News Bulletin
February 2018

Welcome Message from the Director

Mark Cullen, PHS Faculty Director, welcomes members and friends to the winter quarter by highlighting:
  • Recent quarter's activities

  • New research partnerships & projects

  • Increased momentum around a new working group focused on "Diseases of Despair" 

    Read More.

New PHS Data Trainings

  • March 1st - for beginner users of claim data
  • March 15th - for intermediate users of claim data
Our winter data trainings will cover high-level topics around working with claims data, as well as how to use the cloud-based PHS data portal to explore, access, query, and cut these datasets. We will be highlighting some exciting new features, including:
 + New versioning system and the release of cleaned Truven datasets

 + Availability of 1% samples in the data portal, allowing you to freely explore without exceeding quotas while providing a seamless mechanism to upgrade to the full samples once ready

 + New help and support portal

 + And serveral more improvements and previews of some highly-requested features
Sign up at:

Research Spotlight: Genetic Similarities Between Friends Predict Education Attainment

Ben Domingue, faculty fellow at the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, and colleagues show in a new study that adolescent friends are often genetically similar. Published in PNAS, their analyses based on 5,500 adolescents in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) reveal that this genetic similarity in turn relates to adolescent educational attainment, which underscores the importance of studying socio-genetic effects on human behavior and health. Read more.
Interested in joining the Gene - Environment Interaction working group?  Email Linda Walker at to join.

PHS News and Announcements

Below are a selection of exciting highlights from our Working Group co-chairs, PHS research projects, partnerships and initiatives.
Population Health Interest Group
Did you know that grant applications with the best scores are written with a hypothesis-driven framework in “boring parallel sentences?" At our most recent Population Health Interest Group (PHIG)
meeting, Dr. Sanjay Basu led a riveting discussion on the keys to successful Specific Aims grant writing, including examples of funded and unscored applications. In addition, Alison Callahan shared her experience of the grant review. If you’d like to learn more, please join us at our next monthly PHIG meeting March 13th (see details below). Email to join our mailing list and Slack channel.
Upcoming Events

Seminar Series: Michael Schoenbaum
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Li Ka Shing Center, Room 320
9AM - 10AM
Predictive Modeling of Suicide Risk (and Other Applications of Mortality Data for Improving Mental Health Outcomes)
Learn more and register here.

March PHIG Meeting
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Li Ka Shing Center, Room 306
12M - 1PM
Topic: How to choose the right journal



Seminar Series: Rayid Ghani
Monday, April 9, 2018
Li Ka Shing Center, Room 320
2PM - 3PM
Data Science for Social Good and Public Policy
Learn more and register here.

View our events calendar here.

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