PQHS Department Events

This page is updated regularly, and on Fridays (every other Friday from June to August), a newsletter with updates and information about the week ahead is sent out to faculty, staff, and students. 

To submit updates, please contact paula.darte@case.edu

To be put on the newsletter email list, please contact julie.riling@case.edu     

The calendar widget to the right is interactive and can be used to add (most of these) events to your calendar.   

Holly Hartman, PhD, was recently elected to the Steering Committee of the Women Faculty of the School of Medicine (WFSOM) – which provides professional development opportunities for women faculty in the SOM, advocacy for women in academic medicine at CWRU and its affiliates, and networking among women to promote academic, professional an personal growth.

Learn more here: https://community.case.edu/wfsom/home/


Take-Two Friday
•    Continues through July.   
•    Faculty and staff can leave 2 hours early in June and July with no reduction in pay. 
•    If you and/or a staff member need to work on Friday afternoon, you can swap out those two hours on another day.


Office of Grants and Contracts
Erin Fogarty, Director of the Office of Grants and Contracts and Asst Dean for Research Administration has resigned, and her last day is Friday, June 3.
•    The search for her replacement is ongoing but, in the meantime, Jon Donze will be interim director. 

•    An updated Sparta system goes live on July 11; the current system shuts down on July 8.
•    It is not entirely clear how the FIS will port over to the new Sparta system.
•    For any proposals that need to be submitted around or after the go-live date, please submit your proposals before July  8th, if possible.  

NIH required documentation
Changes in requirements from the NIH have generated a lot of frustration.

  • Maita and the PQHS Grants team will put together a best practices document.
  • Stay tuned.  But in the meantime:
  • For Other Support documentation, do not go over 12 calendar months 
  • Where Adobe digital signatures are required, do not use /typed/ or wet ink signatures.
  • To make sure the signature is recognized, go to Tools in Adobe and “certify.”

 More guidance to come. 


Campus COVID-19 Update from the University:

Vaccinations/boosters  - including the second booster - are available to members of the campus community and their family members, as well as the broader local community.

•    Appointments are not required, but those seeking vaccination should bring photo IDs and their CDC cards showing previous doses. 
•    The vaccine clinic is located in the Nursing Research Building (2120 Cornell Road) and is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 3 p.m. 
•    While an appointment is not needed, only those present by 2:30 p.m. on weekdays will be able to receive a booster that day.


Effective Monday, March 21: 
Masks Optional, with Exceptions: All visitors and members of the university community may now choose whether to wear masks on campus, unless:
•    they are students in a classroom, laboratory or other space where instruction is taking place (those providing instruction may remove masks);
•    they are in clinical settings, including the campus dental clinic and University Health and Counseling Services; or
•    they are using university transportation, including Safe Ride and shuttle service.
Please note that some individuals may continue to wear masks full time for a range of possible reasons. We ask that you respect their decisions.

Surveillance Testing Optional, with Exceptions: Free COVID-19 tests remain available in vending machines across campus, and are optional for most faculty, staff, and students. Those members of the campus community whose medical or religious accommodations include regular testing still must comply with that requirement.

Full link for vending machines map is here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/viewer?mid=15xwCX-le_zeWLIHnT08MX_1fXaqZF3EP&ll=41.51358570000007%2C-81.606043&z=16

COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Required: All members of the campus community must comply with university policies regarding full COVID-19 vaccination—including booster doses when eligible.

The link to information about Booster requirement (dating from December 2021) is here:

If you have questions about other COVID-19 protocols not addressed above, please visit the CWRU Spring COVID-19 Protocols page:

Grants Secured: An update on grants secured by the PQHS faculty. 

•    Jessica Cooke Bailey – NIH/NEI, RO1: Prioritizing diversity in polygeneic risk prediction of primary open-angle glaucoma, $676,000 in 2022 
•    Jonathan Haines, Will Bush and Scott Williams - NIH/NIA: Recruitment and retention for Alzheimer’s Disease Diversity Genetic Cohorts in the ASP (READD-ADSP), $6.6 million over 5 years / part of consortium that secured $46 million over 5 years 
•    Hao (Harry) Feng: CWRU Program for Autism Education and Research: Pilot award for research in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). $25,000 for 2022
•    Darcy Freedman: Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR): Nourishing Neighborhoods, Empowering Communities Study.  $1M over 4 years, plus $1.6M in in-kind matching funds from various sources
•    Darcy Freedman: Produce Perks Midwest/USDA GusNIP: COVID Release and Response:  Statewide Nutrition Incentive Program Evaluation.  $185K for 2022
•    Kristina Knight: SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services: Cuyahoga County Youth Work Institute Mental Health Awareness Training:  $703K over 5 years
•    Siran Koroukian/through Case CCC Shared Resources/Cancer Population Analytics: Velosano: Healthcare Access and Equity in Patients and Survivors of Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancers Enrolled in Medicaid. $125K over 2 years
•    Daniel Tisch: Cleveland Department of Health: COVID-19 Public Health Partnership with CPDH. $449K through June 2022
•    Erika Trapl: Ohio Department of Health: Statistical Services for the 2022 ODH survey. $16K through September 2022

