PQHS Department Events

This page is updated regularly, and on Fridays, 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.   

Ice Cream Social

The ice cream social is scheduled for Thursday, June 2, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, in the BRB Lobby. Word is there will be lots of flavors – including vegan options – and of course, lots of toppings : )   

Please RSVP using this doodle poll:  https://doodle.com/meeting/participate/id/bo2xQ1Na
Many thanks to Kristy Miskimen for organizing this: KLM64@case.edu

Reminder regarding Vacation Days: 
•    Use it or lose it. 
•    University staff members are reminded they can carry over as much vacation as they accrue in one year (i.e., an employee earning 128 hours per year—or 16 days—can carry over 128 hours). Any balance of hours over the yearly accrual amount must be used by June 30 or it will be lost.

•    Faculty:  Grants managers may be using vacation time so PLEASE be sure to notify your grants manager if you are submitting any proposals in June!

Effort Certification: Due June 20, 2022.
Reminders from Dr. Haines:   
•    Mentoring Program:  First of two annual meetings and reports are due June 1st
•    Reports for Medical Student Interactions: Due July 31st 
•    Email to Julie.Riling@case.edu

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

Per the University’s March 3 message, undergraduates were still required to submit a COVID-19 sample or result by Wednesday, March 16, while faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to do the same.

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. 

•    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

Diversity and Inclusion

Reminder:  If you missed the session on "Promoting a Culture of Inclusion," held virtually for PQHS on Oct 28th 2021, please arrange to attend another session with Tina Lining, Director of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, CWRU School of Medicine:  tar5@case.edu

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

PhD Dissertation Defense

Speaker: Wyatt P. Bensken, EPBI Candidate
Date/Time: Friday, June 10, 2022 / 12:00 noon 
Location: In person:  WRB 2136 - NOTE THE ROOM CHANGE
For those wanting to attend via Zoom – please request a zoom link here:    https://cwru.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEocOCpqTspHNWvAuSf2tT89LMfRegEbUrp

Title:  Disparities and Inequities in Health, Health Care, and Outcomes for People Living with Epilepsy
More information here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ylRGoTjGvdKwiGAVnEuCeA-_s1_dUP2W/view?usp=sharing

Conversations About Your Future:  Hosted by the Master’s in Biostatistics program

Conversations about your Future: Career Paths and Professional Development is a seminar series that features Biostatisticians who share their stories about working in the field. Featured speakers come from academia, health care, industry, government, etc. They share what it's like to work in their setting, how they found their jobs, and other helpful career advice.

Contact:  Sara M. Debanne, PhD: 

Date/Time:        June - TBD 



PQHS DEI Learning Group

The PQHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is proud to announce the new PQHS DEI Learning Group. Our mission is to actively improve understanding of the importance of diverse perspectives in research, unpack the implications of how we operationalize groups and disparities, and use interprofessional education to build collaborations and networks. We will be discussing articles relevant to diversity issues in population health research, learning how to include diverse perspectives in our research, and building new collaborations and networks together. 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. 

We will be meeting on the second Thursday of each month at 12:00 p.m./Noon via Zoom  

Coming up in June: 
Date/Time:    Thursday, June 9, Noon – 1:00 pm
Location:       Via Zoom 
Topic:            Critical Race Theory

Please note that Rebecca Miller will be taking over responsibilities for organizing this group. Please email her if you have questions or suggestions:  Rebecca Miller, rdm124@case.edu

For May - please note the updated Zoom meeting information:  


Summer 2022 Healthcare Experience

The Office of Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education compiled a list of Summer 2022 Healthcare Experiences that might be of interest to School of Medicine graduate and PRIME students, in addition to our CWRU undergraduate students. Many of the experiences listed are aimed at students seeking opportunities to enhance their candidacy to professional or PhD programs. 

Feel free to share and distribute widely as you deem appropriate. 

Google document:  Summer 2022 Healthcare Experiences 


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 shortly.

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 will be 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/

A list of their seminar series invitees is below.  Please go to the PRCHN website for more information and to register. Coming soon:

  • June 8th: Asthma & Social Determinants of Health
    • Dr. Sarah Ronis, MD MPH | Director of the University Hospitals Rainbow Center for Child Health & Policy
    • Registration and Zoom link information to come.

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

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

  • June & July: Swetland Readers Book Club -- more information below
  • August 30 (in-person from 11-12): Keymah Durden & Elizabeth Grace; Reforest Our City program 
  • 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 

Swetland Readers Book Club
The Swetland Center is proud to announce the launch of the Swetland Readers Book Club in collaboration with the PRCHN and the Social Justice Institute. We understand that learning comes in many forms and have created this forum to grow and learn together in community.  Learn more here:  https://case.edu/swetland/training/swetland-readers-book-club.

This summer’s selection:  Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.
Location: Hybrid sessions will be held in room 426 of the BioEnterprise Bldg (11000 Cedar Avenue)

Register here by Friday, May 20, 2022:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScB6Ekvs-ctKcbFhm7paC2nAknDN7sTdmsd0zZOZXG083mUWQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
Dates/Times:  All meetings are drop-in style, held from 11:30 – 1:00 pm.
Drop-in means that any session may cover a particular topic/theme, and participants can attend all or some of the sessions.     

•    Thursday, June 9, 2022 [hybrid]
•    Thursday, June 23, 2022 [hybrid]
•    Thursday, July 7, 2022 [virtual]
•    Thursday, July 21, 2022 [hybrid]

Zoom link information to come.

For any questions, 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 

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 MetroHealth Population Health Research Institute Quarterly Update

A pdf of the quarterly update is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L0hm9YaM6CUQA7ucH8o-LkTWdPocP3dl/view?usp=sharing

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

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

All seminars are held over Zoom:  


Meeting ID: 945 3232 8533  |  Passcode: 867012

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:           TBD

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.   

Ice Cream Social

The PQHS ice cream social is scheduled for Thursday, June 2, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, in the BRB Lobby. Word is there will be lots of flavors – including vegan options – and of course, lots of toppings : )   

Please RSVP using this doodle poll:  https://doodle.com/meeting/participate/id/bo2xQ1Na

Many thanks to Kristy Miskimen for organizing this: KLM64@case.edu