On April 16, the College of Public Health and Health Professions hosted the largest Research Day in the event’s 26-year history with 126 student poster presentations.
PHHP Research Day also featured oral presentations from the top 10 ranked graduate student abstracts. The college granted 23 awards for outstanding research, including three awards to undergraduate students and 20 awards to graduate students. The graduate student awardees will receive funds from their departments to cover travel expenses associated with presenting their research at a national conference.
Internationally known epidemiologist Sandro Galea, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., the Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, gave the PHHP Research Day keynote lecture on the role of public health in personalized medicine.
Galea’s research focuses on uncovering how determinants at multiple levels — such as policies, features of the social environment, molecular, and genetic factors — jointly influence the health of urban populations. He has documented the mental health consequences of mass trauma and conflict worldwide, including the September 11, 2001 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has published more than 400 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters and commentaries, and seven books.
In his keynote address Galea discussed the prevention paradox, which was first described by epidemiologist Geoffrey Rose. The prevention paradox states that a disease prevention measure that brings large benefits to the community offers little direct benefit to each participating individual. Because a large number of people exposed to a small risk of disease may generate many more cases than a small number of people exposed to a high risk, Galea advised the audience that personalized medicine approaches may not be the best strategy when trying to keep large populations healthy. Health care should embrace prevention strategies at both the population level and the individual level, Galea said.
“We were truly inspired by Dr. Galea’s enthusiasm and insight,” said Linda Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., the college’s associate dean for research and planning and chair of the department of epidemiology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine.
2013 PHHP Research Day awardees
Undergraduate honors thesis awardees
Alex Madalfi (Mentor: Mai)
Lisbet Fernandez (Mentor: Fuller)
Emily White (Mentor: Patten)
Highest ranked graduate student abstract ($1,000 travel award)
Brandon Roberts (Mentor: Judge)
Graduate student poster awardees ($500 travel award)
Manal Alabduljabbar (Mentor: Perri)
Jessica Berman (Mentor: Troche)
Margo Klar (Mentor: Archibald)
Taylor Kuhn (Mentor: Bauer)
Melissa Laitner (Mentor: Perri)
Nadine Schwab (Mentor: Price)
Marie Nancy Seraphin (Mentor: Striley)
Sunil Swami (Mentor: Manini)
Thomas Alex Weppelmann (Mentor: Ali)
Graduate student poster awardees ($300 travel award)
Sarah Bauer (Mentor: Hall)
Christopher Besser (Mentor: Harman)
Daniel Furnas (Mentor: Edmonds)
Elisa Gonzalez-Rothi (Mentor: Fuller)
Hui Hu (Mentor: Xu)
Sahana Kamath (Mentor: Patten)
Helena Laciuga (Mentor: Sapienza)
Yoonjeong Lim (Mentor: Bendixen)
Chukwuemeka Okafor (Mentor: Cook)
Karlyn Vatthauer (Mentor: McCrae)