on severity and response

December 2010 -- Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology, gives a presentation earlier this year about the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, discussing the challenges faced by public health professionals and the lessons learned to more effectively handle a similar outbreak in the future. (49:13)

How liver ‘talks’ to muscle: A well-timed, coordinated conversation

For immediate release: Monday, October 23, 2013 Boston, MA – A major collaborative research effort involving scientists at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Harvard University has uncovered a novel signal mechanism that controls how fat…

World AIDS Day 2012

November 30, 2012 -- Since the early 1980s, HSPH researchers have made fundamental discoveries about HIV/AIDS and worked on the frontlines of the disease. In 1983, Max Essex provided key evidence that the infection is caused by a retrovirus; two years later, he co-discovered the…

Closing the cancer divide

October 2, 2012 -- A young Rwandan girl named Claudine is one of the lucky ones. In 2005, after months of seeking a diagnosis for leg pain, she was introduced to a physician from Boston-based Partners In Health (PIH) who diagnosed her…

Painting a picture of older Africans

October 11, 2013 -- A large new study led by the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (the Pop Center) aims to shed light on how people in Sub-Saharan Africa are faring as they age, given that both infectious and non-infectious…

Malaria resurgence concerns researchers

A resurgence of malaria in parts of Africa is raising questions about whether current control mechanisms are failing. It could be, some researchers say, that mosquitoes are becoming resistant to the insecticide used on bed nets. Or that people are losing their…

Does mammography screening save lives?

September 13, 2012 -- Over the past 40 years, many have come to view mammography screening as the “gold standard” for early breast cancer detection. But a number of recent studies have cast doubt on its benefits. Some suggest that decreased breast…

HSPH hosts HIV/AIDS panel on World AIDS Day

World AIDS Days is observed each year on December 1. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the AIDS pandemic and paying tribute to the millions of people who have died or suffer from the disease. First observed in 1988,…

Novel malaria research wins Gates funding

November 18, 2011 Research at the Harvard School of Public Health that could play a key role in the development of a new malaria drugs has received new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The work could also lead to…

Gestational diabetes: The diagnosis debate

August 9, 2013 — Gestational diabetes—diabetes that women develop while pregnant—can lead to serious health problems for both babies and mothers. Babies can be born too large or have birth injuries. Mothers can face greater risk of needing a cesarean delivery. For…

Jamie Oliver receives 2012 Healthy Cup Award

May 23, 2012 Television personality, food activist, and internationally acclaimed chef Jamie Oliver received Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Healthy Cup Award on May 22, 2012 at a packed ceremony at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center in Boston. More than…

Prostate cancer: To screen or not to screen?

August 20, 2013 — For the past 25 years, a prostate cancer screening test called Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) has offered the hope of reducing deaths from prostate cancer by catching the disease early when cure is possible. But recent findings have raised…

Study digs into secrets of keeping HIV in check

Certain HIV-infected patients — about one in every 200 to 300 — are able to resist the AIDS virus for years. It appears these people have immune system cells that are better able to detect and kill HIV-infected cells, according to a…

The staggering toll of noncommunicable diseases

October 29, 2013 — Chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, are the leading cause of death worldwide, with the burden falling heaviest in low- and middle-income countries. A new article by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers outlines the…

Study finds early treatment may delay onset of AIDS

New findings suggest that HIV-infected patients may delay the onset of AIDS by starting drug therapy earlier while their immune systems are stronger. Researchers including Lauren Cain, a research fellow at HSPH, recommend that patients start treatment earlier than current US guidelines…

More drugs being approved for rare diseases in kids

A Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) health policy expert says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should more closely monitor the increasing number of “orphan” drugs on the market, particularly those designed to treat rare diseases in children. Orphan drugs…

Prolonged sitting, TV viewing appear to shorten life

Sitting for more than three hours a day may shorten your life by two years, even if you are physically active and don’t smoke, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Pennington Biomedical Research…

Can brown rice slow the spread of type 2 diabetes?

