News Article | April 26, 2017
Pres. Donald Trump’s administration has announced plans to dismantle an array of federal efforts to fight global warming, including a program to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, a rule limiting methane gas leaks and a mandate that aggressively boosts auto emissions standards. But Trump officials face a major roadblock in their efforts, legal scholars say. It is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 formal “endangerment finding,” which states carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases emitted from smokestacks and other man-made sources “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” This agency rule, supported by two Supreme Court decisions, legally compels the government to do exactly what its new leaders want to avoid: regulate greenhouse gases. Although EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt publicly doubts a connection between human-produced carbon emissions and global warming, any attempt to undo this rule “would be walking into a legal buzz saw,” says Michael Gerrard, faculty director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. Endangerment is “the linchpin for everything—all of the carbon regulation under the Clean Air Act,” says Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School. The rule’s fundamental power is exactly why Pruitt has to remove it, says Myron Ebell, who oversaw the Trump transition team at the EPA. “You can’t just take out the flowers—you have to take out the roots—starting with the endangerment finding,” says Ebell, a senior fellow at the conservative think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “You can undo the Obama climate agenda on the surface by reopening the Clean Power Plant rule, the methane rule, rescinding the [auto emissions] standards and so on. But the underlying foundation remains.” The conservative Web site Breitbart, read widely among Trump’s supporters and still tied to its former publisher, White House adviser Steve Bannon, has attacked Pruitt as a political careerist for reportedly resisting pressure to revoke the finding. The rule rests on a 2007 Supreme Court decision in the case Massachusetts v. EPA, which determined the agency has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. When the finding itself was later challenged, the Court upheld it. The endangerment finding prevents Pruitt from ignoring climate change or eliminating greenhouse gas regulations outright. The EPA can attempt to water down these standards and regulations, perhaps substantially. But Pruitt “would have to come up with a scientific basis for saying that greenhouse gas emissions do not in fact pose a threat to public health and welfare,” Gerrard says. “That would be a very difficult finding, considering every court that has addressed the issue of the science of climate change has found there to be a solid factual, scientific basis for it.” To begin to remove the endangerment rule, the EPA would have to go through a formal rule-making process. That means inviting public comments, reviewing available evidence and scientifically justifying every point. Formulating and then defending such a document in court would be a big challenge, given it cuts against the legal and scientific consensus linking carbon to climate change. Even Ebell concedes this is a formidable obstacle. “That’s why a lot of people on our side say it’s not worth the trouble,” he says. “The people who disagree with me are not nuts—they are making substantial arguments for why we should not do it.” The endangerment finding has its roots in the waning days of the Clinton administration, when then–EPA General Counsel Jonathan Cannon drafted a legal memo stating the agency had the authority to regulate carbon emissions. At the time this was a novel and counterintuitive idea. CO is a ubiquitous, naturally occurring gas, essential to photosynthesis and other basic processes of life on Earth. It’s not poisonous like smog and other dangerous pollutants targeted by the Clean Air Act. “CO is a different sort of pollutant than many that the EPA regulates,” says Cannon, now a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. “Its effects are felt over time through the climate system, not as immediate effects on one’s lungs or physical systems.” But the Clean Air Act “has a very broad definition of what a pollutant can be and what harm a pollutant causes,” says George Kimbrell, legal director of the International Center for Technology Assessment and the Center for Food Safety, two related groups among a coalition of environmental organizations that formally petitioned the EPA to regulate carbon in 1999. The law defines “air pollutant” as "any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive...substance or matter, which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air.” According to Kimbrell, “The breadth of that language suggested greenhouse gas emissions would qualify under the statute.” The language prompted a lawsuit from states and small environmental groups, during the George W. Bush administration, to sue the EPA to force it to regulate carbon. The result was the Supreme Court’s 5–4 2007 Massachusetts decision. Following that ruling, the endangerment finding then spelled out the legal rationale and the scientific basis for regulation. What can the Trump administration do to get out of this regulatory box? It could push Congress to amend the Clean Air Act to explicitly exclude carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the list of air pollutants. But even if it passed the Republican-dominated House, Parenteau notes, such a bill could be effectively opposed by Democrats in the Senate, who have enough votes to hold up or change legislation. . The EPA could also target climate rules not based on the endangerment finding, such as procedures for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gases, according to Gerrard. The most likely outcome, legal scholars say, is a series of incremental battles in which the administration and Congress try to weaken individual climate rules and enforcement—while those efforts are repeatedly challenged in court by states and environmental groups hoping to run out the clock on the Trump administration. “One reason the endangerment finding is important,” Cannon says, “is that, should administrations change, it provides the basis for further climate initiatives.”
