School of public health

Finding a tanning-dependence gene

Researchers at YSPH have for the first time identified a gene that appears to be associated with tanning dependence, a condition analogous to dependence on chemical substances. A study conducted among 292 people, 79 of whom exhibited symptoms of tanning dependence, examined approximately 319,000 rare and common genetic variants and found that variation in one gene was significantly associated with tanning dependence. “This is the first time that a genetic association with tanning dependence has been reported,” said Brenda Cartmel, a senior research scientist at Yale and the study’s lead author. “If the finding is replicated, it will help us understand more about the biology of tanning dependence, and may lead to development of interventions that help people reduce indoor tanning and sunbathing which expose them to ultraviolet light, a known human carcinogen.”

New joint degree program under way

Yale’s new accelerated MBA/MPH program in health-care management is under way, allowing students to earn master’s degrees from the Schools of Public Health and Management in just 22 months. Previously, the joint-degree program took three academic years to complete. The program—the first of its kind nationally—offers an intensive curriculum with core courses from each school, as well as electives. Students also participate in SOM’s two-week international experience and a YSPH summer internship in the health-care industry.

Finding new ways to battle asthma

More than seven million children in the United States suffer from asthma, with the prevalence highest in the inner cities and disproportionally affecting minorities. A new research effort led by YSPH seeks to identify the role of specific residential air pollutants and their sources on asthma morbidity in inner-city children with the condition. The study will use an innovative portable air filtration device, which reduces pollutants in homes where the risk is highest. “We believe the results of our study will show us if reductions in certain kinds of indoor air pollution can result in reductions in asthma severity. This can lead to the development of cost-effective intervention strategies to reduce childhood asthma and potentially reduce the need for costly asthma treatment,” said lead researcher Brian P. Leaderer ’71MPH, ’75PhD, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health) and deputy dean of the Yale School of Public Health.  

The comment period has expired.