Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPH
Director and Founding Dean, Program in Public Health
Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences

Dear UCI community,

As we approach the holidays, I would like to express my gratitude and admiration for our campus community's resilience during this past year. This time of year brings no greater joy than to offer my sincerest thanks for your service to UCI, our local Orange County communities, and beyond.

From the global COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide reckoning for social justice to the devastating disasters caused by climate change, the UCI community came together in inspiring ways to address some of the 21st century's greatest challenges.

Our collective efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of our communities have been nothing short of remarkable. Here at the UCI Program in Public Health, we are grateful to have collaborated with units across the university on an array of critical interventions that include:


I am confident that our dedication to a healthier, more equitable future for all will continue to drive our progress into the new year. Our resilience as a community has and will continue to serve us well as we navigate public health challenges like the emergence of COVID variants like Delta and Omicron.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone
eligible to receive their COVID-19 booster shot. While we still have much to learn about the Omicron variant, we do know that the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are safe and effective. Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus.

Awareness is equally important; with a virus that evolves as rapidly as COVID does, staying up to date on the latest CDC
guidelines for protecting yourself and others is key to maintaining health and safety during such uncertain times.

On behalf of UCI Public Health, thank you for all that you do. We are grateful to our faculty, staff, and students who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide their fellow Anteaters with critical COVID and public health information. Whether it be through the UCI COVID-19 chatline, pop-up booths, or speaking with media, our community of public health advocates continue to make a difference on campus and beyond.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you, again, for all that you do in the name of public health.
Learn more about UCI Public Health's 2020-21 programs, initiatives and cross-school collaborations by checking out our Academic Year in Review.
Safe reopening of college campuses during COVID-19: The University of California experience in Fall 2020

In collaboration with faculty from schools across the UC's, Dean Bernadette Boden-Albala and David M. Souleles, MPH co-authored an article outlining the successes of the UC system's layered approach to reducing campus infection rates in Fall 2020.
Opinion: The need to vaccinate our kids (OC Register)

"After nearly a year’s wait, children ages 5-11 can finally join the ranks of the COVID-19 vaccinated! The hope that this brings for children, and a continued return to more normal youth activities, is palpable. But hope can only become reality if our children get the vaccine," David M. Souleles, MPH wrote.
Connect with a COVID-19 chatline operator now using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Our team of public health professionals readily respond in real-time and conversations are free, secure, and confidential.
Uncertain of the latest masking guidelines? Hesitant about getting the vaccine? Looking for a vaccination site? Our mission is to help you stay safe and informed about COVID-19. Keep in mind that specific medical questions should be directed to a medical provider.

Our chatline is staffed from 9am to 6pm Pacific time on weekdays and weekends, and offline messages will be answered as soon as the chatline opens the next day. We also provide support services for Spanish and Vietnamese speakers upon request.
UCI Public Health helps launch Graduate Student Cluster on Environmental Racism & Health Equity

In collaboration with eight other schools across campus, UCI Public Health launched a Graduate Student Cluster on Environmental Racism & Health Equity, a fellow program designed to address the disparities that communities of color often face when it comes to exposure of environmental pollutants, climate impacts, upstream social determinants, and related adverse health outcomes. Dr. Jun Wu will direct this first-of-its-kind program.
Dr. Scott Bartell invited as guest speaker for Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) webinar series

On Oct. 21, Dr. Scott Bartell gave an invited seminar on "Understanding the Replication Crisis and Its Implications for Environmental Epidemiology" for a HESI webinar series. HESI's mission is to collaboratively identify and help to resolve global health and environmental challenges through the engagement of scientists from academia, government, industry, NGOs, and other partners.
Dr. David Richardson selected as member of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Workshop Committee

Congratulations to
Dr. David Richardson for being selected to serve on the special National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Workshop Committee to Support the EPA’s Development of Human Health Effects Assessments.
Bridging the Gap: Is Climate Change the Newest Social Determinant of Health?