News Article | April 21, 2017
Simona Onori, an assistant professor at Clemson University, has received a $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation to advance her work to develop integrated modeling and control for aftertreatment systems to reduce fine-particle emissions from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines. GDI engines now account for about 60% of the US market, and their use worldwide is forecast to grow. GDI engines have better fuel economy and lower carbon-dioxide emissions than more conventional port fuel injection engines; however, the technology results in higher fine-particle emissions. The research Onori and her team are doing focuses on gasoline particulate filters (GPF). While the dynamics of diesel engine particulate filters (DPF) are well understood, particulates produced in GDI engines have substantially different characteristics. Onori notes that an integrated approach to reduce gasoline particulates is necessary because engine operating conditions determine oxygen and fuel content and temperature of the exhaust gas, which influence the output of the catalytic converter, which in turn governs soot accumulation and oxidation in particulate filters. Onori’s project is intended to enable new exhaust gas aftertreatment technologies for GDI engines based on a modeling framework at the intersection of macroscale modeling, numerical simulations and optimization theory. System-level models of the engine, catalytic converter, and gasoline particulate filter will be integrated across length scales, incorporating effects ranging from clogging and regeneration of the filter pores, to continuum gas flow in the exhaust manifold. The framework will enable formulation of low-order models of aftertreatment systems suitable for real-time optimization-based control, based on systematic and rigorous reduction of continuum models while maintaining accuracy and fidelity. The project is intended to improve substantially macro-scale representations of soot-layer physical properties and pore-scale loading and regeneration phenomena in particulate filters. The results will be used to design physics-based estimators for robust control of advanced aftertreatment systems. The resulting engine-control strategies would be programmed into the engine control unit. Onori and her team also plan to develop a control program that would enable three complex systems—the filter, exhaust and three-way catalyst—to work together. Onori will present aspects of her work on emissions controls at the upcoming 2017 American Control Conference in Seattle in May. Among her papers will be a discussion of the development of a two-dimensional (2-D), multi-channel, GPF system model and a multi-scale modeling framework to resolve mass, energy, and momentum transport equations of the exhaust gases in a GPF. Onori started working on emission control problems right after joining the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in 2014. She was the principal investigator of an industry-sponsored project aimed at developing model-based control strategies for the new advanced aftertreatment systems.
