USC biostatistics students rank at international competition

Left to right: Biostatistics graduate students Dixin Shen, Terry Cai, Ken Chau. (Photo / Courtesy Meredith Franklin)

A team of three USC biostatistics graduate students ranked third in an international statistical analysis competition April 3.

The annual SAS Global Forum Student Symposium invites teams of university students and their faculty advisers to showcase their skills in applying SAS Analytics—a software suite used for advanced data analysis—to real-world data.

Data Conundrum

Teams chose problems to investigate and used their own data sets to analyze them and submit their findings and solutions to the symposium organizers.

Of the 33 teams who submitted to the competition, eight were chosen to present their projects in 20-minute breakout sessions at SAS Global Forum in April. USC’s team, the “Flow Riders” were flown to Orlando with their advisor, Meredith Franklin, assistant professor of preventive medicine, to present their report.

The team included Zhongjie “Terry” Cai and Khang “Ken” Chau, first-year biostatistics doctoral students, as well as Dixin Shen, a master’s of biostatistics student who will be entering the biostatistics doctoral program this fall.

Ask the data

The team’s project assessed the risk of drivers dying in severe traffic accidents when traveling below or above the average speed of traffic. Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and Caltrans, their analysis determined that in California, the risk of dying was highest when accidents involved a car stopped in the road, seatbelts were not used and there was disabling damage to the vehicle.

— By Larissa Puro

USC team wins global health case competition

(Photo/Courtesy Emory Global Health Institute)

Three Master of Public Health students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC were part of a cross-campus team that won the international Emory University Global Health Case Competition, joining the elite few to have clinched first place in the event’s seven years.

With a $6,000 check in tow, the students returned to Los Angeles after a surreal whirlwind week in Atlanta synthesizing ideas into their research-backed, million-dollar proposal — and presenting it to global experts.

The team included Keck School Master of Public Health students Ashley Millhouse and Hrant Gevorgian; human biology and MPH progressive degree undergraduate Cristina Gago, from the Keck School and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; USC Price School of Public Policy Master of Public Administration students Brantynn Washington and Julian Cernuda; and USC Viterbi School of Engineering doctoral candidate Zaki Hasnain, MS.

A week before competition day, 24 student teams from Australia, Canada, Denmark and the United States were tasked to propose programs addressing children’s mental health needs in Liberia. The West Africa nation is expanding its mental health services in the wake of civil war and Ebola.

Setting aside classes, assignments, jobs and other commitments, the USC students had already put their lives on hold for February’s intramural USC competition and did so again in Atlanta.

“A lot of times in classes and lectures, we’re really focused on learning material, but we don’t necessarily have the ability to apply it in a very real-world sense and this allows us to do that,” Gago said.

Deriving inspiration

To develop their proposal, they drew inspiration from USC researchers’ storytelling and narrative public health projects. These included Es Tiempo, a cervical cancer prevention campaign spearheaded by Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MPH, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School; Tamale Lesson, a narrative communication intervention to promote cervical cancer screenings led by Baezconde-Garbanati and Sheila Murphy, PhD, professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and Global Health Response, an immersive digital game developed by Heather Wipfli, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School, to train global health students. They also used examples from other successful “edutainment” and storytelling projects like Burka Avenger, a Pakistani TV series promoting women’s empowerment, and Coaniquem’s Healing Cloud Project, a Chilean burn prevention campaign.

With guidance from professors and faculty mentors, the team developed its proposal for a “data-driven, gamified mental health platform” called Reaching Resilience. Through transmedia messaging, role-playing, advocacy and mentorship, the program would aim to build resilience among children struggling with depression, anxiety and autism.

“This transmedia storytelling approach, including the digital game aspect, reflects the unique multidisciplinary approach USC researchers bring to global health,” said Wipfli, associate director of the Institute for Global Health and one of the team’s mentors. “Their concept is representative of the research and education they have been directly exposed to by faculty engaged in global health across the university.”

