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Collaboration Drives Innovation

Yale Public Health Magazine, Yale Public Health: Fall 2022


Collaboration is central to what we do at the Yale School of Public Health. This is reflected in our many partnerships with colleagues across Yale. Our center partnerships help drive breakthrough discoveries and insights that may not have been realized otherwise. What follows are brief summaries of some of our leading YSPH centers and partnerships.

Yale Institute for Global Health (YIGH)

The YIGH is the focal point for global health at Yale, bringing together expertise and knowledge from across campus with partners around the world. YIGH supports collaborative research and scholarship for faculty through the Faculty Support Initiative and Faculty Network programs. Seed grants including the Hecht Global Health Faculty Network Award and the Global Health Spark Award nurture novel ideas that lead to larger funding and partnership opportunities. YIGH contributes to the development of future leadership in global health by training aspiring professionals who understand the critical importance of good health for a just and equitable society through the Leadership in Global Health Fellowship and the Global Health Case Competition. 

InnovateHealth Yale (IHY)

IHY, housed at the Yale School of Public Health, supports the creation of innovative solutions to challenges in public health and education for underserved communities in the United States and low-resource countries. The program was founded by Martin Klein, MPH ’86, PhD, who was its first director and is now the senior adviser to the YSPH dean and director of the school’s Executive MPH program. 

As one of the first innovation programs based at a school of public health, we support programming, mentoring, and funding to accelerate impact and make a difference in the world. To date, InnovateHealth Yale has coached over 200 students, funded 40 startups, awarded over $300,000 in startup funding, and seen our supported startups receive over $10 million in follow-on funding. 

Yale Center for Analytical Sciences (YCAS)

The YCAS, a center for collaborative science, includes biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and data managers who provide expertise in design, conduct, and analysis of health care studies. Last year, YCAS conducted 361 consultations for 237 investigators and collaborated on 108 grant submissions and 159 publications. Collaborations range from single-site to large multicenter studies. Recent collaborations include a $35 million National Institutes of Health/ Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) pragmatic trial to prevent falls in the elderly conducted across 10 U.S. health care systems; a Veterans Affairs/ Department of Defense nonpharmacologic pain management research collaboratory; a PCORI/National Institute on Aging multicenter pragmatic trial of dementia, and the autism biomarkers consortium for clinical trials. 

Collaborative Center for Statistics in Science (C2S2)

The major research activities at C2S2 include methodologi-cal and software developments for understanding the mechanisms for complex diseases that have implications for prediction, prevention, and treatment of those diseases through the use of genetic, imaging, demographic, behav-ioral, and clinical data; and coordination and collaboration in national and international research consortia for con-ducting multicenter clinical trials, in particular, relating to the treatment of infertility. We assess the efficacy and safety of medications and ingredients that are commonly used for treating infertility and that are lacking evidence-based clinical trials.

Cancer Prevention and Control Program (CPC); Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center (COPPER)

The mission of the CPC at the Yale Cancer Center is to con-duct exceptional cancer prevention and control research in Connecticut and beyond that informs policy, guides clinical practice, and drives equitable care. Through CPC, faculty from the Yale Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine collaborate on a broad portfolio of research, employing expertise in cancer epidemiology, compara-tive effectiveness, health economics, and health services research. Examples of collaborations include work in cancer etiology by Professor Xiaomei Ma, PhD, and Associate Professors Nikolai Podoltsev, MD, PhD, and Amer Zeidan, MBBS; cancer outcomes research by Associate Professor Michaela Dinan, PhD, Professor Cary Gross, MD, and Associate Professor Michael Leapman, MD, MHS (’22); and, in the field of lifestyle and behavioral interventions, work by Associate Dean of Research Melinda Irwin, MPH, PhD, and Associate Professor Tara Sanft, MD.