News Article | March 1, 2017
March 1, 2017 -- The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years. To determine whether an increase in certain barriers to successful cessation and sustained abstinence may be contributing to this slowed decline, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health analyzed changes in the prevalence of depression among current, former and never smokers in the U.S. The team found that depression appeared to have significantly increased in the U.S. from 2005 to 2013 among smokers, as well as among former and never smokers. While the prevalence of depression is consistently highest among smokers, the rate of increase in depression was most prominent among former and never smokers. The full study findings are published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The research team, led by Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology, analyzed data from the National Household Survey on Drug Use, an annual cross-sectional study of approximately 497, 000 Americans, ages 12 and over. The prevalence of past 12-month depression was examined annually among current (past 12-month), former (not past 12-month), and lifetime non-smokers from 2005 to 2013. The researchers further analyzed the data by age, gender, and household income. "The prevalence of depression increased and remains higher among current smokers overall, but the rate of the increase among former and never smokers was even more prominent," noted Dr. Goodwin. Striking temporal changes emerged by age, gender and income. Specifically, depression increased significantly, from 16 percent to 22 percent, among current smokers aged 12 to17, and the prevalence was consistently more than twice as high as that of never smokers. The increase in depression also rose from 6 percent to 8 percent among male smokers and increased from 6 percent to 9 percent among smokers in the highest income group. Throughout this period, the prevalence of depression among current smokers was consistently twice as high as among former and never smokers. "The very high rates of depression among the youngest smokers, those aged 12-17, is very concerning, as it may impair their ability not only to stop smoking, but also to navigate the important developmental tasks of adolescence that are important for a successful adult life" said Mailman School of Public Health's Dr. Deborah Hasin, a senior member of the research team. "Public health efforts aimed at decreasing the prevalence of smoking must take depression into account, a common and modifiable barrier whose treatment may help to increase successful smoking cessation," said Dr. Goodwin, adjunct associate professor of Epidemiology. "We also need to examine factors that may be leading increases in depression in the U.S. population among both smokers and non-smokers." Co-authors are: Melanie Wall, Mailman School of Public Health; Lorra Garey, University of Houston; Michael Zvolensky, University of Houston; Lisa Dierker, Wesleyan University; Sandro Galea, Boston University School of Public Health; Misato Gbedemah, City University of New York; Andrea Weinberger, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Jill Williams, Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Mei-Chen Hu, New York State Psychiatric Institute; and Deborah Hasin, Mailman School of Public Health. The study was supported by National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant #DA-20892. Founded in 1922, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master's and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit http://www. .
News Article | February 15, 2017
February 13, 2017 -- A study just released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reports on the health of American women who were deployed to Vietnam for either military or civilian service. The results show that 48 percent of career military women were very happy compared to 38 percent of women in the general population, and of better than average physical and mental health. The study is the first study to describe the experiences of civilian women deployed to a warzone, compare them to those of military women and match the patterns of general health and happiness for women deployed to Vietnam with a representative sample of their peers. Findings are published online in the journal Social Science & Medicine--Population Health. In addition to positive aspects of service, adverse effects were also noted. Women who served less than 10 years in the military were more likely to report their Vietnam experience as "highly stressful" (28 percent) compared to career military women who served more than 20 years (12 percent) and civilian women (13 percent). They cited such stressors as poor living and working conditions, exposure to the consequences of war, physical threat, negative interpersonal experiences (including rape and sexual harassment), and drug and alcohol problems. About 265,000 women served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam Era, with as many as 11,000 deployed to Vietnam but not formally assigned combat roles. Nonetheless, they were deployed to combat zones where they experienced warzone stressors and hostile fire. "Our results suggest that a military career--which by military rules in force during the Vietnam era, precluded a woman from typical wife and mother roles--afforded women a meaningful experience that continued to positively impact their emotional well-being, even decades after the war," said Jeanne Mager Stellman, PhD, professor emerita of Health Policy and Management and senior author. Career military women who never had children also reported being happier than the average American woman. "Women who volunteered and went to Vietnam in the 1960s may have done so as a way of breaking away from the traditional roles assigned to women in the United States during that time, and they seem to have continued on a different trajectory in post-war years," said Dr. Stellman. Collaborating with the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, Dr. Stellman and colleagues at the VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine also compared civilian women, primarily American Red Cross workers, to military women and studied how warzone experiences, exposure to casualties and sexual harassment, affected their current health. They also compared the deployed women to women of comparable age in the General Social Survey, a widely used representative study of Americans. Both military and civilian women who served in Vietnam, regardless of whether they continued to make the military their career, were less likely to have married or have had children than women from the general population. Deployment to Vietnam for both military and civilian women had other positive aspects. Many women reported satisfaction from their work with the wounded troops and civilians in Vietnam. Those who served as nurses, in particular, commented that they were given much more responsibility in their positions while in Vietnam than they would have had in a similar civilian job in the U. S. An earlier paper by Dr. Stellman and the Boston-VA based group evaluated the psychological well-being of approximately 1,300 female military personnel, Red Cross workers, and others deployed to Vietnam. "Our new study underscores the benefits of a military career for those women who chose it," noted Dr. Stellman. "Entering military service or volunteering for civilian activities in a warzone offered an opportunity for talented women to establish careers, and rise to high ranks and achieve positions that would be impossible in the civilian world. In addition, career military women in general, lived in a supportive community that was knowledgeable and sympathetic to their work. What we learned from this study can help to improve the experiences and well-being of current and future generations of female military personnel," noted Dr. Stellman. Co-authors include Anica Pless Kaiser and Eve H. Davison, Veteran Affairs A National Center for PTSD, Veteran Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine; Avron Spiro III, Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine; Daniel H. Kabat, Mailman School of Public Health, now Gold Health Strategies, Inc. The study was supported by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS-VA-5124-98-001), National Institute on Aging (R24-AG039343), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (IK2 RX001832-01A2. Founded in 1922, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master's and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit http://www. .
