Top School of Public Health Stories from 2017

December 19, 2017

Our faculty members, researchers, and students worked against many pernicious problems over the past year. We selected the following stories from 2017 to revisit based on their popularity and relevance to the field of public health. Take a look to see if you missed any of these.

Research Highlights

Heavy smog over China

China’s coal problem: Is synthetic natural gas a solution?

Researchers at UC Berkeley, Princeton, and Peking University jointly authored a study, which was published in April, that recommended China focus its use of synthetic natural gas (SNG) in residential areas in order to achieve maximum health benefits at minimum climate cost. The researchers found that using SNG in residential areas would decrease outdoor-air-pollution-associated premature deaths by approximately 32,0000 a year.

Tanzanian women talk in a medical office

5-year, $2.7m grant will fund HIV adherence study in Tanzania

Epidemiology Professor Sandra McCoy was awarded a five-year grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health to advance her work on studying the impact of financial incentives for HIV treatment adherence in Tanzania.

Outpatient building

Impact of reference pricing on decision-making, prices, and spending in health care

Professors James Robinson, Timothy Brown and Christopher Whaley looked at the impact on patient choice, provider prices, surgical complications, and employer spending and estimated that expanding reference pricing efforts to more services could reduce spending for the commercially insured population by as much as 8.6 percent.

Eva Harris talks at podium.

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

Professor Eva Harris was part of a research team that developed a test--the best-to -date--differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses.

Automatic guns and ammunition lie on table

Gun deaths, injuries in California spike following Nevada gun shows

A study released by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, this fall examined gun deaths and injuries in California before and after gun shows in California and Nevada. The results showed a nearly 70-percent increase in deaths and injuries from firearms in California communities within convenient driving distance of Nevada gun shows.

School news

William Satariano

William Satariano, distinguished epidemiology and community health professor, dies at 70

William Satariano, a professor of Epidemiology and Community Health Science, spent more than 20 years at UC Berkeley. Sadly, the distinguished professor died May 28 at the age of 70. Friends and colleagues remembered him as a "humble and brilliant" person. 

Four people line up in hard hats

UC Berkeley, Hong Kong University establish joint BS-MPH program

Delegates from Hong Kong University meet with leaders from UC Berkeley School of Public Health in November to make official a partnership that will establish a joint bachelor of science-master degree program.

Two men talk in front of computer monitor

New grant-funded program will help build diversity in health and medical fields

“This is really an exciting opportunity for the School of Public Health.” That's how co-faculty director of the undergraduate public health major Jeffrey Oxendine described a joint project with the School and the Biology Scholars Program that prepares underrepresented undergraduate students at UC Berkeley to make well-informed choices about health careers and become competitive candidates for graduate education in public health, primary care, and other medical careers.

Faculty and student honors

Image of a scale and tape measure

DrPH student wins fellowship to fight obesity in underserved populations

Christopher Chau, a DrPH candidate, researches examines the longitudinal eating behaviors, abdominal obesity, and heart disease risk within underserved communities. In 2017, he received a help to fund his research in the form of a $10,000 Dr. Antronette (Toni) Yancey and Darlene Edgley Fellowship.

Group photo of faculty honorees

School faculty earn teaching excellence awards, high marks from students

Each year, the School of Public Health Committee on Teaching Excellence honors instructors for teaching excellence. Among this year's recipeints were Sandra McCoy, for Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases (PH253B), and Nick Jewell, for Statistical Analysis of Categorical Data (PH241).

Nick Jewell

Jewell elected to National Academy of Medicine

In addition to his teaching excellence award earlier in the year, Jewell was one of just 70 people in 2017 to be elected to the National Academy of Medicine. The honor is considered one of the highest in the fields of health and medicine.