Monthly Faculty Meeting/Five Minute Fever
Get to know your faculty colleagues!  
The Five-Minute Fever faculty presentations given during our monthly PQHS faculty meetings can be found in PQHS Share Drive / PQHS Faculty Meetings and Presentations / 5 Minute Fever 2021-2022   
Link here:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15Xan0dpGKuQUCQSOPsO-Zh3mIH5UGlGj?usp=sharing

NIH Grant Proposal Changes Went Live in January 2022

The SOM Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) is reminding all PIs to use the new format for biosketches and other support pages when submitting NIH grant proposals. While NIH requires the new format for all grants submitted on and after January 25th, the SOM OGC is requiring all submissions to have the new formats for any submissions prior to Jan 25th. Any submissions with old formats will be returned to the PI for revisions.

You can view the following training video and slide presentation via this link:  https://case.edu/medicine/research/research-support/research-administration-updates-and-guidelines

Additional Guidance on completing your Other Support Page: 

  • Question 1: Should I include pending proposals? What do I put down for direct cost?
  • Answer: Yes, you should include any proposals that are submitted but not yet reviewed, or reviewed and still under the possibility of being funded. 

If you are the Contact PI of the project, declare the full cost of the total award. Otherwise, only include the portion of the project awarded to you.

  • Question 2: Do I need to include my start-up package?
  • Answer: Nope! 

For any questions or concerns, please contact your respective research portfolio manager. 

Update on purchasing supplies and equipment

Please make sure that all of your orders for equipment (especially computers) and supplies go through Alberto Santana (software and hardware), Cynthia Moore or Tuesday Gibson (for ICB). Additionally, procurement has recently started to restrict reimbursements for equipment purchased by faculty or staff so to avoid any issues, please contact the above-mentioned individuals and they will process your order for you.  

Also, do not have orders sent to your home address.  

There are exceptions (e.g. orders from the ascertainment team) but a justification needs to be included in the reimbursement request. A sentence or two will suffice. 

 For questions, please contact Maita Diaz (368.0291 / mxd235@case.edu) 

The 501 seminar series will resume with the Fall semester. 

Typically, this seminar series is held on Fridays at 9:30 am (ET).  The series includes guest lecturers and PhD candidates' presentations on their ongoing research. 

Zoom info: (the same info for all PQHS 501 seminars - but look for this to be updated in Fall)
Meeting ID: 974 7646 5096
Passcode: 451607

None scheduled at the moment. 

Updates of your Course Syllabi
This is for faculty teaching in a CRSP, MPHP, or PQHS-listed course  

•   Due August 15 for upcoming Fall courses  

Background – message from Mendel and Jonathan: 

In an effort to update our course syllabi and make sure they are consistent, we need each faculty member who teaches a course to provide an updated syllabus. Each year the School of Medicine updates what they require to be in each syllabus. We need your help to make sure all of our syllabi adhere to these new requirements. We are asking all faculty who teach a course in PQHS, MPHP, or CRSP to provide us with an updated syllabus that incorporates the language required by the School of Medicine.

In addition to the SOM’s required language, the PQHS education team has added some official policy language not required by the SOM that we feel is important to include in the syllabus of every course.

The PQHS Syllabus Template 2022-2023 can be found here:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GpGz3pOX45X3hmHJ70ylJp6LgyDkXfDi/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=111867451569182424605&rtpof=true&sd=true

For reference, the current description of all PQHS courses is here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CV0RmZ0kYt6vjAffRNyS1uwc9XIDgNpu/view?usp=sharing

The PQHS Syllabus Template contains all the sections required by the SOM and the PQHS education team.  Your syllabus must be updated to include all the sections listed in the template.  If a section is highlighted, then you must include that section as it is written in the template.  If a section isn’t highlighted, the section must be included but you may tailor the text to your course.  

For courses taught in Spring 2022 or Summer 2022, we would like a copy of your updated syllabus by July 22nd.  

