Upcoming & Recent Seminars

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Mental Health
- Seminar by K.P. (Suba) Subbalakshmi, Ph.D.
Monday, April 23, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
K.P. (Suba) Subbalakshmi, Ph.D.

Human cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Aphasia and dementia are hard to detect and yet a fast growing concern. Studies show average delays of 1.8 to 3 years in diagnosing AD. Even experts diagnose AD only with 77% accuracy. Mayo Clinic suggests that there are no specific tests today to confirm AD. Only 5% (about 200,000 people) of younger people (in their 40s and 50s) in the U.S. are affected by AD (called “early-onset). Therefore, doctors untrained in AD typically do not suspect these early signs or attribute it wrongly to stress and other factors. In a... read more

Health Behavior Theory
- Seminar by Nasim Bahadorani
Thursday, April 19, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
AIRB 2086
Nasim Bahadorani

Stressful stimuli may elicit a physiological reaction of the sympathetic nervous system which is intended to help one survive perceived threat. Public health professionals hypothesized it might be possible to harness the power of this response to change health risk behaviors such that, if people fear certain disease outcomes, they may change behavior to avoid them. Thus, models based on perceived threat and fear appeals developed. However, people perceive threat differently. Some may not perceive themselves vulnerable, while others lack coping skills and resiliency to process... read more

Dynamics of Drug Resistance Evolution in South East Asian Malaria Parasites
- Seminar by Timothy Anderson, Ph.D.
Monday, April 16, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
CalIT 2
Timothy Anderson, Ph.D.

Control of microbial pathogens follows a repetitive and depressing cycle: a new drug is introduced and works well for a while, until drug resistant pathogens arise and spread. This is bad news for the people infected, but provides an excellent opportunity to study recent selective events or those that are still ongoing. How many times does drug resistance arise in microbial populations? What determines whether particular drug resistance alleles spread? How many genes are involved? Answering these questions is critical if we are to develop sensible “evolution proof”... read more

Syndemics and Public Health
- Seminar by Theodore K. Gideonse
Friday, April 13, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
AIRB 2086
Theodore K. Gideonse

Syndemics are synergistic epidemics typically defined as two or more epidemics or disease clusters interacting biologically and exacerbated by social, economic, and environmental conditions. They have complex etiologies and require innovative, multi-pronged interventions. In this lecture, I will examine the syndemics framework through two classic syndemics -- HIV and Tuberculosis in Africa and Obesity and Diabetes in the United States. This will lead into a discussion of the syndemic of HIV and methamphetamine abuse among men who have sex with men, which I have been studying for... read more

How Veterans Grieve: Understanding grief responses to suicide and battle death in U.S. combat veterans
- Seminar by Pauline Lubens
Thursday, April 12, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
AIRB 2086
Pauline Lubens

At any moment, adversaries are fighting numerous wars across the world. Although many scholars concentrate on the emotional toll or geopolitical repercussions of these conflicts, a growing body of research has delineated the public health consequences of war. Specifically, war has a profound effect on communicable disease, as well as consequences for mental, environmental, and behavioral health both domestically and globally. This presentation will focus on foundational concepts in understanding war’s impact on public health. First, I will address how the public health effects... read more

Breastfeeding and Population Health: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices
- Seminar by Kinga Szucs, MD, FAAP, FABM
Monday, April 9, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
CalIT 2
Kinga Szucs, MD, FAAP, FABM

Dr. Szucs will discuss evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding to children, mothers and society. She will describe barriers to successful breastfeeding, and identify policies, sociocultural determinants and practices that promote or stigmatize breastfeeding. Dr. Kinga A. Szucs, MD, FAAP, FABM, IBCLC was Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, where she worked for fifteen years. She was the medical director of the newborn nursery at Eskenazi Health for over a decade. In this role she saw breastfeeding dyads and taught residents and... read more

Community-Level Prejudice and Mortality among Immigrant Groups
- Seminar by Brittany Morey, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Monday, April 2, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
Brittany Morey, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Building on theories of structural stigma and health, this study examines whether anti-immigrant prejudice at the community level is prospectively associated with mortality. I analyzed 10 waves of data from the General Social Survey (GSS) that were linked to mortality data via the National Death Index (NDI) for the period between 1993 and 2014 (n=13,242). The 2014 GSS-NDI dataset is a nationally representative sample reporting social characteristics and attitudes in the United States that was prospectively linked to mortality data. The findings provide insights into how... read more

Access and delivery of mental healthcare in Santa Barbara - A Clinical Perspective
- Seminar by Dr. Anish Dube, MD, MPH
Monday, March 12, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
Dr. Anish Dube, MD, MPH

