UW News


May 29, 2020

UW launches online training for contact tracing to help fight COVID-19

Image of video screen

As businesses and public spaces reopen across the nation, the old-school public health detective work known as contact tracing is becoming a major component of the battle to contain the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly COVID-19 disease. It’s an investigative strategy long used for finding and informing people exposed to contagious diseases, such as…


May 27, 2020

UW experts on challenges to worker safety in meat processing industry

Meat processing plants face challenges in keeping workers safe during the pandemic. Carrie Freshour, a UW assistant professor of geography, and Marissa Baker, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and an expert on worker safety related to infectious diseases, provides comments on what the industry can do to protect workers.


May 22, 2020

Q&A: UW’s Teresa Ward talks us through sleep troubles during the COVID-19 pandemic

Panda sleeping on stump

A UW sleep expert sat down with UW News to provide some perspective on sleep during the pandemic, and what we can do to help ourselves and our families get through this time a little more well-rested.


May 18, 2020

COVID-19: UW study reports ‘staggering’ death toll in US among those infected who show symptoms

COVID-19 is a lot more deadly than the flu, according to a new study by the University of Washington published May 7 in the journal Health Affairs. The study’s results also project a grim future if the U.S. doesn’t put up a strong fight against the spread of the virus.


May 11, 2020

UW dean’s Senate testimony included in ‘Call on White House’ for COVID-19 guidelines for aviation industry

Hilary Godwin

In a letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) drew upon the testimony by Hilary Godwin, dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, in calling for federal guidelines be established for the aviation industry and the traveling public. 


May 6, 2020

UW experts on understanding ‘quarantine fatigue’ and protecting workers

painted close sign

As the push to relax social and economic restrictions for combating the pandemic gain traction, we need to understand personal motives behind what many experts consider a dangerous rush to “reopen” and how to protect workers most at risk when communities do “go back to work.” Three UW experts weigh in.


April 27, 2020

UW epidemiology graduate students participating in state’s surge response to COVID-19 pandemic

A little after 10 p.m. on March 19, University of Washington graduate students Anne Massey and David Coomes happened to be online when they received an email that would give them an unexpected role in Washington’s rapidly evolving response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus. As context, the World Health Organization had just declared the…


April 16, 2020

UW nursing students join frontline efforts to battle COVID-19, meet public health needs

Students working on computers

With their education forced online and in-person clinical practice opportunities canceled by the novel coronavirus pandemic, University of Washington nursing students eager to use their skills and knowledge during this historic challenge to human health and well-being had few options. UW School of Nursing and Public Health-Seattle & King County announce partnership. Unwilling to accept…


April 10, 2020

Large majority of state’s heroin users want to reduce use; syringe programs helping during COVID-19 crisis

Man preparing for outreach

A new survey of people who inject illicit drugs in the state of Washington yields positive and important findings for policy makers as the world struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, said authors of the survey by the University of Washington and Public Health-Seattle & King County. Most people – 82% ­– who inject…


March 26, 2020

UW researcher identifies workers most harmed by economic disruption due to COVID-19

A closed sign

Only about 25% of the U.S. workforce — some 35.6 million people — are in jobs that can easily be done at home, a University of Washington researcher has determined, as these are the positions in which using a computer is important but interacting with the public is not. These jobs are typically in highly-paid…


March 15, 2020

Why COVID-19 strategies built around the concept of ‘herd immunity’ are problematic

People walking in crowd

The idea of building herd immunity – increasing the number of infected to such a degree that naturally occurring immunity would outstrip the coronavirus, while isolating the elderly and others at greatest risk of the disease – has been tossed around in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.  This week, however, U.K. officials…


March 11, 2020

Soundbites: UW experts respond to Gov. Inslee’s limits on crowd sizes

A crowd in Seattle

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued on Wednesday, March 11, an emergency proclamation that limits large events to minimize risks to public health during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are how two UW experts responded to questions about the order.


March 6, 2020

Millions of US workers at risk of infections on the job, UW researchers calculate, emphasizing need to protect against COVID-19

Artwork of security agent and passenger

A University of Washington researcher calculates that 14.4 million workers face exposure to infection once a week and 26.7 million at least once a month in the workplace, pointing to an important population needing protection as the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, continues to break out across the U.S. Marissa Baker, an assistant professor in the…


March 5, 2020

The food you need: UW expert on preparing for an extended home stay

Shopping in a big box store

Nutritional science expert Anne-Marie Gloster, a lecturer in the UW School of Public Health’s Nutritional Sciences Program and expert in emergency food planning, has put together this list of things to think about and foods to have on hand if you should be called on to stay at home for an extended period. “Shopping intentionally…


February 13, 2020

Effectiveness of travel bans – readily used during infectious disease outbreaks – mostly unknown, study finds

While travel bans are frequently used to stop the spread of an emerging infectious disease, a new University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University study of published research found that the effectiveness of travel bans is mostly unknown.