For courses taught in Fall 2022, we would like a copy of your updated syllabus by August 15th.

Please submit your updated syllabus to the following education administrator for processing:

•    CRSP courses: Nital Subhas nxs164@case.edu
•    MPHP courses (excl. MPHP 101,301): Tara Hannum tmh123@case.edu
•    PQHS courses + MPHP 101,301: Nickalaus Koziura nlk34@case.edu

If your course is cross listed, please send your updated syllabus to the education administrator for whichever course section is the primary listing. For Example, PQHS 431 (also listed as CRSP 431 and MPHP 431) would send their syllabus to Nickalaus, whereas MPHP 426 (also listed as PQHS 426) would send their syllabus to Tara.

If you are unsure as to which section of your course is the primary, please contact Nickalaus Koziura nlk34@case.edu and he will be able to assist you.

PQHS DEI Learning Group

Formed by the PQHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, this learning group meets the second Thursday of each month.

Note: The meeting for August has been changed to August 18th, as there was a conflict with another important meeting.

This group is a safe space for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and skills related to DEI and is for people who are both new to DEI topics in research and those who have been working in this space already. The Learning Group is open to students, faculty, and staff. 

Mark your calendar for August: 

Date/Time:      Thursday, August 18, Noon – 1:00 pm  

Location:         Hybrid via Zoom & In Person (Bioenterprise Building -11000 Cedar Ave Cleveland, OH 44106 - 4th Floor Conference Room #459B)

Topic:              Epigenetics

Contact:          Rebecca Miller, rdm124@case.edu

More details on the location will be sent out soon.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 927 7470 9123

Passcode: 910584

This is a series of seminars with invited guests, hosted by the PQHS Assistant Professors.  These seminars are held by Zoom.

 Information about the next seminar will be posted as information becomes available. 

February's speaker was Yize Zhao, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health and affiliated with Yale Center for Analytical Sciences

Title:                  Genetic underpinnings of brain structural connectome for young adults

The video of her presentation:


Dr. Yize Zhao's main research focuses on the development of statistical and machine learning methods to analyze large-scale complex data (imaging, -omics, EHRs), Bayesian methods, feature selection, predictive modeling, data integration, missing data, and network analysis. She has strong interests in biomedical research areas including mental health, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Zhao received her PhD in Biostatistics from Emory University and postdoc training in Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to Yale, she was an Assistant Professor in Biostatistics at Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medicine.


This series will resume after Memorial Day.

ENIGMA is a weekly series of informal seminars that seeks to create a community of faculty, post-docs, students, and staff focused on topics involving genomic epidemiology, statistical genetics, and computational biology. The goal of each seminar is to provide a "water-cooler" environment for informal discussions and fostering of new ideas/collaborations. 

Presentations can include journal articles, research aims, research results, funding announcements, etc. The presenter typically uses only a few PPT slides with a specific emphasis on the hypothesis - WHY is this research important? What impact does it have? What are its ramifications? The presenter also will provide 3-4 open-ended questions for discussion.

Participants are encouraged to review the article, grant aims, etc., in advance to engage in thoughtful discussion.

To get on the list, contact Fred Schumacher: fredrick.schumacher@case.edu 

Date/Time:  Wednesdays - 4:00 - 5:00

Location:     WRB 2-136
Note:            Drinks and light snacks are served

If you would like to suggest a topic - or debate -  please be in touch with Fred Schumacher:  Frederick.Schumacher@case.edu

The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) website lists all events for the coming year, including their seminar series which typically is held on the first Wednesday of the month at noon. Link here: https://www.prchn.org/Seminar/

Note that there are no seminars in July or August.  

The Swetland Center hosts a monthly seminar series on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 9:00 am – 10:00 am. To learn more and register, go to the Swetland Center events listing: https://case.edu/swetland/news-events/events-calendar

Swetland’s Nourishing Power Network will host its first networking event

WHEN:      Wednesday, August 31, 2022/ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where:         Rid-All Green Partnership Farm, 8129 Otter Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44104
Backgr:    . The Nourishing Power Network is part of a research study that is testing ways to transform food systems by bridging community power with organizational power to spark and expand food justice initiatives led by the community.

More information and registration here:  https://case.edu/swetland/node/1656 

Future dates and speakers follow.  As talk titles/descriptions are available, Lindsay sends out updates and invitations.  

  • September 27: Teela Patterson; Environmental Justice Local Journalism Collaborative
  • October 25: TBD (will be confirmed by end of March)
  • November 15: Dr. Brandy Phipps; Central State University
  • December- no official seminar; we plan to host an event this month but details are TBD (speakers, event title, etc.)