The competition in Atlanta was intense, the students said.

“All of our group members are either working full-time, part-time or heavily engaged in various academic organizations,” said Millhouse, who is working on her MPH degree while employed as a hospital systems account manager at the American Cancer Society. “This meant that we didn’t have an entire week to put our phones on silent and devote to creating a team design.”

But their varied skill sets, perspectives and team-player attitudes carried them through, even when they had to rework their slides the night before the presentation, Millhouse said. When they made it to the final round, they were given 45 minutes to adjust their presentation to incorporate a “twist” in the case: accommodating an American philanthropist’s interests into their proposal.

Judges included mental health and public health experts from the Emory University School of Medicine, The Center for Victims of Torture in Atlanta, The Carter Center, Duke University, Centers for Disease Control and Doctors Without Borders.

International competition

The annual USC intramural competition in February grew out of Wipfli’s classroom, where it is still encouraged as an extra-credit assignment. When the Emory University Global Health Institute began hosting the national — now international — competition, she started the cross-campus USC Global Health Case Competition through the Institute for Global Health to allow all students to vie for their chance to represent USC in Atlanta, with expenses paid.

Each year, the institute collaborates with global health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization, to develop the case challenge. Operation Smile and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles partnered on the Feb. 14 event, challenging students to pitch global surgery proposals aimed at developing sustainable operating room systems in Nicaragua.

“This program has given me more knowledge and passion for global health than I ever thought possible,” Millhouse said, reflecting on the experience. “It was a true fairy tale.”

— By Larissa Puro

USC, Mexico make strides in public health research

Jonathan Samet has partnered with many Mexican agencies on studies involving public health issues.

For more than 20 years, Jonathan Samet has developed strategies to prevent smoking in Mexico, with help from scientists and leaders at the country’s National Institute of Public Health (INSP).

The USC Distinguished Professor teams with several of Mexico’s 12 institutes of health, which aim to improve public health through research, policy and care. The INSP’s research centers and school of public health examine tobacco, obesity and other issues that contribute to health problems.

Samet assisted in the development of the institute’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and co-founded the Summer Program in Public Health, one of the largest of its kind in Latin America, with INSP Director Mauricio Hernández-Ávila. Samet has taught in the program every year since it began 22 years ago and has arranged for Trojans to teach there as well.

Building momentum

Since 2008, the year of Samet’s arrival at USC, the Department of Preventive Medicine has gained momentum in its research and scholarly exchanges with Mexico. Samet’s ties to INSP have enabled USC researchers to collaborate on various public health projects in the country and among Mexican and immigrant populations.

“The U.S. and Mexico share more than a border,” said Samet, holder of the Flora L. Thornton Chair in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “We share health challenges but also the expertise to combat them.”

In 2015, preventive medicine professors Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati and Mary Ann Pentz founded the Center for Health Equity in the Americas to advance health equity in the region through research, training and partnerships. Using findings from an international summit in October, the group is working with INSP on a cervical cancer prevention report to be published in INSP’s journal, Salud Pública de Mexico, later this year.

Other centers in the department, including the Institute for Global Health, the Program on Global Health & Human Rights and the Immigrant Health Initiative, have hosted Mexican researchers and collaborators for talks, seminars and training on subjects, including sexually transmitted infectionsobesity, H1N1premature mortality and cervical cancer prevention.

Institute for Global Health Associate Director Heather Wipfli collaborated with INSP in 2016 to survey Mexican corporations about how health and wellness are integrated into their workplaces. The project is helping to inform the global cancer prevention programs begun by the American Cancer Society.

Another recent project, led by USC neurologist John Ringman and Mellissa Withers, assistant professor of clinical in the Department of Preventive Medicine, examined knowledge and attitudes regarding Alzheimer’s disease, genetics and participation in research among populations at-risk for a rare form of early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease in Mexico.