Center for Methods in Implementation and Prevention Science (CMIPS)

The CMIPS was created four years ago under the direction of Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics Donna Spiegelman, ScD, to improve implementation of evidence-based interventions to improve health in the U.S. and worldwide. With a growing, robust community of faculty and students at Yale and beyond, we select health issues that carry the greatest burden and hold the greatest promise for amelioration. In New Haven and in Mexico City, we are focusing on interventions to increase adherence to cervical cancer early detection and treatment recommendations in public clinics. Additionally, we are establishing a Global Implementation Science Network to develop, integrate, and scale up evidence-based interventions through the development of adaptable implementation strategies across sectors and settings. 

Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP)

The GHJP, an initiative of the Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health, was established in 2012 to promote interdisciplinary, innovative, and effective responses to key problems in health justice. It is a transformative collaboration integrating different fields in order to make critical policy interventions, develop new kinds of crosscutting research, and provide educational opportunities straddling a variety of academic disciplines. Leveraging Yale’s institutional assets, the GHJP trains students to undertake collaborative, real-world research and advocacy to promote health justice in the U.S. and globally. It also organizes conferences and events; builds partnerships with local NGOs and social movements in New Haven, the U.S., and around the world to move research and critical analyses into action; and nurtures a truly interdisciplinary brain trust dedicated to effecting social change. 

Global Health Leadership Initiative (GHLI)

The GHLI drives transformation in management, leadership, and organizational performance creating stronger and more resilient health systems for all. Through education and research, we equip groups of people to come together to understand and solve public health challenges in complex contexts. Our work includes three portfolios. To prepare leadership for success, we educate and train professionals to solve complex problems with measurable impact. Collaborators include the National Health Service and the YSPH Executive MPH program. To transform for equity, we foster system- and organizational-level transformation in pursuit of health equity. Collaborators include Yale’s Equity Research and Innovation Center, Connecticut Health Foundation, and the Mayo Clinic Care Network. To strengthen health systems, we work with ministries of health to support their visions for health systems strengthening. Collaborators include universities and public health institutes in low- and middle-income countries, UNICEF, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

Yale Center for Statistical Genomics and Proteomics 

The Yale Center for Statistical Genomics and Proteomics directed by Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics Hongyu Zhao, PhD, develops novel statistical and computational methods to address important problems in biology and medicine. We primarily focus on -omics data, such as the analysis of genotype, whole exome sequencing, and whole genome sequencing data to identify disease-causing genes and develop risk prediction models for complex diseases; and the analysis of single cell data to uncover novel biological processes and disease mechanisms. We also develop methods and tools to analyze wearable device and imaging data. Our research partners include many labs at Yale and other institutions, research centers such as the Yale Cancer Center and the Yale/NIDA Neuroproteomics Center, as well as national programs such as the VA Million Veteran Program and the National Human Genome Research Institute’s developmental GTEx Program. 

Elevate Policy Lab 

Elevate Policy Lab was founded in 2019 with the dual goals of synthesizing available evidence on mental health as a pathway to disrupt poverty and achieve two-generational outcomes, and supporting policymakers in decision-making by providing evidence in an accessible format that demonstrates the impact of investments. Elevate collaborates with government and community partners to directly address maternal mental health as a public sector strategy to disrupt poverty through the Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership. Elevate also partners with communities, government, and policymakers to advance “Triple Bottom Line Justice,” collaborating to confront stressors, enhance family stability, and support communities in achieving their vision for the future. 

Yale Center on Climate Change and Health (YCCCH)

The YCCCH utilizes research, education, and public health practice to help safeguard human health from the adverse impacts of climate change and human activities that cause climate change. We work with academic, government, and civil society partners to advance the scientific understanding of climate change’s health effects, and to link this research with policy impact at the local, national, and international levels. Our partners include the Planetary Healthcare Lab at the University of British Columbia, the Pan American Health Organization, Earth Medic/Earth Nurse, University of the West Indies, and the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. 

Connecticut Emerging Infections Program at Yale (Connecticut EIP)

The Connecticut EIP is a partnership between YSPH and the Connecticut Department of Public Health that has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1995. Our mission is to control the spread of infectious diseases through public health surveillance and applied epidemiologic research. Our partners are from various sectors around the state and include hospital and private laboratories, health care providers, and local health departments. Within Yale, we have numerous key partnerships with the School of Medicine including laboratory medicine and microbiology, virology, and pathology laboratories. Together, we generate critical information to be used by decision-makers for impactful policies and other public health interventions and programs. 

Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE)

CARE collaborates with community partners to improve health among people most impacted by inequities and disparities, specifically Black and Latinx communities and low-income populations, in New Haven and throughout Connecticut. Our collaborations include partnerships with community residents, coalitions, and nonprofit and civic organizations. Partnership with community residents is facilitated through our Community Research Fellows and New Haven Health Leaders programs, our CARE outreach worker team, and our Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Steering Committee. We also collaborate with the Coordinated Food Assistance Network, New Haven Breastfeeding Taskforce and Healthy Start, Project Access-New Haven, New Haven Health Department, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, Fair Haven Community Health Center, Yale New Haven Health, and the Director of Food System Policy for the city of New Haven among others. CARE is co-housed at Southern Connecticut State University’s College of Health and Human Services and the Yale School of Public Health. 

Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center (Yale-Griffin PRC)

The Yale-Griffin PRC works with community partners to develop, implement, and evaluate community-based approaches to address inequities in rates of chronic diseases by working with communities with a focus on the New Haven and the Lower Naugatuck Valley areas. We collaborate with Project Access-New Haven and Griffin Hospital where community health workers support participants in our Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program; Wholesome Wave, an organization dedicated to addressing food security and nutrition; state and local partners to identify strategies that work to address health equity in COVID-19 messaging and vaccine access; the Connecticut Department of Public Health, providing public health workforce trainings to local and state employees; and other organizations and health departments, providing technical assistance throughout the state. The Yale-Griffin PRC is co-housed at Yale School of Public Health and at Griffin Hospital in Derby. 

Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Aids (CIRA)

CIRA was established in 1997 and is currently New England’s only AIDS research center funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. CIRA supports innovative, interdisciplinary research that focuses on the implementation of HIV prevention and treatment and the elimination of HIV disparities. CIRA brings together scientists from 25 disciplines and three institutions: Yale University; the Institute for Community Research in Hartford; and the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy at the University of Connecticut. At Yale, faculty from five schools participate in CIRA: the Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Law School, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and Yale School of Nursing. 

Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis (CIDMA)

The goal of CIDMA is to optimize the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies and other health interventions by quantitatively evaluating and informing public health policies. To achieve this goal, CIDMA applies interdisciplinary mathematical modeling approaches to address public health challenges, both nationally and 

globally, for a wide range of infectious diseases. Ongoing research projects within the U.S. include hepatitis C, pneumococcal disease, influenza, human papillomavirus, cytomegalovirus, and pertussis. Our international research projects target Zika, Ebola, dengue fever, leprosy, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease, rabies, and schistosomiasis. 

Public Health Modeling Unit 

The Yale School of Public Health is a leader in the use of mathematical and statistical modeling to inform public health systems, policy, interventions and disease impact. Modeling applications span a variety of areas, including chronic and infectious diseases, implementation science, environmental health, behavioral determinants of health, and health care systems. Modeling techniques can generate predictions about how a system might behave under different circumstances, permitting public health decision-makers to evaluate the possible effects of health interventions that have not yet been implemented. With faculty embedded in the departments of epidemiology of microbial diseases, biostatistics, and health policy and management, YSPH has a wide impact on population health in public, private, local, national and international settings. 

Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric, and Environmental Epidemiology (CPPEE)

Research conducted by CPPEE focuses on understanding the combined environmental and genetic causes of disease during pregnancy, in the perinatal period, during infancy and childhood. Although this methodological paradigm is used for a range of disorders, a principal research focus is on respiratory disease and asthma. Recent studies have included examining the role of maternal asthma in pregnancy on both maternal health during pregnancy and fetal outcomes, as well as examining the etiology of asthma and other atopic diseases in early infancy and childhood, with an increasing focus on how the genetic inheritance of the child is influenced by environmental risk factors and triggers that increase risk for disease. 

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