News Article | March 1, 2017
The W. Eugene Smith Fund announced it is now accepting applications for its 38th annual Grant in Humanistic Photography. Since presenting its first grant in 1980, the Fund has awarded more than one million dollars to exemplary photographers whose works, created in the tradition of Eugene Smith, have brought light to contemporary issues that call for compassion and attention. The Smith Fund also announced it will increase its annual grant to $35,000, beginning this year. Photographers interested in learning more about the grant and fellowship, and submitting an application should visit SmithFund.org. The deadline for submitting applications is May 31, 2017. About The Smith Fund Grant The Grant is presented annually by The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund to photographers whose work is judged by a panel of experts to be in the best tradition of highlighting untold stories, as exhibited by W. Eugene Smith during his 45-year career in photojournalism. The grant, which honors the legendary photo-essayist, enables recipients to undertake and complete their proposed photojournalistic and documentary projects. Past recipients have included Sebastião Salgado, Eli Reed, Matt Black, Donna Ferrato, Lu Guang, and James Nachtwey. “We continue to be overwhelmed and inspired by the quality of work submitted by photographers all over the world in the name of humanistic photography,” said Lauren Wendle, president of the Fund’s Board of Trustees. “Last year’s recipient, Justyna Mielnikiewicz, is a great example of the quality of work being submitted and the significance the Smith Fund has established internationally.” In A Diverging Frontier, Justnya looks at Russians living in the former soviet states, 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the role ethnicity plays in the political development of these countries and the formation of social identity. The recipient of the 2017 Smith Award will receive a $35,000 grant to complete a current or future documentary project. In addition, one or more Fellowships totaling $5,000 will be given to photographers to fund worthy projects. Each year, the Board of Trustees appoints a three-member international jury that meets twice during the adjudication process. Finalists are selected based on the substantive, photographic, and intellectual merits of their project. They are then asked to submit a comprehensive electronic portfolio, and write, if necessary, a more detailed and focused proposal to answer questions by the jury regarding their project. The 21st Annual Howard Chapnick Grant Applications for the annual Howard Chapnick Grant are also open through May 31, 2017. The grant is presented to an individual for his or her leadership in any field ancillary to photojournalism, such as picture editing, research, education and management. This grant is not intended for photographers, but for champions of photography. It was established in 1996 to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick who led the Black Star photo agency, and to acknowledge his enormous contribution to photography. The annual $5,000 grant may be used by the recipient to finance a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, special research, a long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. This grant is not for the creation or production of photographs. The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is supported by generous contributions from The Incite Project, and Canon USA. Additional support is provided by Photo District News, International Center of Photography (ICP), School of Visual Arts (SVA) BFA Photography, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media departments, MediaStorm, Brilliant Graphics, Synergy Communications, and Aperture. “Awarding these grants each year is made possible through industry-wide support and by private donors,” Lauren Wendle explains. “As it is important that we continue the funding which allows these photographers to share their stories with the world, we invite any who are philanthropically minded and share our interest in this special form of photography, to contact us. The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is a not-for-profit corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Smith Fund are tax-deductible.” Each year, the Smith Fund hosts an award ceremony in New York City and invites the grant recipient to attend, at the Fund’s expense. This year’s event will be held at the SVA Theater in New York on Wednesday, October 18.
