UW News

School of Public Health


July 1, 2024

Q&A: How the H5N1 bird flu outbreak could become humanity’s problem

Hundreds of small, white chickens stand on the floor of a large barn.

A major outbreak of a new strain of bird flu — formally named Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 — has killed millions of wild birds and infected poultry, dairy cattle, domestic cats and a small number of humans. UW experts explain how bird flu evolves and what it could mean for humans.


May 9, 2024

Navy Growler jet noise over Whidbey Island could impact 74,000 people’s health

Two men facing away from the camera watch a blurred jet land on an airstrip. The men are both wearing over-ear headphones.

As often as four days a week, Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island fly loops overhead as pilots practice touch-and-go landings. The noise is immense. New research from the University of Washington shows that the noise isn’t just disruptive — it presents a substantial risk to public health.


April 3, 2024

ArtSci Roundup: Chris Thile at Meany Hall, Northwest Sinfonietta, First Nations Spring Powwow, and more

This week, check out the 53rd Annual First Nations Spring Powwow, head to Meany Hall for a concert by Grammy Award-winning artist Chris Thile, enjoy the Northwest Sinfonietta’s performance with UW piano students, and more. April 11, 12:00 – 1:00 pm | Talking Gender in Europe Lecture Series | The Double-Helix Entanglements of Transnational Advocacy:…


Q&A: UW researchers on the unseen community effects of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

In the foreground, purple block letters "UW." In the background, a young student works at a laptop on a kitchen table.

Starting in the earliest days of the 2020 outbreak, a team of researchers at the University of Washington conducted real-time surveys of King County residents, asking what measures people had taken to protect themselves, how their daily lives had been affected and what worried them most.  


February 28, 2024

Vision Zero road safety projects in Seattle are unlikely to have negative impacts on local business sales, UW study finds

Two bicycle lanes painted on a strip of asphalt, with painted bicycle icons marking each lane.

An analysis of seven safety projects across Seattle found they had no negative impact on the annual revenues of nearby businesses for three years after construction began.


January 22, 2024

Q&A: UW expert on the rise and risks of artificial sweeteners

Eight white sugar cubes set against a black background.

The rise of artificial sweeteners has made it easier for conscious consumers to reduce their sugar intake, but these products may present their own health risks.


January 16, 2024

UW research helps California forest managers assess smoke hazards from prescribed burns

Forest on fire with smoke billowing, as seen from a helicopter

An international team led by researchers at the University of Washington built a framework to help land managers assess the air quality implications of land management scenarios with different levels of prescribed burning.


November 28, 2023

UW research finds that mailing HPV test kits directly to patients increases cervical cancer screening rates

Currently, more than half of all cervical cancers diagnosed in the United States are in people who are overdue for screening or have never been screened. In a new study, researchers report that mailing HPV test kits significantly increased cervical cancer screening rates.


November 27, 2023

Breathing highway air increases blood pressure, UW research finds 

A new study from the UW found that unfiltered air from rush-hour traffic significantly increased passengers’ blood pressure, both while in the car and up to 24 hours later. 


November 14, 2023

5th National Climate Assessment authors include UW climate experts

Three UW experts are among the authors of the newly released Fifth National Climate Assessment, an overview of climate trends, impacts and efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change across the nation.


November 13, 2023

UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences maintains No. 1 global ranking; more than two dozen UW subjects in top 50

campus entrance

Six University of Washington subjects ranked in the top 10, and atmospheric sciences maintained its position as No. 1 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2023. The ranking, released at the end of October, was conducted by researchers at the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, a fully independent organization dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultation.


October 23, 2023

Video: Familiar ingredients make Afghan Food Guide easy to swallow

A plate with meat, rice, a vegetable salad and strawberries on it.

Unfamiliar foods can get in the way of following a recommended diet. For the Afghan community seeking health care in the U.S., a nutrition handbook created by UW School of Public Health graduate student Priyasha Maharjan works to solve this problem, using Afghan food examples to educate patients and care providers on the nutritional content of their meals.


October 17, 2023

CDC funds UW to take first steps toward regional public health emergency preparedness center

The UW will convene partners across Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Oregon to develop a workplan to establish a future regional Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response.