"Climate change will continue to impact all facets of health, and on its own, is a social determinant of health," Dr. Jun Wu wrote. "Literally and figuratively, 'bridging the gap' between disciplines will allow us to collectively tackle the day’s pressing issues and devise and implement solutions to help those most in need."
UCI Public Health represented at the 2021 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Virtual Conference

Xiaochen Liu, a PhD student in Dr. Trina Norden-Krichmar’s lab, delivered a poster presentation at the AASLD virtual conference from Nov 12-15. The poster was entitled “Comparing the performance of dynamic liver function scoring systems for survival outcome in alcohol-associated hepatitis”.
How To Weigh Omicron Concerns Against Your Travel-Planning Dreams, According To an Epidemiologist and Travel Experts (Well+Good)

"COVID will be around next year. It's not going to go away anytime soon. There will probably be new variants that emerge—and we can't predict that," said Dr. Karen Edwards in a recent interview with Well+Good. According to Edwards, the question about whether or not to travel largely comes down the particular level of risk a person is willing to take on.
New campus collaboration combines brain imaging techniques with saliva sampling to identify early indicators of cognitive decline in elderly populations

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research (IISBR) is partnering with the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) on an initiative that would advance research aimed at improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Welcoming Dr. Dylan H. Roby to UCI Public Health

The Department of Health, Society and Behavior is delighted to welcome Dr. Dylan H. Roby to its faculty. A leading expert in the field, Roby brings 25 years of expertise in health policy research, reform, and capacity-building in settings from Capitol Hill to academia. Get to know Dr. Roby by reading his full Q&A interview below.
Businesses selling non-FDA-approved stem cell products grew four-fold in five years, UCI study says

More than four times as many businesses and clinics than were identified in 2016 are selling stem cell products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and lack convincing evidence of safety and efficacy, according to a five-year study conducted by Dr. Leigh Turner.
R21 funding from the National Institute of Aging will provide clarity on why women tend to live longer than men

Dr. Tim Bruckner was awarded an R21 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the NIH, for nearly $450,000 over the next 2 years to study the reasons why males have a shorter lifespan compared to females, and whether this heightened male frailty is due to circumstances in the womb during pregnancy.
Dr. Dylan Roby presents at NIH Science Policy Discussion Group (SPDG) Session

On Nov. 17 and as part of a SPDG panel discussion on policy analysis and implementation science, Dr. Dylan Roby discussed how policy analysis is often used in the political process.
SPDG is a fellow-led and run organization that brings together individuals with a shared passion for science and health policy, while offering training relevant to the field.
Dr. Daniel Parker presents on mosquito borne diseases at University of Michigan webinar

An expert in infectious disease, Dr. Daniel Parker delivered a presentation at the University of Michigan School of Public Health's Epidemiology Seminar Series entitled, "Mapping mosquito spit: a novel way to assess the space-time risk of mosquito borne diseases."
UCI student-led awareness campaign brings antibiotic resistance messages to the forefront

Prompted by the work of Dr. Dele Ogunseitan, UCI students from several disciplines launched a campaign to educate their fellow Anteaters about the appropriate use of antibiotics and increase public awareness by effectively translating knowledge into action.
Dr. Dele Ogunseitan attends UC Global Health Institute Leadership Retreat

In his role as Director of Education for UC Global Health Institute, Dr. Dele Ogunseitan participated in an in-person Leadership Retreat held at UC Riverside on Nov. 18-19.
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Follow us on social to hear more about the work being done by students, staff and faculty across the Program.
UCI and UCLA create novel center that addresses cardiovascular disease among LAC and OC minority communities

Dean Bernadette Boden-Albala will serve as a multiple PI for a first of its kind center established to address health inequities that lead to cardiovascular diseases in low-income and minority groups within the greater Los Angeles and Orange County region, supported by a $17.9M grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Dr. Tim Bruckner awarded over $2.5 million to address racial disparities in preterm birth and fetal losses

Congratulations to Dr. Tim Bruckner for receiving an R01 grant from the NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for roughly $2.5 million over the next 5 years. The grant supports his ongoing research examining racial/ethnic disparities in two important pregnancy outcomes: preterm birth and infant death.
UCI’s Robert Phalen recognized by leading associations for his contribution to the field of air pollution and its health effects

The award recognizes excellence and achievement in the areas of medicinal aerosols and other inhaled materials, including air pollutants, occupational air contaminants, and radioactive aerosols. Phalen has directed the financial prize to go towards his research at the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory (APHEL), now a formal research center under UCI Public Health.
UCI Public Health joins NIH consortium to enhance diversity in artificial intelligence and machine learning research

Dean Bernadette Boden-Albala will serve as a multiple PI in the NIH Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) program. The $50M initiative brings together experts in community engagement, artificial intelligence/machine learning, health equity research, data science training, and data infrastructure to address disparities.
P20 National Cancer Institute (NCI) award funds UCI/CSU Fullerton partnership aimed at addressing OC cancer disparities

Recently awarded over $264,000 in P20 funding from NCI,
Dr. Sora Tanjasiri will co-direct the Cancer Health Equity Research Partnership (CHERP), a collaboration between the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and CSUF aimed at enhancing the pipeline of underrepresented minority students in cancer disparities research while addressing disparities of the highest need across Orange County.
Dr. Daniel Parker earns Chartered Geographer accreditation by Royal Geographical Society