News Article | February 21, 2017
In a demonstration organized by the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University and the Advanced Internet Research group of the University of Amsterdam, researchers utilized computing clusters in San Diego and Amsterdam to give an example of how computation doesn’t need to be localized within a data center, but can instead be migrated across geographical distances to run applications and external clients with minimal downtime. You might be asking yourself—wait, isn’t that just “the cloud”? The cloud has been omnipresent for several years now, so why are research institutions just now looking into it? Well, they’re not. At least, not anymore—that investigation took place back in 2005, well before the cloud was a fixture of infrastructure conversations as it is today. In 2005, there was no significant smartphone penetration, the iPhone was still two years into the future and there were no major application platforms. In other words, research and education (R&E) organizations anticipated the need for this kind of seamless virtual machine migration before anyone else did. We often don’t take time to think about how long it takes for major advances in technology to be developed and then seen by the average person. Whether you are reading about the latest technology announcement, attending a presentation or seeing a demo at a trade show, the innovation involved has undergone numerous tests and simulations before it gets to that point. While we all assume that R&E organizations are working on the latest and greatest innovations—that’s what they do in a nutshell, right?—what many don’t realize is how far ahead of the curve some of the technologies they’re developing are. One such pioneering project was the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), which was designed to promote advanced research and education networking in the United States. It got off to a relatively modest start in 1986 with connections among five NSF university-based supercomputer centers, mostly for the purposes of load-balancing and file transfers. It quickly grew in size and importance, though, as an industry shift has taken place from solely high-performance computing to high-performance networking. NSFNET was a precursor to a lot of the education networks that would follow; most notably, ESnet, the Energy Science Network, which was created as a result of what was learned from NSFNET’s innovations. In fact, in direct correlation with these series of government-funded computer networking efforts we’ve seen the modern internet take shape through NSFNET, including the development of the first modern Web browser and the advancement of supercomputing capabilities. As researchers began performing more data-intensive, collaborative academic research, it became clear that commodity internet connections were not adequate. There was a need for special performance in the way of increased capacity and flexibility in the network in order for some of the research that was planned to even be possible. Thus, research organizations set about to improve their networks (and in turn, our own, as those innovations have since made their way into the commercial sector). A number of technology advancements we rely on today started in R&E circles like the ones seen around NSFNET. Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), one example, was a five-year project that began to look beyond R&E networking and helped bring into focus trends and initiatives that are staples of networking conversations today, like OpenFlow (an open standard to deploy innovative protocols in production networks), NFV (network functions virtualization, an initiative to virtualize the network services that are now being carried out by physical hardware), and more. GENI advanced virtual distributed computing and storage over high performance networks, and it made their services available to thousands of students and researchers who developed a huge array of new applications and services. But what about the big network innovations in the next few years—what will they be focused on? Let’s look to the R&E organizations and see what they’re working on, and what discussions have taken place recently. One of the big questions that has popped up for those looking to heavily invest in IoT is: How many IP addresses do you have? The addressing of every “thing” on a network is going to be a significant challenge. Each device will require a power source and a computer just to do the addressing, as well as communications equipment to connect it to the internet. This creates numerous complexities that researchers are trying to iron out ahead of time. For example, what happens when you want to network every stop-sign, with a sensor counting every car that goes by; what’s the addressing scheme, how do the wireless sensors work? These are not easy answers, and researchers are hard at work figuring out how a “thing-heavy” network should be designed. These questions are driving a wide spectrum of activities, including advancements in computer science and development of computers that cost pennies rather than dollars. But even today, computers without networks are like cars without wheels—all souped-up and no place to go. At the core of each of these innovations you can see the same need that R&E organizations addressed with NSFNET—the ability to share and move information. High-performance networking has met high-performance computing in a way that has, without some people realizing, shaped much of the communication networks we rely on today. As a leading network and strategy company, Ciena has been working with R&E organizations for almost 20 years and we will excitedly continue to collaborate with these R&E organizations to help shape new possibilities for the future.
