The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Current News

Jeffrey Starns (FRS '17-'18) tests Inference Crisis

Jeffrey Starns, a 2017-2018 Family Research Scholar at CRF has been featured in the news regarding an important finding in his research. Starns, working with professor Caren Rotello and doctoral student Andrea Cataldo, says that attention is not being paid to theoretical conclusions made in research studies. While many scientists and researchers work to unpack the 'replication crisis', time is not spent focusing on the harm that inferences can have on research conclusions. Starns says that testing whether scientists can make valid theoretical inferences by analyzing data is important to the validity of research. “Some incorrect conclusions are unavoidable with noisy data, but [those in the study] made those incorrect inferences with way too much confidence," Starns says.

Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson (Stress Group) Appointed Chair of Health Promotion and Policy

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences has announced the appointment of Professor Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson as Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Policy. Bertone-Johnson is a member of the CRF Stress Research Group and a Principal Investigator. ​Beginning as an assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, she has taken on numerous leadership roles within the department prior to her role as interim chair of Health Promotion and Policy.

Kathleen Arcaro (FRS '12-'13) and team awarded $3.1 million NIH grant for breast cancer risk study

Kathleen Arcaro (FRS '12-'13) as well as a UMass research team has received a $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to measure the impact of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables on the breast cancer risk of lactating women.

The New Moms Wellness Study will use breastmilk to assess whether eating at least eight to ten daily servings of deeply pigmented and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables reduces biomarkers of breast cancer risk. The researchers hypothesize that fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce inflammation during lactation and weaning, thus lowering the Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer (PABC) risk.

Olivia Laramie CRF Graduate Assistant receives Women Empowerment scholarship

Olivia Laramie, graduate student at the School of Public Policy is the recipient of the inaugural Carolyn Crowley Meub Women Empowerment Scholarship, given by the nonprofit Pure Water for the World. Olivia is currently in her second year of assistantship with CRF and greatly contributes to the success of our Center. We proudly share this announcement and invite you to read more here

Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) Quoted in Article about the EPA and Animal Testing

Andrew Wheeler, EPA administrator, signed a directive on September 10 committing the EPA to a reduction in animal testing. The directive aims to completely phase out animal testing by 2035. Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) was quoted in the article stating that, "[She doesn't] think anyone would be saddened by reducing animal research,” but worries that the directive could negatively impact chemical regulation.

Airin Martinez (FRS '19-'20) Awarded UMass Public Service Endowment Grant and Co-Authors New Book on Latinx Health

Airín Martínez, CCHER Core Faculty Member and assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Policy, and Ana Jaramillo, CCHER Steerimg Committee Member and Program Supervisor at Holyoke Health Center & Let’s Move Holyoke 5-2-1-0 were recently awarded a Public Service Endowment Grant from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

Research indicates chemicals used as alternatives to bisphenol A in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins aren’t always safer

Laura Vanderberg, FRS '15, environmental health researcher at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst contributes to Chemistry World feature discussing alternative compounds to BPA and possible safety concerns. Read more here

Jennifer Whitehill, FRS '19 looks into cannabis-related poison control calls involving the commonwealth’s children and teenagers

Jennifer Whitehill, FRS '19 ,  Assistant Professor, Health Promotion and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, looks into cannabis-related poison control calls involving the commonwealth’s children and teenagers. The UMass Amherst public health researcher says findings highlight the need to better protect youth from high-potency products.

Newly selcted FRS, Devon Greyson, investigates increase in vaccination rates over 50 years

A team of researchers, led by Devon Greyson, FRS '19, investigated the findings of 20 studies that looked at two forms of vaccination mandates to determine efficacy of the mandates. Analysis of the policy research on nearly 50 years of mandates is unable to determine if increased vaccination rates were result of school requirements, or increased access, education and awareness. Read more here.