October 12, 2023

ArtSci Roundup: Frontiers of Physics Lecture, a conversation with Bridgerton author, Archaeology Day at the Burke, and more

This week, attend the Frontiers of Physics Lecture, listen to a conversation with Julia Quinn the author of the Bridgerton series, head to the Burke Museum to celebrate International Archaeology Day, and more. October 17, 7:30pm | Frontiers of Physics Lecture | More perfect than we imagined: A physicist’s view of life, Kane Hall Among the most…


October 9, 2023

Three UW faculty members elected to National Academy of Medicine

A large block W on a grass lawn. In the background is the University of Washington campus.

Among the most prestigious scientific organizations in the country, the Academy recognizes excellence in the fields of health and medicine, along with a commitment to volunteer service. 


September 19, 2023

Five UW faculty members elected as AGU Fellows, plus more honors

block W

The American Geophysical Union announced Sept. 13 that five University of Washington faculty members have been elected as new fellows, representing the departments of astronomy, Earth and space sciences, oceanography, global health, and environmental and occupational health sciences.


September 7, 2023

UW assessment finds fentanyl and methamphetamine smoke linger on public transit vehicles

Two years ago, as life regained its rhythm and public transit once again filled with people, train and bus operators spotted a troubling trend. Some operators reported instances of people smoking drugs on their vehicles, and worried that the haze it created could linger, potentially affecting workers’ physical and mental health.  Spurred by operators’ concerns,…


September 5, 2023

UW, Stanford launch resource to help health care professionals respond to climate concerns 

The case studies in Medicine for a Changing Planet, collated from clinical encounters around the world, support health professionals in recognizing and treating a variety of health-related conditions that can be traced to environmental stressors.


August 28, 2023

UW research links wildfire smoke to increased risk of emergency room visits for people of all ages

Taken together, the two papers’ findings suggest that wildfire smoke poses a risk to people of all ages, not just young children and older adults.


June 26, 2023

New report, tool suggest how Washington can better protect against extreme heat

report cover with silhouettes on skyline

Two years after the Pacific Northwest heat dome — the deadliest weather-related disaster in state history — a collaborative effort has drawn up recommendations for how people and groups across the state could prevent future heat-related illness and save lives. The effort involves a report led by the UW Climate Impacts Group and an interactive risk-mapping tool led by the UW Center for Health and the Global Environment,


April 24, 2023

UW graduate and professional disciplines place highly in US News’ Best Graduate Schools rankings

cherry blossoms

The University of Washington’s graduate and professional degree programs were widely recognized as among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Graduate Schools rankings released late Monday.


April 6, 2023

Washington state’s 2021 heat wave contributed to 159 excess injury deaths over three weeks

A record-breaking heat wave that baked Washington state in 2021 contributed to 159 excess injury deaths, according to research led by a UW professor.


February 14, 2023

New faculty books: Fad diets, how inequality leads to poor health and more

Three books spread on a wooden table with covers facing up.

Four new faculty books from the University of Washington cover topics ranging from inequality’s effects on health to fad diets to former German chancellor Angela Merkel’s legacy on gender equality.


November 16, 2022

More US adults carrying loaded handguns daily, study finds

New research led by the University of Washington finds that the number of U.S. adult handgun owners carrying a loaded handgun on their person doubled from 2015 to 2019, and that a larger proportion of handgun owners carried handguns in states with less restrictive carrying regulations.


November 15, 2022

UW celebrates researchers on Highly Cited Researchers 2022 List

fountain

The University of Washington is proud to announce that more than 44 faculty and researchers who completed their work while at UW have been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list from Clarivate.


October 14, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: Grammy winner Morris Robinson, Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, and more!

Connect with the UW community every week through public events and exhibitions, summarized in this ArtSci Roundup.


October 7, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: Indigenous Peoples’ Day on-air, Chamber Dance Company, and more

Connect with the UW community every week through public events and exhibitions, summarized in this ArtSci Roundup.


September 26, 2022

Heat-related mortality risk is widespread across Washington state, study shows

W in sunshine

Heat-related deaths occur across Washington state, even in regions with typically milder climates. This is the most extensive study yet of heat-related mortality in Washington state, and the first to look beyond the major population to and include rural areas. Researchers used statistical methods to uncover “hidden” deaths that may have listed something else, like illness or a chronic disease, as the primary cause.