News Article | February 27, 2017
Wendel is in the new Euronext® Family Business index Euronext has launched the first European index dedicated to family enterprises, Euronext® Family Business. The index aims to highlight the performance of 90 family-owned companies listed in the four countries covered by Euronext: Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and France. Wendel SE has a weighting of 1.67% in the index, owing to its presence in Segment A. Wendel is pleased that this new index has been created. The index will increase the visibility of listed family businesses, demonstrating the validity and importance of their business model and their attractiveness to investors. Wendel remains very attached to this business model and is a product of it. Wendel has always supported family entrepreneurship, through its strategy to invest in this type of company and via its long-term partnership with INSEAD, initiated more than 20 years ago. This partnership led to the creation of the Wendel International Center for Family Enterprise. Now a worldwide center of excellence for analysis and research on family-owned businesses, the Wendel International Center for Family Enterprise is an international platform fostering the exchange of ideas so as to best support family businesses and the individuals and entities fundamentally linked to them. For further information, please visit: Wendel is one of Europe's leading listed investment firms. The Group invests internationally, in companies that are leaders in their field, such as Bureau Veritas, Saint-Gobain, Cromology, Stahl, IHS, Constantia Flexibles and Allied Universal. Wendel plays an active role as industry shareholder in these companies. It implements long-term development strategies, which involve boosting growth and margins of companies so as to enhance their leading market positions. Through Oranje-Nassau Développement, which brings together opportunities for investment in growth, diversification and innovation, Wendel is also a shareholder of exceet in Germany, Mecatherm in France, Nippon Oil Pump in Japan, Saham Group, SGI Africa and Tsebo in Africa and CSP Technologies in the United States. Wendel is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris. Standard & Poor's ratings: Long-term: BBB-, stable outlook - Short-term: A-3 since July 7, 2014. Wendel is the Founding Sponsor of Centre Pompidou-Metz. In recognition of its long-term patronage of the arts, Wendel received the distinction of "Grand Mécène de la Culture" in 2012. Follow us on Twitter @WendelGroup and @_FLemoine_
News Article | February 16, 2017
February 16, 2017-- Newly released findings from national HIV surveys in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia reveal extraordinary progress in confronting the HIV epidemic. These three countries in Southern Africa have been heavily affected by HIV, and now there are encouraging signs that the epidemics are going in the right direction. The findings, presented today at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), are from the PEPFAR-supported Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) Project surveys. The surveys are led by each Ministry of Health, with technical assistance from ICAP at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Compared with previous estimates, the PHIA data show that the rate of new infections (incidence) is stabilizing or declining. In addition, more than half of all adults living with HIV, regardless of use of antiretroviral medication, have a suppressed viral load and for those on antiretroviral medication, viral suppression is close to 90 percent. "Taken together, these findings tell a coherent and remarkable story of progress," said Dr. Jessica Justman, principal investigator and associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. "We can see that Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia are on track to hit the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020." Understanding the true status of an HIV epidemic rests on accurate measures of HIV prevalence, HIV incidence, and viral load suppression. These critical estimates provide a "report card" on the control of the epidemic and indicate where resources should be channeled to enable continued progress toward the 90-90-90 targets. The PHIA Project provides such information by directly assessing all of these measures through household surveys. "These results are gratifying evidence that the investment by PEPFAR and other donors, and the efforts of national HIV programs, are paying off. The data from the PHIA surveys provide greater insights on where to focus our collective efforts and resources going forward," said Dr. Shannon Hader, director of the Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis at CDC. In Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, nationally representative groups of adults and children were recruited in each country in 2015-16. Across the three countries, a total of 76,000 adults and children from 34,000 selected households took part in interviews and provided blood samples for testing. Participants received their HIV test result from a trained counselor during the same visit. Combined HIV prevalence across the three countries was 12.2 percent among adults ages 15-59 years and 1.4 percent among children ages 0-14 years. Combined HIV incidence among adults was 0.51 percent. The combined prevalence of viral suppression (HIV RNA "These results reflect successful HIV care and treatment programs in each country," said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, Director of ICAP and University Professor of Epidemiology and Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health at the Mailman School of Public Health. "Now more than ever, we have to keep our foot on the pedal and push even harder. Targeted testing, especially for adolescents and young adults, and