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Translational Applications in Public Health

The NUCATS Institute is committed to creating a collaborative space for investigators at Northwestern and in the community to discuss current issues at the intersections of translational research. To support this endeavor, we record a number of workshops and seminars and maintain this archive of video and presentations for those who could not attend or those who want to refer back. The Translational Applications in Public Health monthly lecture series is a collaboration between the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Institute for Public Health and Medicine.

February 10, 2022: "Cirrhosis: An Underappreciated Public Health Challenge" with Daniela Ladner, MD, MPH

Presented by:Daniela Ladner, MD, MPH
Professor of Surgery, Director Northwestern University Transplant Outcomes Research Collaborative (NUTORC)
Northwestern University


Cirrhosis is a chronic disease that is increasing in prevalence, that affects ~5-10 million adult Americans. While most patients with cirrhosis are compensated (not very sick), they too require resource-intensive, chronic and expensive care - that is underappreciated. Many opportunities exist to improve care for patients with cirrhosis.

December 16, 2021: "Transforming Prevention of Heart Failure: A Risk-Based Paradigm" with Sadiya S. Khan, MD, MS

Sadiya S. Khan, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine 


In this presentation, Dr. Khan will discuss:

  • Increasing trends in morbidity and mortality related to HF in the US and globally
  • Poor survival rates with a 5-year case fatality rate of 50% once HF develops
  • A new prevention paradigm focusing on risk-based approaches to study implementation of prevention strategies

December 9, 2021: "Synaptic Tau Mislocalization and Pathologic TDP43 in the Development of Memory Impairment" with Margaret E. Flanagan, MD

Presented by: Margaret E. Flanagan, MD
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Northwestern Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Neuropathology Core Leader
Director of the Nun Study
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine 


This presentation describes work that explores relevant synaptic tau and TDP43 associated inflammatory changes in the development of dementia utilizing comprehensively clinically and neuropathologically characterized human brain autopsy samples. The research approaches emphasize the importance of utilizing biospecimens and data from epidemiologic cohorts for the identification and delineation of disease mechanisms in the development of memory impairment.

November 18, 2021: "Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Cardiovascular Risk: Translational Implications for Clinical Practice in 2021" with Lisa B. VanWagner, MD, MSc, FAST, FAHA

Presented by: Lisa B. VanWagner, MD, MSc, FAST, FAHA
Assistant Professor of Medicine-Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology
Comprehensive Transplant Center
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


In this presentation we will discuss the physiological changes of the heart in NAFLD/NASH patients, describe cardiac outcomes in NAFLD patients, and evaluate approaches to targeting cardiovascular risk in NASH clinical trials. We will also consider how our current knowledge of cardiovascular risk in NAFLD/NASH may potentially impact clinical practice in 2021.

September 30, 2021: "Towards Healthcare Equity for People with Disabilities" with Angel Love Miles, PhD

Presented by: Angel Love Miles, PhD
Healthcare/Home and Community Based Services Policy Analyst
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago


This presentation discusses how institutional barriers and social practices contribute to health disparities for people with disabilities. Healthcare policy, research and practice must challenge disability bias by responding to the real structural, financial and cultural barriers that people with disabilities experience when trying to access care.

June 24, 2021: "Reversing the Flow: How Implementation Science can Improve Health Equity" with Hendricks Brown

Presented by: C. Hendricks Brown, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Medical Social Sciences
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Much of our scientific enterprise is directed towards innovations to improve health outcomes. We are leaving behind many, especially those with historical disparities in health, who could benefit from what we already know We discuss how implementation science can – and must address equity.

May 20, 2021: Why is There More Funding for Police than Public Health? Questions & Actions for a Transformative Public Health

Presented by: Paul J. Fleming, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
University of Michigan School of Public Health


Across the nation, our governments invest billions of dollars in policing & carceral systems we know cause health inequities and then invest only a fraction of that for public health to address those inequities. This public health funding paradox has historical roots and demands new imaginative ways of thinking. This presentation will detail this funding paradox and identify actions for public health to help transform our current systems.

April 8, 2021: "Leveraging Existing Research Programs to Combat a Pandemic"

Presented by: Michael Ison, MD, MS
Professor, Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Organ Transplantation
Medical Director, Transplant & Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases Service
Northwestern University Comprehensive Transplant Center
Director, Center for Clinical Research
Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute


We will discuss ongoing programs related to respiratory viral infections that contributed to our response to COVID-19. I will start with hospital epidemiology studies of influenza and respiratory viruses. We will then show how these studies led to the development of the Ordinal Scale that has been so widely used for COVID-19. We will finish with studies of influenza in transplant patients that helped us quickly established the SARS-CoV-2 BioBank.

March 18, 2021: "From Discovery to Implementation Science to End the HIV Epidemic"

Presented by: Brian Mustanski, PhD (He/Him/His)
Director, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH)
Co-Director, Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)
Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences (MSS)


We have discovered effective prevention and treatment approaches for HIV/AIDS, yet the number of new HIV infections each year in the US has remained relatively stable over more than a decade. In this talk I will describe two hybrid effectiveness-implementation trials of HIV prevention programs for teen and young adult gay/bisexual men. I will also discuss our approach to supporting the use of implementation science in the federal initiative for Ending the HIV Epidemic in the US by 2030.

February 18, 2021: "Supporting the Critical Role of Community Organizations During COVID-19" 

Presented by: Jessica Davenport-Williams
Black Girls Breaking Bread (BGBB)

James Rudyk, Jr.
Executive Director
Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC)

Suzanne Akhras Sahloul
Founder & Executive Director
Syrian Community Network (SCN)


A candid discussion with community-based organizations (CBOs) filling critical resource and service gaps for vulnerable individuals and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists of this seminar are all recipients of the Center for Community Health (CCH) Response and Recovery Fund award.

February 4, 2021: "Patient-Centered Outcomes Research at Northwestern: Exemplars and Early Findings"

Presented by: Zeeshan Butt, PhD
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


January 21, 2021: "Reducing Disparities in Perinatal Depression: Impact and Innovation of the Mothers and Babies Program"

Presented by:
Darius Tandon, PhD
Associate Professor
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Alicia Diebold, MSW
Research Data Analyst

Jaime Hamil, MPH
Research Project Manager

Jessica Johnson, MPH
Senior Program Administrator

Erin Ward, MA, MSW
Clinical Research Associate


December 3, 2020: “Translational Applications in Public Health - CAHRA from Afar: Updates on Aging Research...Pandemics, Peppers, and More”

Presented by: Michael S. Wolf, PhD, MPH, MA
James R. Webster, Jr. Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA)
Associate Vice Chair, Department of Medicine
Associate Division Chief
General Internal Medicine & Geriatrics


November 5, 2020: “Translational Applications in Public Health: The SCAN Study and What Genetics Might Teach Us About COVID-19”

Presented by: Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD
Director, Center for Genetic Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


October 15, 2020: “Translational Applications in Public Health: Public Health Practice in the Time of COVID-19 with Nicholas Soulakis”

Presented by: Nicholas Soulakis, PhD
Epidemiologist, Illinois Department of Public Health
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


This will be a discussion and moderated Q&A session with Nicholas Soulakis, PhD. Nicholas Soulakis has spent the past six months working with the Illinois Department of Public Health, where he has helped lead contact tracing efforts for the state. As an epidemiologist, he will discuss how public health practice continues to inform health officials as they battle the pandemic.

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