In this presentation I will review some of the demographic characteristics of Santa Barbara before discussing my own clinical experiences working with children and their families at the local County Mental Health clinic and some of the structural challenges I faced in the delivery of mental healthcare. Dr. Anish R. Dube is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UCI where he also serves as the Program Director for the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. He completed his general psychiatric residency training at the University of... read more

Housing Experiment to Inform How Housing and Neighborhood Factors Influence Health and Health Equity
- Seminar by Dr. Theresa L. Osypuk, SD
Monday, February 26, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
Dr. Theresa L. Osypuk, SD

Persistently high racial residential segregation predicts poor health, and the vast racial inequalities in neighborhood environment may play an important role in creating and maintaining racial disparities in health. However there is a dearth of translational social epidemiology evidence to inform policies that may promote health equity. This talk will focus on a social experiment of neighborhood relocation that occurred in the housing sector with the Moving to Opportunity ("MTO") for Fair Housing Demonstration Program. This experiment randomly assigned low-income families... read more

Healthy Campus Initiative: Making the healthy choice the easy choice
- Seminar by Wendelin Slusser, MD, MS
Monday, February 5, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
Wendelin Slusser, MD, MS

In January 2013, Chancellor Gene Block launched the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI). The UCLA HCI, envisioned and supported by Jane and Terry Semel, prioritizes the health and wellness of students, staff, and faculty. It is a campus-wide effort to draw upon UCLA’s world renowned research and teaching, to find new and innovative ways to promote living well on the UCLA campus, and to share that education and research with other communities, locally and beyond. Since its inception, the HCI has acted as a sparkplug and home for health-related campus-wide work, helping to... read more

Epigenetics in Epidemiology: Lessons from the First Studies of DNA Methylation and Disease.
- Seminar by Stella Aslibekyan, Ph.D.
Monday, January 22, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
Stella Aslibekyan, Ph.D.

With the advent of commercially available epigenetic arrays, studies of DNA methylation have emerged as the new frontier in genomics, promising deeper understanding of disease etiology at the molecular level. The first wave of studies identified numerous genomic regions that are differentially methylated in the context of human disease. However, several questions remain, among them: 1) are the identified DNA methylation variants a cause or a consequence of disease phenotypes? 2) is whole blood, commonly available in epidemiologic studies, an appropriate tissue for studying... read more

Personal Health Navigators
- Seminar by Professor Ramesh Jain
Monday, January 8, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Calit2 Auditorium
Professor Ramesh Jain

Health is a continuous state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. A person’s health is the result of genetics, lifestyle, environment, and socio-economic situation. Though health is a continuous state, resource limitations resulted in considering health as reactive and episodic aspect of life. Availability of technology and resources suggests that our perspective on health should be adjusted to reflect reality. Advances in smart phones, sensors, and wearable technology are now making it possible to analyze and understand an individual’s life style from... read more

Health in Context: From Genotypes to Geocodes
- Seminar by Jennifer Robinette, Ph.D.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
12:00pm - 1:00pm
AIRB 2086
Jennifer Robinette, Ph.D.

People living in low income neighborhoods often have poor health because these neighborhoods typically expose residents to more hazards and fewer resources. This talk will review biological, affective, and behavioral processes that serve as pathways linking adverse neighborhood features with health. Evidence from twin models provides more defensible causal inferences about neighborhood effects. Further, investigations of gene x environment interactions suggest that some subgroups of the population may be more vulnerable than others to neighborhood adversity. Jennifer Robinette... read more

A Vaccine to Prevent Cancer: Why aren't more people vaccinated?
- Seminar by Jay M. Lieberman, M.D
Monday, November 27, 2017
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Donald Bren Hall - 6011
Jay M. Lieberman, M.D

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus transmitted by sexual contact. Most people will be infected by one or more HPV types over the course of their lifetime. Nearly 80 million people—about one in four—are currently infected in the United States. In most cases, HPV infections resolve on their own, but in some cases, infection persists, and when it does it can lead to the development of cancer. HPV can result in cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus, as well as oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.) Every year... read more

The importance of evaluating psycho-social factors while addressing the problem of diabetes
- Seminar by Harsimran “Sim” Singh, Ph.D.
Monday, November 20, 2017
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Cal-IT2 Auditorium
Harsimran “Sim” Singh, Ph.D.

