School of public health

School Notes: School of Public Health
January/February 2022

Melinda Pettigrew (interim) |

Grant funds study of brain tumors

A team of scientists led by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health has received a $13 million grant to investigate the molecular evolution of lower grade gliomas, slow-growing but malignant brain tumors that primarily affect young adults. One of the most important questions in the field of neuro-oncology is how best to manage and treat lower grade glioma (LGG). To better understand how these tumors evolve over time, the researcher will enroll 500 participants diagnosed with LGG and who have had two or more surgeries for their glioma. “Our study will be the first large-scale and patient-engaged effort to provide a comprehensive genomic characterization of the evolution from primary LGG to recurrence,” said the project’s lead researcher Elizabeth B. Claus, ’88Pbh, ’88PhD, ’94MD, professor of biostatistics.

FDA authorizes sample pooling for SalivaDirect test

The US Food and Drug Administration authorized the SalivaDirect PCR COVID-19 test created by the Yale School of Public Health for use with pooled saliva samples. Pooled testing allows labs to combine saliva samples from multiple individuals into a single tube and process the batch as a single test. This approach maintains the clinical sensitivity associated with the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests—the gold standard for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19—and gives labs the ability to process the tests far more quickly. “Adopting frequent testing as a new public health habit will help keep us safe from infection and keep our schools, workplaces, and businesses open,” said Anne Wyllie, principal investigator of SalivaDirect

Online Executive MPH class launches

The Yale School of Public Health welcomed 38 working professionals to campus this semester as it launches its inaugural online Executive MPH program. The part-time program, which takes two years to complete, provides students with a broad foundation in public health and an opportunity to specialize in chosen tracks: health informatics, environmental health sciences, applied analytical methods and epidemiology, and critical topics in public health. Management and leadership skills are also an explicit component of the curriculum.    

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