January 3, 2012 The worldwide spike in type 2 diabetes in recent decades has paralleled a shift in diets away from staple foods rich in whole grains to highly refined carbohydrates, such as white rice and refined flours. Now, a group of…

Most cancers strike men, but reasons are enigmatic

February 9, 2012 -- It is well known that most cancers strike men more often than women. In many cases these differences can be explained by known risk factors such as smoking, drinking, or occupational hazards. But more than one-third of the cancers…

Alumna hopes video will help stem the cholera tide

February 9, 2012 -- A new animated video about cholera—how people get infected, how it spreads, and how to treat it—is drawing attention from health workers around the globe. The video’s producer, Deborah Van Dyke, is a nurse practitioner in Vermont, a longtime…

Maternal health advocates push for new global goals

March 5, 2013 -- Throughout history, more women have died in childbirth than men have died in battle, Mahmoud Fathalla, founder of the Safe Motherhood Initiative, told attendees at the recent Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, co-sponsored by Harvard School…

HSPH faculty members earn research achievement awards

November 4, 2011 -- Max Essex, Mary Woodward Lasker Professor of Health Sciences and chairman of the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative, was awarded the Institute of Human Virology Lifetime Achievement Award for Scientific Contributions for his work on animal and human retrovirus…

Health is key component of global agenda, says HSPH dean

Health is key in advancing three of the most fundamental issues on the global agenda: economic development, global security, and human rights, HSPH Dean Julio Frenk told The Huffington Post. Healthy populations are crucial for growing struggling economies around the world, Frenk…

HIV may increase risk of malaria infection in children

April 26, 2012 In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of HIV/AIDS and malaria is disproportionately high and co-infection may be as high as 30 percent among HIV-positive populations in some African settings. Now, a new study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers…

Infectious disease: lessons learned from H1N1 pandemic

June 14, 2010 -- For the next new infectious threat—or the next phase of the ongoing H1N1 influenza pandemic—public health decision makers need better data about who’s infected and who’s severely sick. And they need it sooner, said experts who met at…

Global experts convene for malaria eradication conference

Leading malaria experts from public and private institutions around the world convened for a three-day conference aimed at discussing and rethinking the future of malaria prevention, control, elimination, and eradication. The culminating session, “Rethinking Malaria: The Science of Eradication Symposium,” emphasized the…

HIV-infected patients at higher risk of metabolic syndrome

HIV-infected patients treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, and a new study helps identify patients most in need of interventions to reduce the risk. Metabolic syndrome, a condition characterized by a group of risk factors, including…

Face masks recommended to help prevent flu transmission

March 13, 2013 — During flu season, sufferers are advised to prevent spreading the virus by covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing and by washing their hands. But these methods may not be enough, according to a new study by Harvard…

International symposium in Boston targets drug resistance

October 11, 2011 -- Scientists from around the globe gathered in Boston this month to discuss the enduring problem of diseases like tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases that have been treated for decades but are becoming increasingly drug-resistant. The…

Monkey malaria parasite poses increasing risks to humans

May 9, 2013 -- A new study has shed light on why a monkey malaria parasite that typically caused only mild infection in humans is now beginning to cause severe disease and death—and how it has the potential to become a dangerous…

Examining racial disparities in cancer and mortality rates

March 14, 2012 African Americans face higher cancer rates than whites for many types of cancer, but the reasons why are largely unknown. Epidemiologist Lisa Signorello hopes to help explain the disparities in her role as co-principal investigator on a long-term study…

HSPH researchers seek to understand Africa's chronic diseases

A group of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, led by Department of Epidemiology Chair Hans-Olov Adami and Associate Professor of Epidemiology Michelle Holmes, are seeking to enroll 500,000 people from four African countries--Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania--in a…

Panelists examine effects of stress on health at Forum talk

March 8, 2013 -- Most Americans say they have higher stress levels than they believe are healthy, according to the American Psychological Association’s recent Stress in America survey. One in three report living with extreme stress. Such stress can take a big toll…

Skipping breakfast may increase coronary heart disease risk

July 23, 2013 — A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) adds to evidence that eating breakfast is important for good health. HSPH researchers found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or…