Fair exchange

In 2015, the Department of Preventive Medicine welcomed INSP postdoctoral fellow Katia Gallegos as part of an initiative with Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology, in which USC provides scholars from Mexico with residencies in fields related to science, technology and innovation.

Gallegos is working with large binational data sets to determine the impact of acculturation in patterns of physical activity and sedentary behavior, as well as its association with body mass index observed in Mexicans, Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans. In addition, she is teaming with U.S. tobacco-use databases to study young people with mental illness who use multiple tobacco products.

Department researchers have also examined Mexico’s indoor smoking bancigarette sales tax, drug reform and teenagers’ smoking habits, as well as mental health risks and lower colorectal cancer susceptibility among Mexicans who migrated to the United States.

Along with Mexican and other U.S. scientists, USC researchers in 2013 discovered a genetic link associated with higher Type 2 diabetes risk among Mexican populations. Most recently, a study found that Latino children living in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Career dedicated to public health


Jonathan Samet accepts an honorary degree awarded by Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health. (Photo/Heather Wipfli)

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the INSP gave Samet an honorary doctorate recognizing his contributions to public health on Jan. 27.

At that event, Hernández-Ávila cited Samet’s scientific and professional achievements, among them his 27 books, 127 chapters and more than 350 scientific articles. “This Honoris Causa is awarded to recognize Dr. Samet’s work for global public health — for the health of all people,” he said.

A graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Samet has participated since the 1980s in the reports of the U.S. surgeon general on smoking and health, and he served as senior scientific editor for the 50-year anniversary edition in 2014. Most recently, he contributed to the 2016 surgeon general report on e-cigarettes and youth, the first of its kind.

His work has contributed to national legislation to control tobacco use, air pollution and radiation both in the United States and Mexico.

“I’m honored to be a part of this celebration to mark INSP’s decades-long commitment to public health in Mexico and to receive this very high recognition,” Samet said. “I look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.

Study examines role of epigenetics in children’s environmental health studies

What role do epigenetics, the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression, play in driving and explaining environmental health effects on children? Environmental Health Perspectives takes a closer look at one of its recently published articles with insight from USC’s Carrie Breton, assistant professor of preventive medicine.

Breton and her co-authors reviewed the methods, analyses, and complexity of environmental epigenetics research in the context of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD).

The review summarizes research pertaining to detection and interpretation of epigenetic changes as the basis for the DOHaD hypothesis—a major objective of research underway in the federally funded Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers, according to EHP. 

To learn more about environmental health research taking place at USC, visit the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center »

— By Larissa Puro

Nation’s top environmental scientists say the EPA should not be weakened

Environmental research is needed now more than ever, insiders say

As scientists begin to find their political voices, three former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency insiders on Wednesday said the Trump administration should not sacrifice environmental quality and the health of the American people “for a coterie of special-interest stakeholders.”

Their opinion piece was published on March 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Unfortunately, sowing doubt about scientific evidence has become a widely used strategy for delaying or blocking actions that are purported to potentially affect the bottom lines for particular industries,” the article stated. “We need to maintain the capacity to conduct cutting-edge research and to grapple with the application of the results in formulating evidence-based policies.”

The more than 2,300-word article is authored by Jonathan Samet, previous chair of the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and holder of the Flora L. Thornton Chair in Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC; Thomas Burke, former EPA science adviser and former head of the EPA’s Office of Research and Development under the Obama administration; and Bernard Goldstein, EPA assistant administrator for research and development during the Reagan administration.

The article points at the key role of scientific evidence in driving public policy and its place in the laws and regulations that are critical in environmental policy. In the United States, there is a tradition of relying on scientific research. In fact, Abraham Lincoln created the National Academy of Sciences to provide advice to the government. Key environmental statutes, like the Clean Air Act, explicitly base action in research findings.

