School of public health

Downs marks 50 years

The Downs International Health Student Travel Fellowship, a chance for Yale students to spend ten weeks in an unfamiliar locale doing original research on a challenging health problem, turned 50 this year. The fellowship is a landmark experience for most students who travel to distant locations and have the satisfaction of contributing to solutions to serious health problems. More than 400 Yale students have been Downs fellows since the program was created in 1964. It is named after Wilbur G. Downs, a former Yale researcher and an accomplished physician/scientist and renowned globetrotter. 

Proposal to fight depression wins Thorne Prize

Spring, a clinical tool to diagnose patients with depression and match them with the most effective treatment, won the 2016 Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education, which is awarded to the best student-led innovation that addresses a pressing health or education problem. The prize comes with $25,000 that Team Spring’s three student members will use to further implement their innovation. Team Spring developed a questionnaire with about 35 questions. Using that tool, a diagnosis can be made and a prescription plan developed. A total of 30 million Americans were diagnosed with depression this past year, at a cost of $210 billion.

Two faculty members receive named professorships

Two School of Public Health faculty members, Jeannette R. Ickovics and Christian Tschudi, were appointed named professors in recognition of their scholarly contributions. Ickovics was named the Samuel and Liselotte Herman Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her research focuses on the interplay of complex biomedical, behavioral, social, and psychological factors that influence individual and community health. She is an expert on maternal and child health and community health, with a focus on large-scale prevention interventions. Tschudi, the new John Rodman Paul Professor of Epidemiology, is an expert on neglected tropical diseases. His research focuses on the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, which causes devastating diseases in humans and animals in sub-Saharan Africa. His goal is to identify candidate molecules that can be targets for transmission-blocking vaccines.   

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