Making the case to continue an innovative anti-malaria program

November 7, 2012 -- Funding at Risk for Program That Increases Availability, Lowers Costs for Most Effective Drugs A pharmacist in Chokwe, Mozambique dispenses Coartem, an artemisinin-combination therapy. A two-year-old pilot program that aims to protect the most effective drug for malaria from…

Franziska Michor honored at second annual Alice Hamilton lecture

May 11, 2012 Franziska Michor, associate professor of computational biology, received Harvard School of Public Health’s second annual Alice Hamilton Award on April 11, 2012 in recognition of her pathbreaking work applying evolutionary theory to cancer. The award, sponsored by the School’s…

Translating epidemiology research into real-world policy changes

March 6, 2013 -- To ensure that public health interventions that can save lives and improve overall health actually reach people, epidemiologists must do two things. They must provide clear evidence of the need for such interventions. They must also convince policymakers…

New research explores role of genetics in smoking and lung cancer

May 15, 2012 In 2008, three different studies found that certain genetic variants associated with nicotine dependence and smoking were also associated with lung cancer. The findings raised a question: Were the variants linked with lung cancer only through their association with…

Expert panel releases report on environmental links to breast cancer

While a yearlong study of potential environmental causes of breast cancer in women failed to pinpoint links with any chemicals, pesticides, or consumer products, that doesn’t mean these chemicals are safe, according to David Hunter, dean for academic affairs and professor of…

Energized, global effort needed to target noncommunicable diseases

October 17, 2011 -- The United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and a small group of disease-specific non-governmental organizations (NGOs) need help to address the mounting toll of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and chronic respiratory disease—that…

HSPH researchers identify key mechanism in cellular growth process

March 13, 2013 — A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers is the first to identify the primary mechanism controlling a metabolic process essential for cell growth and proliferation. This pathway is centered around the mTOR protein, which…

Malaria parasite transforms itself to hide from human immune system

December 13, 2012 -- In order to spread disease inside the human body, the malaria parasite must evade the human immune system—which it does remarkably well. Now, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have uncovered details about the mechanism by which…

HSPH, Dana-Farber host sixth annual quantitative genomics conference

November 27, 2012 -- What does genome-wide analysis reveal about complex human traits? What’s the best way to design and analyze gene-sequencing studies? These were some of the questions addressed at the sixth annual PQG (Program in Quantitative Genomics) Conference, held November…

HSPH delegation visits Tanzania and Botswana nutrition, AIDS program

March 9, 2011 -- A delegation of Harvard School of Public Health friends and faculty – including HSPH Dean Julio Frenk and Dean for Academic Affairs David Hunter – visited HSPH programs in Tanzania and Botswana recently, meeting with government officials in both countries and learning more…

Author discusses transformative battle with breast cancer at book launch

November 6, 2012 -- The difficult but transforming experience of facing and surviving cancer takes center stage in the personal and professional saga, Beauty Without the Breast, by Felicia Marie Knaul (Harvard University Press, 2012). An economist who has lived and worked on health and…

TB survival mechanism explained

In a new paper, Eric Rubin, professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues describe how tuberculosis (TB) bacteria undergo metabolic adaptation to survive attempts by immune system cells to kill them off by starving them…

Tuberculosis experts address role of immune response

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major infectious disease global threat, with 8.7 million new cases and 1.4 million deaths worldwide reported in 2011 alone. In the United States, an estimated 10 million to 15 million people are infected. With multidrug-resistant forms of TB…

Forced prostitution raises risk of HIV/AIDS infection

Women in India who are forced into prostitution or sex trafficking are almost three times more likely to be HIV-infected than those who joined the industry voluntarily, according to Kathleen Wirth, ScD ’11, research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard…

Cell phone data mining dubbed “breakthrough technology”

Caroline Buckee’s research on mining cell phone data to track how people’s movements correlate with the spread of disease has been named one of the top 10 “breakthrough technologies” for 2013 by MIT’s Technology Review magazine. Research published in October 2012 in…

Boston teams with supermarkets to promote healthy beverages

A new partnership between the City of Boston and most of the city’s large supermarkets aims to help consumers choose healthier and less sugary beverages with a color-coded “Rethink Your Drink” campaign in stores and weekly circulars. Harvard School of Public Health’s…