Lessons from the past show the need for a strong EPA. Ronald Reagan initially sought to diminish the EPA but later warmed up to the agency and replaced his initial EPA leadership with people supportive of its environmental goals. Under Reagan’s watch, the EPA removed lead from gasoline and provided the first EPA-funded studies related to climate change, the article said.

Samet, Burke and Goldstein set up a five-point call to action for the administration:

  1. Evidence-based decision-making on the environment should not be abandoned.
  2. The Trump administration should continue to engage and seek advice from the broad community of scientists, reflecting the role of science and reason in democracy.
  3. Research funding and environmental scientific capacity should be enhanced, not diminished, to reduce key uncertainties.
  4. Experts need to continue to carefully track environmental surveillance and to be prepared to deal with emerging problems and disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  5. There should be no pause in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that people can lessen the unprecedented challenges of global climate change.

Read the article »

— By Zen Vuong

New book explores substance and behavioral addictions

A new book by Steven Sussman, PhD, USC professor of preventive medicine, psychology and social work, takes a broad, multidisciplinary look at addiction.

“Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Concepts, Causes, and Cures” focuses on two categories of addiction, substance (tobacco, alcohol, other drugs and food) and behavioral (gambling, electronic media, love, sex, shopping, exercise and work).

 “A seminal work in the field of addictions, this book offers innovative ideas that will appeal to university students and prolific researchers, as well as experienced practitioners,” said Rory Reid, research psychologist at University of California, Los Angeles, in his endorsement of the book.

 Sussman presents a novel framework—an “appetitive effects model”— informed by the fields of social and clinical psychology, psychiatry, philosophy of science, social work, sociology, preventive medicine and neuroscience, among others.

In addition, he explores the prevalence of these addictions and how they relate, as some occur simultaneously or get replaced by other addictions. The text also delves into addiction assessment methods, prevention, treatment and future directions.

 “Addiction potentially impacts half of adults every year,” Sussman said. “If we understand just how widespread addiction is, we can start to understand it as a problem of lifestyle that impacts our neurobiological systems.”

 The textbook is available to purchase through Cambridge University Press and other major book sellers.

USC public health students discuss policy with state legislators

USC public health and medical students visited the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento, where they heard state legislators discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act. Photo courtesy Kerresa Robinson.

With the fate of the Affordable Care Act hanging in the balance, students met with California legislators and attended a health reform conference in February as part of a USC public health policy class. 

 A group of 18 USC Master of Public Health and medical students traveled to the state capital to attend the Insure the Uninsured Project 21st Annual Conference Feb. 7. The meeting focused on “the risks, threats and challenges to California’s health reform progress” as the federal government considers amending, repealing or replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the conference website.   

 Together with health leaders and experts, the students engaged in strategy discussions to explore California’s options in preserving and advancing health reform.

 For Osman Shaheen, an MPH student, the highlight of the trip was attending the conference and hearing healthcare leaders evaluate the situation in real-time, as well as listening to their stories and experiences.

“Even in the current climate of uncertainty and risk, I felt reassured to see such diverse stakeholders meeting in order to find common ground and develop policy that will improve the health of all Californians,” he said.

 The students also sat down with state legislators and Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act and potential consequences to California that may result from repealing or replacing it.

 “It was an enriching experience to witness firsthand our leaders in health care so energized to fight the current administration and fight for the Affordable Care Act and the millions of people it protects,” said MPH student Brigitte Bailey.

 Michael Cousineau, professor of clinical preventive medicine and head of the MPH health policy track, takes his students to Sacramento every year to attend the conference. This year stood out, he said, because the students focused entirely on the Affordable Care Act—from its impact in California to ideas for replacing or repairing it. 

 “By attending the conference and sharing their concerns with elected officials this class puts the students on the inside of the debate by focusing on not only what works but on finding solutions to the parts that have problems,” he said.

