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A look at some of the news happening at the Fielding School.
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE has awarded $5 million for UCLA researchers to develop a resource and data center for research, lab samples, statistics and other data aimed at boosting research into the effects of substance abuse on HIV/AIDS.
The ﬁve-year grant, “Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities,” will connect groups of investigators with National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded research and data ranging from state-of-the-art bioinformatics to laboratory specimens, according to Dr. Pamina Gorbach (pictured left), professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and principal investigator on the project.
“This consortium will allow researchers from across the United States and Canada to access an enormous amount of highly detailed datasets to use in research on HIV among substance-using populations,” Gorbach says.
DR. MICHAEL PRELIP, longtime Fielding School professor and the school’s inaugural associate dean of practice across the lifecourse, has been appointed chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences. Prelip’s areas of expertise include nutrition, health promotion and community-based participatory research, about which he has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and numerous technical reports. Prelip, who earned his MPH from FSPH, has mentored numerous students during his more than 20 years as a faculty member at the Fielding School.
STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF AND ALUMNI gathered on September 26 to celebrate accomplishments of the FSPH community and ring in the new academic year at the ﬁfth annual Fielding Fall Fest.
DR. JONATHAN FIELDING, professor-in-residence in FSPH’s Department of Health Policy and Management, has, since August 2016, written a monthly column for U.S. News & World Report on a wide range of topical public health issues, from childhood obesity, gun violence, and the opioid crisis to dietary supplements, distracted driving and strategies to reduce dementia risk (ph.ucla.edu/JF). “I’m trying to bring public health issues to the fore — including some that aren’t fully appreciated by the public — and to point to opportunities for great health returns on small investments, as well as the need for policy change grounded in research and practice,” Fielding says.
The Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice, and Health has been established at FSPH under the direction of Dr. Chandra Ford, associate professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences. The new center will address various types of racism, including discrimination due to race, religion, ethnicity and immigration status, and it will serve as an intellectual home for scholars across UCLA to study racism and health equity while helping communities understand,
document and respond to racial injustices that contribute to health disparities.
ANA MASCAREÑAS (MPH ’15) was recognized this autumn by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment as a key member of the nation’s next generation of leaders shaping the future of environmental health science and policy. Appointed by California Gov. Jerry Brown upon graduating in 2015, Mascareñas serves as the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s first-ever assistant director for environmental justice. In this role, she has helped lead cleanup efforts to remove lead from the soil of thousands of family homes contaminated by the former Exide facility in the underserved community of Vernon, California. (See the article here.)
Delegates from China’s Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS), located in Beijing, visited the Fielding School of Public Health earlier this year to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the school. The MOU is a symbol of a collaborative commitment to advancing joint research and training opportunities for students and faculty of both organizations. Collaboration between the Fielding School and CACMS has begun. In cooperation with Dr. Yanming Xie, deputy director for the Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, CACMS and the Fielding School conducted a Global Leader Training Workshop for Epidemiology and Global Public Health in September 2016 and an advanced seminar of medical and public health education reform in March 2017. Additional planned collaborative efforts include faculty and student exchanges, additional research and training programs, and a joint international symposium.
Dr. Kenneth Wells, FSPH professor-in-residence in the Department of Health Policy and Management, received the Carl Taube Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Mental Health at the 2017 American Public Health Association annual meeting. Wells, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, focuses his research on community-based participatory research methods for mental health services improvement in disadvantaged communities.