This internationally recognized title is given to professionals who demonstrate expertise in applying geographical skills, knowledge and understanding; innovating; acting professionally; and communicating and influencing in a range of professional settings. A demographer by training, Dr. Daniel Parker focuses much of his research on spatiotemporal patterns in infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis.
Dr. Brittany Morey tackles data equity for underrepresented Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations

Congratulations to
Dr. Brittany Moreywho served as consultant on recent project awarded $250,000 from the Office of Minority Health to address health equity and data representing Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
One Health: Ensuring Excellence in Training Essential Interprofessional Skills for a Competent Workforce

In an article published in EMERGING at the invitation of the Indonesia One Health University Network (INDOHUN), Dr. Dele Ogunseitan outlines what One Health educators can do to prepare the next generation of leaders in the field. Additional support came from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, and USAID.
UCI-led study shows link between a woman’s residence and pregnancy outcomes along the Thailand-Myanmar border

Corresponding author Dr. Daniel Parker led a study that shows clinics in the Thailand-Myanmar border region see low rates of post-partum follow-up care – approximately 17.4% – among the women they serve. The study found that distance travelled strongly predicts loss to follow-up care, miscarriage and even malaria infections in pregnancy for women residing in the area.
All of Us Research Program Virtual Event: COVID Updates & Creating a New Normal
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 // 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Learn how you can be included in shaping the future of health care for you, your family, your community, and generations to come by joining us for an All of Us Research Program virtual event featuring UCI Public Health's David M. Souleles, MPH. He will cover COVID-19 case trends, vaccine issues and coverage, and a review of the UCI campus public health response to COVID-19 management as a case study.
UCI Health Affairs Town Hall: COVID-19 and Public Health Updates
Thursday, December 16, 2021 // 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Faculty and staff are invited to join a UCI Health town hall on the latest updates on COVID-19, variants, and managing the upcoming holidays. Panelists include:
  • Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPH, Director and Founding Dean, Program in Public Health
  • Susan Huang, MD, Director of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention, UCI Health
  • David Souleles, MPH, Director, COVID-19 Response Team
  • Ramona Agrela, Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Michael Dennin, Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education and Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
The panel will be moderated by Steve A. N. Goldstein, MA, MD, PhD, FAAP, Vice Chancellor, Health Affairs.
Register to receive the Zoom link. Space is limited to the first 3,000 participants. A livestream link will also be made available later. This is a webinar and only the speakers will be visible during the town hall. Open Q and A to follow remarks. If you are unable to join the Zoom and would like to ask a question, please send it in advance to
Spit Camp I: Salivary Analyte Basics and Lab Training
Thursday, January 27- Friday, January 28, 2022
IISBR Lab (Social Ecology I Building, Room #126)

Faculty, post-doctoral scholars, fellows, and graduate students are invited to join us for Spit Camp 1, a two-day workshop program designed to teach both basic and advanced strategies for incorporating saliva into your research and data analysis.

Participants gain practical knowledge and experience in salivary bioscience, while building relationships and collaborations, sharing ideas, and getting valuable feedback. Lectures and discussions are led by Assistant Professor Jenna Riis, and laboratory activities are led by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research (IISBR) lab team.

Attendees will be required to wear face masks when indoors and face shields while collecting saliva samples in a group setting as per UCI guidelines. Attendees must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from within 48-hours of the camp (PCR or Antigen; this information will not be stored). Additional COVID-19 precautions may be instituted in accordance with local and university guidelines at the time of the camp.
Dr. Sacoby Wilson
On November 22, the Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research hosted a special webinar featuring Dr. Sacoby Wilson, associate professor from Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health.
Wilson delivered a talk entitled "Environmental Racism and Injustice in the 21st Century: The Role of Community-Engaged Science for a Greener, More Equitable Future".

This month, UCI Public Health would like to give a shout-out to all of the health sciences students that participated in a pop-up flu vaccine clinic. At an interprofessional student-led event, volunteers from the UCI Program in Public Health, the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Student Health Center provided flu shots to nearly 400 undergraduate and graduate students in a three-day, pop-up clinic at Anteater Plaza.

Special thanks to UCI Public Health staff Emily Drum and Desiree Gutierrez for their hard work organizing the clinic.
UCI flu vaccine pop-up
UCI flu vaccine pop-up
Home for the Holidays
Thank you to our UCI Public Health Alumni and Public Health Alumni Chapter Board members who joined us for our first in person event of the year - Home for the Holidays!
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