— By Larissa Puro

Air pollution linked to heightened diabetes risk

High levels of pollution may make insulin-creating cells become less efficient, increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, USC researchers say

Latino children who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new USC-led study. Scientists tracked children’s health and respective levels of residential air pollution for about 3.5 years before associating chronic unhealthy air exposure to a breakdown in beta cells, special pancreatic cells that secrete insulin and maintain the appropriate sugar level in the bloodstream. By the time the children turned 18, their insulin-creating pancreatic cells were 13 percent less efficient than normal, making these individuals more prone to eventually developing Type 2 diabetes, researchers said. “Exposure to heightened air pollution during childhood increases the risk for Hispanic children to become obese and, independent of that, to also develop Type 2 diabetes,” said Michael Goran, co-director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and corresponding author of the study. “Poor air quality appears to be a catalyst for obesity and diabetes in children, but the conditions probably are forged via different pathways.” Published in the journal Diabetes on Jan. 30, the study, researchers said, is the first to follow children for years to find a connection between air pollution and diabetes risk in children. These children lived in neighborhoods that, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, had excess nitrogen dioxide and tiny air pollution particles that are generated by automobiles and power plants, formally called particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5). Researchers found that the beta cells that were still functional were overworking to compensate for the damaged cells, leading to burn out. As the cells failed to secrete insulin efficiently, regulation of sugar in the bloodstream overwhelmed the system, heightening the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes has quadrupled in the past four decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the trend continues, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050. Serious complications include blindness, kidney failure, limb amputation or early death. “Diabetes is occurring in epidemic proportion in the U.S. and the developed world,” said Frank Gilliland, senior author and a professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. “It has been the conventional wisdom that this increase in diabetes is the result of an uptick in obesity due to sedentary lifespans and calorie-dense diets. Our study shows air pollution also contributes to Type 2 diabetes risk.” 

Latino children living in polluted areas are at higher risk

 Researchers examined the data of 314 overweight and obese Latino children who were between 8 and 15 years old when they enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-funded Study of Latino Adolescents at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes (SOLAR) study, a 12-year undertaking. Scientists tracked the Los Angeles County children for an average of 3.5 years. None of them had Type 2 diabetes when they enrolled, but some may have been on the road to the disease toward the study’s end. Each year the participants fasted and then came to the Childhood Obesity Research Center at USC for a physical exam and to have their glucose and insulin levels measured over a span of two hours. When they turned 18, the participants had nearly 27 percent higher blood insulin after having fasted for 12 hours. During their two-hour glucose test, they had about 36 percent more insulin than normal, indicating that the body was becoming less responsive to insulin. This observation illustrated that increased exposure to air pollution was associated with increased risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. The researchers adjusted for body fat and socioeconomic status. In some instances, at age 18, the effect of long-term exposure to higher air pollution was larger than the effect of gaining 5 percent body weight, meaning air pollution is definitely a risk factor for diabetes, said Tanya Alderete, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research scholar at the Keck School of Medicine. 

Steps people can take to reduce their risk

 The findings suggest that the negative effects of elevated and chronic exposure to nitrogen dioxide and tiny dirty air particles begin in early life. If other risk factors such as having an unhealthy diet persist, then risk for Type 2 diabetes is compounded, researchers said. “Air pollution is ubiquitous, especially in Los Angeles,” Alderete said. “It’s important to consider the factors that you can control — for example, being aware that morning and evening commute times might not be the best time to go for a run. Change up your schedule so that you’re not engaging in strenuous activity near sources of pollutants or during peak hours.” None of the children developed Type 2 diabetes during the study, but many showed signs that they may eventually develop it and were characterized as pre-diabetes. Some 8.1 million people in the United States have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed, according to the CDC. That means some 28 percent of people with diabetes do not even know they have diabetes. Undiagnosed diabetes raises the risk of afflictions such as stroke, kidney damage and Alzheimer’s disease. Future studies will also include participants who are not overweight or obese and should collect data on diet and physical activity, researchers said. Findings from this study may be generalized only to overweight and obese Latino children, mostly of a lower socioeconomic status, according to the study. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

— By Zen Vuong

Mexico public health institute honors Jonathan Samet

The Institute of Public Health in Mexico (INSP) celebrated the career of Dr. Jonathan Samet, Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and director of the USC Institute for Global Health, as part of its 30-year anniversary commemoration Jan. 27. 