February 10, 2020

Increases in minimum wage may not have anticipated positive health effects, study shows

Coins spilled from jar

  In the decade-long absence of federal action, many states, counties and cities have increased minimum wages to help improve the lives of workers. While political debate over these efforts has long been contentious, scientific research on the health effects of raising the minimum wage is relatively new. Some studies have found higher minimum wages…


February 7, 2020

Soundbites & B-roll: UW expert answers questions about the novel coronavirus pandemic

Dr. Judith Wasserheit, chair of the UW Department of Global Health in the School of Public Health and part of the UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security, answers questions about the novel coronavirus outbreak, its spread, the level of concern and how to best protect yourself. For journalists Download soundbites and b-roll…


January 30, 2020

UW’s new WE-REACH center to accelerate development of the ‘most exciting’ biomedical discoveries

Logo for new UW center

With $4 million in matching funds from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Washington has created a new integrated center to match biomedical discoveries with the resources needed to bring innovative products to the public and improve health. “The University of Washington and regional partner institutions produce some of the most exciting biomedical…


January 24, 2020

Rural kids carrying handguns is ‘not uncommon’ and starts as early as sixth grade

Rural setting

Roughly one-third of young males and 1 in 10 females in rural communities have carried a handgun, reports a new University of Washington study. And, the study found, many of those rural kids started carrying as early as the sixth grade. “This is one of the first longitudinal studies of rural adolescent handgun carrying across…


January 9, 2020

At gun safety events, 40% of gun owners reported not locking all household guns — even around kids

Gun with locked storage devices

While waiting for free firearm storage devices at gun safety events held in sporting goods stores across Washington, nearly 3,000 people filled out a one-page survey asking how they stored guns at home and other household information. What the participants reported emphasizes the need for these public events, Seattle Children’s and University of Washington researchers…


December 16, 2019

New study seeks to improve the way dentists measure children’s pain during appointments

Child in dentist chair during procedure

If you fear a trip to the dentist, you are among a majority of adults that report moderate to high levels of anxiety related to dental care, according to a review of research. And, if you’re afraid of getting into a dental chair, you are more likely to avoid going and are at risk of…


November 27, 2019

A method with roots in AI uncovers how humans make choices in groups and social media

Woman holding a smart phone

Using a mathematical framework with roots in artificial intelligence and robotics, UW researchers were able to uncover the process of how a person makes choices in groups. And, they also found they were able to predict a person’s choice more often than more traditional descriptive methods.


November 13, 2019

Founder of World Justice Project, former top Microsoft lawyer Bill Neukom to chair advisory board for UW Population Health Initiative

Neukom standing at podium

Known for his decades-long leadership of Microsoft’s law and corporate affairs team and then at the American Bar Association, his success as CEO of the San Francisco Giants and founder/CEO of the World Justice Project, Bill Neukom will now chair the external advisory board for the University of Washington Population Health Initiative. The university initiative is a…


November 6, 2019

Mailed self-sampling kits helped more women get screened for cervical cancer

Woman's hand pulling envelop from mailbox

Signaling a potential major change in cervical cancer screening options for American women, a new study found that mailed self-sampling kits that test for HPV — the virus that can cause cervical cancer — helped significantly more women get screened for the cancer. The study involving nearly 20,000 women was conducted by researchers from the…


October 14, 2019

To reduce gun violence, lift roadblocks to firearm data

Gun in field grass

While gun violence in America kills more than 35,000 people a year and as calls for policies to stem the crisis grow, University of Washington researchers point out in a new analysis that barriers to data stand in the way of advancing solutions. “Firearm data availability, accessibility and infrastructure need to be substantially improved to…


October 11, 2019

New UW center receives NIH grant to improve the fight against cancer

IV tubes

Even successful methods for diagnosing, treating and caring for people who are suffering from cancer are not enough without effective, practical tools and guidance for putting those methods into practice. To bridge this gap between cancer interventions and their implementation within communities across the country, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute is funding…


October 10, 2019

UW names population health building after Swedish physician and ‘very serious possibilist’ Hans Rosling

Artist rendering of building

Hans Rosling is known internationally for his captivating analysis of global health data, for discovering a paralyzing disease in Africa and explaining its socio-economic causes, and for his intense curiosity and life-long passion for educating students, world leaders and the public. Now, Hans Rosling — a Swedish doctor, statistician, author and professor — will be…


Personal comments from Hans Rosling’s family about UW’s new Hans Rosling Center for Population Health

Hans Rosling with props

The new building on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus that will be home to some of the key departments at the center of the university’s Population Health Initiative was named in honor of Dr. Hans Rosling on Oct. 10, 2019, by the UW Board of Regents. The $230 million building under construction on the…


October 7, 2019

Pop-up galleries and data: Visualizing the lives of homeless people and their animals

Thumbnail

Sparked by a grant from the UW Population Health Initiative, the UW’s Center for One Health Research has created a series of pop-up galleries featuring autobiographical photographs made by people experiencing homelessness with their animal companions. The first gallery was Oct. 4 in UW’s Red Square. Other pop-up gallery events are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday,…


September 26, 2019

Pay, flexibility, advancement: They all matter for workers’ health and safety, study shows

Food delivery cyclist

The terms and conditions of your employment — including your pay, hours, schedule flexibility and job security — influence your overall health as well as your risk of being injured on the job, according to new research from the University of Washington. The analysis takes a comprehensive approach to show that the overall pattern of…


August 27, 2019

Pregnant women of color experience disempowerment by health care providers

Study finds health care providers need more training in power differentials, informed consent and providing respectful care.

A new study finds that women of color perceive their interactions with doctors, nurses and midwives as being misleading, with information being “packaged” in such a way as to disempower them by limiting maternity health care choices for themselves and their children.


August 19, 2019

‘Hidden’ data exacerbates rural public health inequities

The SHARE-NW project is a five-year effort to identify, gather and visualize data in four Northwest states to help rural communities more effectively address health disparities and achieve health equity.


August 13, 2019

Air pollution can accelerate lung disease as much as a pack a day of cigarettes

Air pollution over Los Angeles.

Air pollution—especially ozone air pollution which is increasing with climate change—accelerates the progression of emphysema of the lung, according to a new study led by the University of Washington, Columbia University and the University at Buffalo.