continued expansion of HIV treatment programs and other prevention interventions for all will be critical to achieve ultimate epidemic control." For more information, see the PHIA Project website: phia.icap.columbia.edu. The PHIA Project is a five-year, multi-country initiative funded by U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and conducted by ICAP at Columbia University, CDC, and local governmental and nongovernmental partners. The PHIA Project consists of household-based, population surveys that will collect information related to HIV in 13 countries. This project is supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the terms of cooperative agreement #U2GGH001226. The contents are the responsibility of ICAP and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Government. ICAP was founded in 2003 at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Now a global leader in HIV and health systems strengthening, ICAP provides technical assistance and implementation support to governments and non-governmental organizations in more than 21 countries. ICAP has supported work at more than 5,300 health facilities around the world. More than 2.3 million people have received HIV care through ICAP-supported programs and over 1.3 million have begun antiretroviral therapy. Online at icap.columbia.edu Founded in 1922, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master's and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit http://www. .
News Article | February 15, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - February 13, 2017) - Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the time, cost and risk of Alzheimer's clinical trials, today announced its appointment of Joni Henderson to Chief Partnerships Officer. In this role, Henderson will create strategic donor outreach programs and partnership opportunities involving corporations, foundations, community groups and individual donors. "The Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation is fundamentally changing the search for Alzheimer's treatment therapies. I am eager to join this team of leading experts and renowned doctors, researchers and clinicians dedicated to helping those who are at risk or suffering from Alzheimer's Disease," said Joni Henderson. "Together we will develop new approaches and expand our allies to fight this terrible disease." Henderson most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Education Partnerships at Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications. In this role, she was responsible for developing K-12 education initiatives on topics such as STEM engagement, online safety, cancer awareness, and overall youth engagement in partnership with corporations, foundations, nonprofits and trade associations. Henderson's previous roles include Vice President at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Director of Capital Region Advancement and Corporate Relations at the Smithsonian, and a variety of positions at Meridian International Center and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She currently serves as a member of the national board of the NEA Foundation and as a board member of Britepaths, a nonprofit serving the working poor in Northern Virginia. Henderson has a Master of Science degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from University of Redlands. She currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia. "The Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation collaborates with local community leaders, foundations and corporate leaders to grow participation in Alzheimer's clinical research. Joni's expertise and wide range of innovative programming ideas will help us significantly towards reaching this goal," said John Dwyer, president of Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation. "Our foundation is committed to populating Alzheimer's clinical trials. Joni's experience in facilitating partnerships will help bring increased awareness to this disease and its horrifying effects on our economy and society at large," said George Vradenburg, chairman of Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation and UsAgainstAlzheimer's. For more information about GAP Foundation, visit www.globalalzplatform.org. About Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation The Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation was launched in 2015 by UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the Global CEO Initiative (CEOi) on Alzheimer's disease with the vision of creating an integrated global clinical trial network to reduce the time, cost and risk of Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, a critical factor in the pacing of efforts to speed an effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease to those with or at risk of the disease. Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation, headquartered in Washington, D.C., aims to create a faster pathway to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease by 2025. It intends to do so by building a standing global clinical trial platform of willing individuals through novel web-based recruitment techniques coupled with a network of high performance clinical trial sites. Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation also provides an organizational framework that links prominent research institutions, the private sector and government agencies in multiple countries to fight Alzheimer's disease. For more information about GAP, please visit www.globalalzplatform.org.
News Article | February 28, 2017
BOGOTA, Colombia, Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chief Executive Officer of Ecopetrol S.A. hereby calls on Shareholders to attend the Annual General Shareholders' Meeting to be held on Friday, March 31, 2017, starting at 9 a.m., at the International Center of Business and Exhibitions...