Recognizing a career dedicated to public health

Download INSP's program honoring Dr. Samet [PDF]The institute awarded Samet an honorary doctorate degree for his contributions to the field of public health. “This Honoris Causae is awarded to recognize Dr. Samet’s work for global public health—for the health of all people,” said INSP Director Mauricio Hernández Ávila.

INSP is a national academic research institution dedicated to improving public health in Mexico. The institute’s research centers and school of public health examine the country’s priority health issues, including tobacco, obesity and other contributors to non-communicable disease as well as having strong programs in infectious disease.

A longstanding partnership

Samet has worked with INSP on tobacco control research for almost two decades, facilitating the development of the institute’s Center for Tobacco Control Research. With Dr. Hernández Ávila, he co-founded the Summer Program in Public Health, now in its 22nd year.  He has taught in the program every year since it began.

At a symposium the day before the ceremony, Samet and USC Institute for Global Health Associate Director Heather Wipfli presented alongside researchers from INSP and Harvard University about tobacco control efforts, air pollution and progress on public health problems in the U.S., Mexico and globally.

“I’m honored to be a part of this celebration to mark INSP’s decades-long commitment to public health in Mexico and to receive this very high recognition,” Samet said. “I look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”


USC department ranks No. 2 in NIH medical school public health funding

The Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC was ranked one of the nation’s top public health departments receiving funds from the National Institutes of Health, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

Public health sciences well-funded

Overall, seven Keck School of Medicine departments ranked within the top 20 NIH-funded in their respective departments. The USC Department of Preventive Medicine ranked No. 2, as did the Department of Ophthalmology.

Of the more than $140.8 million in NIH grants Keck School of Medicine received between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, the Department of Preventive Medicine  received approximately $37 million to support public health sciences research.

The department’s recipients include the project “Statistical Methods for Integrative Genomics in Cancer,” which received $12 million and is led by Duncan Thomas, professor of preventive medicine and director of the division of biostatistics, and Jim Gauderman, associate professor of preventive medicine.

The project aims to create new statistical methods to better understand cancer causes and prognoses, beginning with colon cancer.

Another project, “Life Course Approach to Developmental Repercussions of Environmental Agents on Metabolic and Respiratory Health,” or LA DREAMERs, received $6 million to examine health issues related to asthma and obesity and is led by Carrie Breton, assistant professor of preventive medicine, and Frank Gilliland, professor of preventive medicine.

Highest ranking to date

Of the 139 ranked medical schools, the Keck School of Medicine of USC ranked No. 30, its highest placement since the Blue Ridge Institute first began ranking medical schools in 2006.

“Keck School of Medicine’s current positioning represents the most impressive ranking of NIH funding the school has received to date,” said Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, dean of the Keck School of Medicine and director of the USC Roski Eye Institute, in a press release. “Our strong performance and rise in rankings reflect the ground-breaking work of our world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff and committed researchers, including the addition of 19 new principal investigators in the last year.”

The Keck School of Medicine also ranked No. 1 in NIH funds received per principal investigator. The 158 principal investigators received an average of more than $891,000, securing the school’s place in that top spot.

“The Keck School of Medicine of USC No. 1 ranking in NIH funds received per principal investigator demonstrates the strength of researchers that we attract at the Keck School,” said Thomas A. Buchanan, MD, Keck School of Medicine vice dean for research. “These competitive grants allow us to further innovate and support our mission to improve the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting health, preventing and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and educating tomorrow’s physicians and scientists.”

— By Larissa Puro