Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health
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epiNEWS newsletter
portrait of Betsy Chrischilles

Dear friends,

With signs of rebirth and renewal all around us, the faculty, staff and students @IowaEpi are enthusiastic about launching into new endeavors. We applaud the academic successes of 22 newly minted graduates this year and are experiencing record-breaking applications for admissions next year. We will be welcoming two new assistant professors (stay tuned for future bios) and celebrating achievements by current faculty. In this issue, we feature work our students, faculty, alumni, and staff are doing that show, “collaboration is a wonderful thing” (Eric Kontowicz, ’20 PhD). You will find news of a grant to partner with national patient organizations to study rare neuroendocrine tumors, research that spans UI colleges and institutes to understand the interplay between flooding and influenza, continued work to address racial disparities in health, and some recordings of public speaking engagements on vaccine development, the flu season and the future of infectious diseases.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of our work and we’d love to learn about yours.

Take care and best wishes,
Betsy Chrischilles

signature of Betsy Chrischilles

State Health Registry of Iowa issues Cancer in Iowa 2021 report, highlights racial disparities

African Americans in Iowa are getting cancer and dying from it at higher rates than any other group in the state. According to the 2021 Cancer in Iowa report issued by the State Health Registry of Iowa, the age-adjusted cancer mortality rate for Black people in Iowa is more than 25% greater than it is for white people.

A portrait of Michael O'Rorke of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

New research study to investigate rare neuroendocrine tumors

A newly funded research study in the University of Iowa College of Public Health aims to determine the optimal sequencing of treatments for people with neuroendocrine tumors, a rare form of cancer. The $5 million, three-year study will be led by Michael O’Rorke, assistant professor of epidemiology.

A portrait of Trudy Burns of the University of Iowa College of Public Health

Muscatine Heart Study marks 50 years

The University of Iowa's Muscatine Heart Study has shown us that what we do as children has an impact on our cardiovascular health as adults. Trudy Burns, professor emerita in epidemiology, joined the project in 1982 and took over as lead investigator in 2005. (UI)

A portrait of Assistant Professor Wei Bao of the Department of Epidemiology in the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Study links plant protein intake to lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease, dementia

Postmenopausal women who ate high levels of plant protein had lower risks of premature death, cardiovascular disease death, and dementia-related death compared with women who ate less plant protein, according to new research from University of Iowa College of Public Health investigators, led by Wei Bao, assistant professor of epidemiology.

Portrait of Margaret Chorazy, 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient.

Chorazy named associate dean for academic affairs

Margaret (Maggie) Chorazy has been named associate dean for academic affairs in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Her appointment began Nov. 1, 2020.

Researchers reveal racial disparities in pedestrian injuries

A new study from the University of Iowa College of Public Health reveals that pedestrian injuries are worse for most minorities in the US compared to whites, a racial disparity that points to inequities in access to safe transportation. "Basically in every indicator we looked at, we saw worse outcomes, particularly among Black, Hispanic, and multi-racial groups," says Cara Hamann, clinical assistant professor of epidemiology, who was the principal investigator on the study.

Eric Kontowicz

Doctoral candidate Eric Kontowicz’s climate change research draws on collaboration

Eric Kontowicz, a recent PhD graduate in epidemiology in the College of Public Health, wrote his doctoral dissertation by drawing on expertise from all over the University of Iowa campus. His research looks at how climate change will affect influenza rates in animals and people, and in particular the impact that flooding has on flu infections in human populations.

Portrait of Christine Petersen

Petersen discusses infectious disease issues during the pandemic

Christine Petersen, professor of epidemiology, has been busy in the past year speaking with many different outlets about topics related to the pandemic and it's effects on vaccine development, the flu season and the future of infectious diseases.


Alumni Directory

Keep up with your classmates with our College of Public Health Alumni Directory.

Use this form to join the directory or to update your existing listing.

Alumni are listed by name, degrees earned, town of residence and email address, and have the option of adding employer, job title, employment sector and LinkedIn page.

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Department of Epidemiology | College of Public Health | University of Iowa


University of Iowa College of Public Health
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