Based on recent statistics, 415 million (or 1 in 11) adults globally have diabetes. In US alone, 30 million people have diabetes and these numbers are only expected to rise. Additionally, almost 84 million people have prediabetes and are at a high risk of converting to type 2 diabetes. Without a doubt, diabetes has grown rapidly from being considered an individual’s disease to becoming a major public health concern. There is an urgent need to develop culturally competent and patient centered interventions that can tackle this condition on a wider scale. Optimal diabetes... read more

Perfluorinated Chemicals and Acetaminophen: Neurodevelopmental Effects in the Danish National Birth Cohort
- Seminar by Zeyan Liew, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Monday, November 13, 2017
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Cal-IT2 Auditorium
Zeyan Liew, M.P.H., Ph.D.

The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) was established to evaluate the fetal programming theory which the cohort recruited ~100,000 pregnancies during 1996-2002, and the offspring were closely followed since birth at multiple ages and currently in its 18th years of follow-up. In this seminar, I will present a series of DNBC studies that investigated in-utero exposures to some widespread endocrine disrupting chemicals such as perfluorinated compounds that are synthetic chemicals used in commercial and industrial applications, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) the most commonly used... read more

Filling the translational gap for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: brain-hormone relationships and vulnerability to mental health.
- Seminar by Kristina Uban, Ph.D.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
AIRB 2086
Kristina Uban, Ph.D.

Youth affected by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can present with a complex profile of adaptive, behavioral, cognitive and physical problems referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD is completely preventable, yet is in the top 3 known causes of intellectual disability. Up to 90% of individuals with FASD may experience mental health problems over the life course. Any amount of PAE can potentially result in FASD, with an average national (US) prevalence of 2.4-4.8%, and reaching 80% of school-aged children in the Chicago area from foster or adopted homes.... read more

Creating Healthy Places: The Jordan Downs Public Housing Complex in Watts, Los Angeles
- Seminar by Monika T. Shankar
Monday, November 6, 2017
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Cal-IT2 Auditorium
Monika T. Shankar

Jordan Downs is a public housing community located in Watts, Los Angeles, currently undergoing a $1 billion redevelopment and remediation. It is also an environmental justice community that faces multiple environmental and socio-economic burdens, ranging from contaminated soil and water, to unaffordable housing and the threat of displacement. Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA is part of the Jordan Downs Environmental Justice Coalition - a group comprised of Jordan Downs residents and community based advocates fighting to ensure that Jordan Downs and the broader Watts... read more

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to Reduce Cancer Disparities among Underserved Asian Americans
- Seminar by Sunmin Lee, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
AIRB 2086
Sunmin Lee, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Despite considerable progress made towards cancer control in the United States, some minority groups have not equitably benefited from such improvements. There is surprisingly little empirical research conducted to reduce cancer incidence and improve cancer survivorship among Asian Americans, the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States. Additionally, 75% of Asians Americans are foreign born, and close to 50% of Asian Americans have limited English proficiency, posing them with additional linguistic and cultural barriers to access health information and... read more

Refugee Reproductive Health in North America
- Seminar by Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Monday, October 30, 2017
12:00PM - 1:00PM
Cal-IT2 Auditorium
Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, Ph.D., M.P.H.

In 2016, Dr. Thiel de Bocanegra led an international workgroup to prepare recommendations for integration of policy and epidemiology to support refugee health in the United States and other high-income receiving countries. In this presentation she will summarize key lessons and describe Canadian and U.S. guidelines for the reproductive health assessment and integration of refugee women into the host country’s health care system. Dr. Thiel de Bocanegra is Associate Professor at the UCSF Bixby Center. From 2005 to 2016, she was director of the evaluation of California’s... read more

Reducing the Burden of Chronic Diseases in Orange County: Lessons from the OC-PICH Study
- Seminar by Mojgan Sami, Ph.D.
Monday, October 23, 2017
12:00PM - 1:00PM
Cal-IT2 Auditorium
Mojgan Sami, Ph.D.

The Orange County Partnerships to Improve Community Health (OC-PICH) was part of a selective nationwide effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to build evidence-base for effective interventions that can reduce the burden of chronic diseases. OC-PICH was based on extensive health needs assessment data that revealed disparities in the county, and opportunities for interventions in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove. The partnership sought to collect evidence on health policies, environmental infrastructures to support health-promoting functions, and urban... read more

Green Health Metrics: Transnational Gaps in Science and Policy
- Seminar by Dele Ogunseitan, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Monday, October 9, 2017
12:00PM - 1:00PM
Cal-IT2 Auditorium
Dele Ogunseitan, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Green health is the goal of individual and societal investments in sustainable products and processes that enhance human health. It is about making informed decisions concerning disease prevention strategies that transcend national boundaries; choices about safer and effective medications; about energy resources that minimize health-damaging pollution; and choices about international investments in green infrastructures that promote health—green transportation, green agriculture, green buildings, and green information technologies. Advancing the conceptual framework of green... read more


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