September 9, 2022

Pandemic federal programs helped kids in need get access to 1.5 billion meals every month

National Guard distributing food

  When schools closed during the first year of the pandemic, an immediate and potentially devastating problem surfaced: How would millions of children in struggling families get the school meals many of them depended on? The U.S. Congress responded by authorizing the Department of Agriculture to roll out two major programs. It launched the “grab…


August 11, 2022

Bird behavior influenced by human activity during COVID-19 lockdowns

a bird flaps its wings on a branch

For birds that inhabit developed areas of the Pacific Northwest, the reduction in noise and commotion from COVID-19 lockdowns may have allowed them to use a wider range of habitats in cities, a new University of Washington study has found.


August 2, 2022

Popular map for exploring environmental health disparities, vulnerabilities in Washington gets an update

Since it first launched in 2019, Washington state’s Environmental Health Disparities Map has been used to help decisionmakers and government agencies engage with overburdened communities to clean up contamination, improve buildings and electric grids, plant trees and many other projects. Using a complex matrix of data, this open-access, interactive map ranks Washington’s nearly 1,500 U.S….


July 20, 2022

UW atmospheric sciences achieves No. 1 global ranking; nearly three dozen UW subjects in top 50

person stands in front of bright green wall

Eight University of Washington subjects ranked in the top 10 and Atmospheric Sciences moved to its position as No. 1 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2022. The ranking, released Tuesday, was conducted by researchers at the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, a fully independent organization dedicating to research on higher education intelligence and consultation.


July 19, 2022

Suicide prevention training for health care providers a first step in longer-term efficacy

doctor talking with patient

After Washington became the first state to require suicide prevention training for health care providers, the University of Washington worked with experts and organizations to develop the All Patients Safe program. A new study shows how All Patients Safe helped providers of all specialties learn how to identify and respond to patients at risk of suicide.


July 12, 2022

UW study strengthens evidence of link between air pollution and child brain development

Seattle traffic

Air pollution is not just a problem for lungs. Increasingly, research suggests air pollution can influence childhood behavioral problems and even IQ. A new study led by the University of Washington has added evidence showing that both prenatal and postnatal exposure to air pollution can harm kids. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found…


July 8, 2022

Sweetened beverage taxes produce net economic benefits for lower-income communities

Bottles and cans of soda on store shelves

New research led by University of Washington professors James Krieger and Melissa Knox found that sweetened beverage taxes redistributed dollars from higher- to lower-income households.


May 27, 2022

Critical race theory at center of UW study of unequal access to treatment for opioid addiction

Opioid use disorder is an addiction crisis in the United States that has become increasingly lethal during the COVID-19 pandemic. To preserve access to life-saving treatment during the pandemic, federal drug agencies loosened requirements on physicians for treating these patients, including moving patient evaluations away from in-person exams to telemedicine. This federal policy change focused…


May 7, 2022

Consensus approach proposed to protect human health from intentional and wild forest fires

Prescribed forest fire

All forest fire smoke is bad for people, but not all fires in forests are bad. This is the conundrum faced by experts in forest management and public health: Climate change and decades of fire suppression that have increased fuels are contributing to larger and more intense wildfires and, in order to improve forest health…


May 3, 2022

Many pathologists agree overdiagnosis of skin cancer happens, but don’t change diagnosis behavior

Doctor Examining Patient

As the most serious type of skin cancer, a melanoma diagnosis carries emotional, financial and medical consequences. That’s why recent studies finding that there is an overdiagnosis of melanoma are a significant cause for concern. “Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of disease that will not harm a person in their lifetime. If melanoma is being overdiagnosed,…


March 28, 2022

UW graduate and professional disciplines again place high in US News’ best graduate school rankings

campus shot

The University of Washington’s graduate and professional degree programs were widely recognized as among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate School rankings released Tuesday.


February 28, 2022

UW authors in IPCC report emphasize threats to human health and well-being

Two University of Washington experts in climate change and health are lead authors of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The new report titled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptations and Vulnerability, published Monday morning, details in over three thousand pages a “dire warning” about the consequences of inaction on reducing…



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