For any questions and to get on the email list for this series, contact:
Lindsay Osborn, MPH, MS
Program Manager- Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention (BCOP)
Education & Training Lead
Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health
Case Western Reserve University
Office: 216-368-6742 | lmc160@case.edu 
Pronouns: she/her 



The Swetland Center is thrilled to announce its partnership with The FARE Project and Neighborhood Connections on the Nourishing Neighborhoods, Empowering Communities Study (aka Nourishing Power Network).  
What is the Nourishing Power Network? 
We are working together to root & grow a food system that works for all. 
The Nourishing Power Network is part of a research study that is testing ways to transform food systems by bridging community power with organizational power to spark & expand food justice initiatives led by the community.
We need your help to root & grow a food system that works for all! Join the Nourishing Power Network by completing the new partner form. If you complete this, we will keep you in the loop on all things Nourishing Power Network. We are also recruiting for the inaugural Nourishing Power Advisory Council. Apply online by July 31. 
Visit our website to learn more about the Advisory Council opportunity. Register to join us for the first Nourishing Power Networking Event. It will be held at Rid-All Green Partnership on August 31 at 9:30 AM.  
•    FARE Project link: https://thefareproject.org/
•    Neighborhood Connections link: https://neighborupcle.org/
•    New Partner form link: https://redcap.case.edu/surveys/?s=ERA4FLN4CNCCXNYJ
•    Advisory Council info link: https://case.edu/swetland/research/nourishing-power-network/nourishing-power-advisory-council
•    Advisory Council application online link: https://redcap.case.edu/surveys/?s=DACA87RJ9FJWL73H

The Population Health Research Institute is comprised of three research centers (the Center for Informatics Research, the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, and the Center for Health Care Research and Policy) and is supported by a Biostatistics and Data Sciences Division. The three centers work in collaboration with 45 faculty from across the region.

More information about the institute is here:  https://www.metrohealth.org/population-health-research-institute


The institute's seminar series is held most Fridays from 9-10 am. 

There are no seminars in July and August.  

More about their series is here:  https://www.metrohealth.org/population-health-research-institute/seminar-series

All seminars are held over Zoom:  


This is a quarterly series of presentations by members of the CADRE consortium focused on the genetics of Alzheimer's Disease

Mark your calendar for August:  
Date/Time:    Wednesday, August 10, 2022 / 2:00 – 3:00  
Speaker:       Logan Dumitrescu, MD, PhD, Computational Geneticist and Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Topic:            Sex-specific genetic drives of Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes

Learn more here: https://cadregenomics.org/alzheimers-disease-next-generation-researchers/
Contact Audrey Lynn, PhD, for Zoom link information:  Audrey.Lynn@case.edu


 Mark Cameron, PhD, commented to CNBC on a new Covid-19 strain first detected in the U.K. 
As he notes: The virus is still capable of evolving, recombining, and developing a new branch of its family tree.
Read the full story here: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/12/new-omicron-xe-variant-detected-in-japan-as-uk-cases-rise-.html

Research led by Siran Koroukian, PhD, and colleagues was highlighted in the Thursday edition of The Daily. The research focused on the high prevalence of cancer among men living with HIV. The full story is on the PQHS home page and in The Daily here: https://thedaily.case.edu/research-led-by-case-western-reserve-university-demonstrates-high-prevalence-of-cancer-among-men-living-with-hiv/

Dana Crawford, PhD, was interviewed for a feature in VeryWellHealth on the importance of genomic sequencing in preparing for the next stage of the pandemic. The full story is here:  https://www.verywellhealth.com/genomic-sequencing-predicts-covid-variant-5224703

Scott Frank, MD, MS, commented to News 5 about monitoring the Omicron subvariant BA.2 in Ohio. 
Watch the full story on the News 5 website: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/ohio-doctors-health-officials-monitor-highly-transmissible-omicron-ba-2-subvariant

Mark Cameron, PhD, commented to Healthline about risks to children of the BA.2 subvariant.  Read the full story here:  https://www.healthline.com/health-news/kids-and-omicron-ba-2-variant-what-are-the-risks

Scott Williams, PhD, joined his colleague James A. Foster, PhD, University of Idaho, in Nature’s Correspondence column touting the benefits of liberal-arts courses in a scientific education. The authors note that a well-rounded education would help students define and tackle social as well as scientific issue – and to communicate them effectively.
The easiest way to read the full correspondence is on the PQHS site:  https://case.edu/medicine/pqhs/node/2686

Morgan Taggart commented to The Land about food access efforts across Cuyahoga county

