Nonlinear dynamics, mathematical biology, and social science

Epstein, J. M.

Publication year

2018
Abstract
These lectures develop simple models of complex social processes using nonlinear dynamics and mathematical biology. Dynamical analogies between seemingly disparate social and biological phenomena, revolutions and epidemics, arms races, and ecosystem dynamics, are revealed and exploited. Nonlinear Dynamics, Mathematical Biology, and Social Science invites social scientists to relax, in some cases abandon, the predominant assumption of perfectly informed utility maximization and explore social dynamics from such perspectives as epidemiology and predator-prey theory. The volume includes a concentrated course on nonlinear dynamical systems.

A qualitative investigation of healthcare engagement among young adult gay men in New York City: A P18 cohort substudy

Griffin, M., Krause, K. D., Kapadia, F., & Halkitis, P. N.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

LGBT health

Volume

5

Issue

6

Page(s)

368-374
Abstract
Purpose: We used in-depth interviews with a cohort of young adult gay men (YAGM) to provide a more detailed understanding of their current healthcare engagement, including experiences with the healthcare system, provider knowledge of healthcare needs, and desired provider characteristics. Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with a sample of 40 YAGM in New York City. The interview guide examined healthcare engagement across key developmental stages: Childhood (birth-12), adolescence (13-18), young adulthood (19-22), and the present (23-26). All transcripts were coded using a consensual qualitative research approach to identify crosscutting topics. The interviews were conducted between September and October 2015. Results: The following topics were identified: Experiences with the healthcare system, provider knowledge of healthcare needs, and desired provider characteristics. Common barriers to healthcare access were financial concerns, lack of insurance, and dissatisfaction with the care provided. Reasons for dissatisfaction with care were based on perceptions of providers' anti-gay attitudes, judgment of same-sex sexual behavior, and lack of provider knowledge about YAGM's health needs. This often led men in this study to seek sexual healthcare from providers other than their primary care provider. When asked about desired provider characteristics, participants noted that basic demographics were of less importance than skills-based characteristics such as rapport, comfort discussing sexual health issues, and knowledge of YAGM's health. Conclusion: YAGM have unique challenges to engaging in healthcare, including provider stigma and lack of provider knowledge of YAGM's health needs, which are not faced by other young adult populations. The results from this study highlight the need for more extensive and standardized training in medical school and as part of continuing medical education for healthcare providers.

Motivations for alcohol use to intoxication among young adult gay, bisexual, and other MSM in New York City: The P18 Cohort Study

Ristuccia, A., LoSchiavo, C., Kapadia, F., & Halkitis, P. N.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Addictive Behaviors

Volume

89

Page(s)

44-50
Abstract
Introduction: Motivations for alcohol use to intoxication vary among young adults depending on social setting and other contextual factors. However, there is limited research exploring the role of different drinking motivations among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Methods: Data from a racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of YMSM (n = 426) were used to examine associations between recent (last 30 days) alcohol use to intoxication and scores on three distinct drinking motivation subscales: convivial, intimate, and negative coping drinking. Multinomial logistic regression models were constructed to examine associations between drinking motivations and days of alcohol use to intoxication, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Results: YMSM who scored higher on all three drinking motivation subscales were more likely to engage in recent alcohol use to intoxication compared to those who reported no alcohol use to intoxication. In multivariable models, Black and Hispanic YMSM had lower odds of intoxication compared to White YMSM, and those reporting lower perceived familial SES had lower odds compared to higher SES. In a final model including all three motivations, only convivial drinking was significantly associated with days of intoxication (1–2 days: AOR = 1.22; 3+ days: AOR = 1.45). Conclusions: This study identifies distinct associations between different motivations for drinking and alcohol use to intoxication in a sample of YMSM. These findings highlight a need to incorporate an understanding of motivations for alcohol use to intoxication into research and clinical practice with YMSM, as different reasons for drinking carry respective potential health risks.

UN World Food Day: Do Your Part to End World Hunger

October 19, 2018

Drs. Joyce O'Connor and Niyati Parekh discussion the severity of world hunger and how we can do our part to fight against malnutrition.
Continue

Empowering Indigenous Girls, Strength in Collaboration

October 12, 2018

A perspective piece by MPH student Diana Klatt on the importance of education for Native American girls and the challenges that hinder their access in the US.
Continue

Climate Change: What can we do?

October 12, 2018

Drs. Cheryl Healton and William Rom discuss the initiatives of state governments and public health professionals to combat climate change and concerns of US citizens.
Continue

Integrative gene network analysis identifies key signatures, intrinsic networks and host factors for influenza virus A infections

Forst, C. V., Zhou, B., Wang, M., Chou, T. W., Mason, G., Song, W. M., Schadt, E., Ghedin, E., & Zhang, B.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

npj Systems Biology and Applications

Volume

3

Issue

1
Abstract
Influenza A virus, with the limited coding capacity of 10–14 proteins, requires the host cellular machinery for many aspects of its life cycle. Knowledge of these host cell requirements not only reveals molecular pathways exploited by the virus or triggered by the immune system, but also provides further targets for antiviral drug development. To uncover novel pathways and key targets of influenza infection, we assembled a large amount of data from 12 cell-based gene-expression studies of influenza infection for an integrative network analysis. We systematically identified differentially expressed genes and gene co-expression networks induced by influenza infection. We revealed the dedicator of cytokinesis 5 (DOCK5) played potentially an important role for influenza virus replication. CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of DOCK5 reduced influenza virus replication, indicating that DOCK5 is a key regulator for the viral life cycle. DOCK5’s targets determined by the DOCK5 knockout experiments strongly validated the predicted gene signatures and networks. This study systematically uncovered and validated fundamental patterns of molecular responses, intrinsic structures of gene co-regulation, and novel key targets in influenza virus infection.

Folic Acid Supplementation to Prevent Recurrent Neural Tube Defects: 4 Milligrams Is Too Much

Dolin, C. D., Deierlein, A. L., & Evans, M. I.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Abstract
Some medical practices have been ingrained in custom for decades, long after "proof" that they were effective was established. It is necessary to periodically reevaluate these practices, as newer theories and research may challenge the evidence upon which they were based. An example is the decades' old practice of recommending a 4-mg (4,000-μg) supplement of folic acid to women who are at risk for recurrent neural tube defect (NTD) during pregnancy. This recommendation was based on findings from a randomized clinical trial in 1991. Since then, multiple studies have confirmed the utility of 400-800 μg of folic acid in lowering both primary and recurrent risks of NTDs, but no studies have established any further reduction in risk with doses over 1 mg. Current understanding of folic acid metabolism during pregnancy suggests that at higher doses, above ∼1 mg, there is not increased absorption. Recent evidence suggests that 4 mg folic acid supplementation may not be any more effective than lower doses for the prevention of recurrent NTDs. Thus, we recommend that it is time for clinicians to reexamine their reliance on this outdated recommendation and consider using current recommendations of 400-800 μg per day for all patients in conjunction with assessment of maternal folate status.

New Faculty: Dr Rebecca Betensky

October 5, 2018

Please extend a warm welcome to Dr. Rebecca A. Betensky, who joins GPH as Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics.
Continue
Subscribe to