RESEARCH NEWSNew department at UNC: Global Women's Health
Weighing the difference: switching to water, diet beverages can tip the scales
UNC computer scientist Ming Lin honored by international computing society
Six UNC faculty recognized by international scientific society
UNC Global Women’s Health (GWH) will be based in the UNC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and bring together a faculty with diverse expertise in the health issues facing women and their families in developing world settings. The creation of UNC GWH is made possible through the recruitment of five new faculty based at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ). UNC GWH will collaborate with UNC’s established program in neighboring Malawi, where UNC faculty from multiple disciplines have been working successfully for more than two decades.
The mission of GWH will be to advance the health of women and their families in resource-limited settings through research, service delivery, and training. A major focus will be to raise the profile of global health within the OB-GYN specialty and to train the next generation of OB-GYN leaders in global health. Dr. Jeff Stringer will lead UNC GWH, the ninth division in the department of obstetrics and gynecology.
Faculty with UNC GWH will reside in Africa and collaborate in research, teaching and clinical care of women in Malawi and Zambia. “Our aim is to establish the world’s premier program in global women’s health and there’s no better place on the planet to do that than UNC”, said Stringer. “There is already huge capacity for this work within the UNC community, and an obvious commitment to global health that spans the entire campus. We hope to leverage our existing resources in Zambia with those of UNC’s longstanding program in Malawi to create new regional and global opportunities for UNC faculty and students. We could not be more enthusiastic about joining UNC.”
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Weighing the difference: switching to water, diet beverages can tip the scalesMaking a simple substitution of water or diet soft drinks for drinks with calories can help people lose 4 to 5 pounds, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows.
The study, published online and in the March 2012 print issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared weight loss for 318 overweight or obese people, who were divided into three groups: those who switched from calorie-laden beverages to diet soft drinks; those who switched to water; and those who were not counseled to change beverages but received general information about healthy choices that could lead to weight loss. All three groups attended monthly group sessions and had access to a group-specific website for 6 months.
“Substituting noncaloric beverages – whether it’s water, diet soft drinks or something else – can be a clear and simple change for people who want to lose or maintain weight,” said study author Deborah Tate, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and of health behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. “If this were done on a large scale, it could significantly reduce the increasing public health problem of obesity.”
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Lin, the John R. and Louise S. Parker Distinguished Professor of Computer Science in UNC’s College of Art and Sciences, has been named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.
Lin is an expert in computer graphics and geometric computing. Her research on mathematical foundations and applications has been used in CAD/CAM, 3D graphics, physically based modeling, virtual environments, robotics and haptics by the scientific community, the computer industry and the entertainment world.
The association named 46 new fellows for their contributions that have created a broad range of innovations for industry, commerce, entertainment and education. The fellows were chosen from international industries, universities and research labs. They will be honored at the association’s annual awards banquet in June.
Lin, who joined the UNC faculty in 1997, earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.
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The association, the world’s largest general scientific society, elects fellows to recognize their efforts toward advancing science applications that are considered scientifically or socially distinguished.
The six new fellows are biochemist Henrik Dohlman, microbiologist William Goldman, geneticist Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena, virologist Nancy Raab-Traub, geneticist Jeff Sekelsky and biochemist Yue Xiong.
In total, 58 Carolina faculty members have been elected fellows of the association.
Raab-Traub was recognized for her contributions as the world’s foremost expert on the molecular pathogenesis of the most common Epstein-Barr Virus malignancy, nasopharyngeal carcinoma. She is a microbiology and immunology professor in the School of Medicine and a member of the Lineberger Center.
UNC is leading a new effort to address key data challenges facing scientific researchers in the digital age.
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