Morgan Taggart, director of PRCHN’s Healthy Food Access Initiatives, commented to The Land about efforts across Cuyahoga County to support small grocery stores and to expand food access programs to address other individual and population health issues.
The full article is here: https://www.thelandcle.org/stories/cleveland-working-to-promote-convenient-access-to-healthy-foods-in-neighborhoods

Mark Cameron, PhD, commented to the BBC on Differences in the US and Canadian experience with COVID-19

Mark Cameron, PhD, recently commented to the BBC on how US residents fare compared to their Canadian neighbors, based in his comparative research. Read the full BBC story here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60380317

Mark Cameron Comments to the BBC on Daily COVID Toll

Mark Cameron, PhD, recently commented to the BBC on the current daily Omicron/COVID death toll, which at the time of this story (last week) matched the daily toll from earlier this fall when Delta was the main strain. 
As the BBC reporter notes, statistics suggest that the unvaccinated are approximately 100 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated and boosted.

Read the full BBC story https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60133618

WKYC’s Turning Point program recently produced a series on redlining and systemic racism - and how Cleveland is impacted. Gwen Donley, PhD Candidate, commented as part of their segment on redlining. Watch the full story on WKYC’s website here: 

Michelle Jackson, Community Researcher, and Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH, Director, the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health, were interviewed recently by Cleveland’s News 5 on their work around food access in historically redlined Cleveland neighborhoods. Their work is informing Cleveland’s new city administration regarding food access policy.   
Watch the news story here:  https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/oh-cuyahoga/food-security-is-not-just-a-covid-problem-community-leaders-turn-to-new-data-for-neighborhood-solutions

Wyatt Bensken, BS, PhD candidate, recorded a podcast episode with an epilepsy patient/advocate who runs  Epilepsy Sparks an organization that bridges the gap between patients, neurologists, and scientists. https://www.epilepsysparks.com/ 

The podcast focused on the paper Burden of Chronic and Acute Conditions and Symptoms in People with Epilepsy authored by Bensken and colleagues came out in Neurology this past October.  The paper can be found here:  https://n.neurology.org/content/97/24/e2368 

You can listen to the podcast through the site https://www.torierobinson.com/podcast
Or wherever you listen to podcasts through Epilepsy Sparks Insights. 

Darcy Freedman and colleagues recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on their work related to nutrition equity. Their paper – Food system dynamics structuring nutrition equity in racialized urban neighborhoods – is here.  

A press release is in The Daily here.  

Mark Cameron commented to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: as part of their story  'Drug Cocktail' may be needed as COVID variants attack immune system on multiple fronts  
Read more here

A group of Case Western Reserve students worked alongside researchers from the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Master of Public Health Program, and the Center for Global Health and Diseases at the School of Medicine to develop the virtual dashboard on the Cleveland Department of Public Health website. Read The Daily story here


Congratulations to Thomas Love, PhD, and Douglas Gunzler, PhD, both elected to ASA leadership roles

  • Thomas E. Love, PhD, was elected as the 2023 Chair-Elect of the American Statistical Association’s Council of Sections Governing Board. He will serve as Chair of this Board in 2024.
  • Douglas Gunzler, PhD, MA, was elected 2023 Chair-Elect of the Mental Health Statistics Section and will serve as its Chair in 2024.  

The American Statistical Association (ASA) is the world’s largest community of statisticians, the “Big Tent for Statistics.” It is the second oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. Since it was founded in Boston in 1839, the ASA has supported excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science. 
The Council of Sections facilitates exchange and coordination across multiple association sections representing a wide range of professions from biomedical research to defense and economics. 

Learn more about the Council of Sections here: https://community.amstat.org/councilofsections/home
Learn more about the Mental Health Statistics Section here: https://community.amstat.org/mhs/home

The International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES) Communications Committee selected a paper authored by Xiaofeng Zhu, PhD, as the IGES Communications Committee’s highlight for promotion across its site and social channels. The paper, Genome-wide pleiotropy analysis identifies novel blood pressure variants and improves its polygenic risk scores, was recently published in Genetic Epidemiology.  Link is here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/gepi.22440
Link to the IGES home page is here: https://www.geneticepi.org/
IGES Twitter: @genepisociety

Eun Kyung Lee, Post-Doctoral Scholar, and Gwendolyn Donley, MS, PhD candidate, recently joined colleagues in publishing:   Health outcomes in relined versus non-redlined neighborhoods: A systematic review and meta-analysis in Science Direct. Read their paper here.   

 More to come - stay tuned!