Pursuit of Discovery

Pursuit of Discovery
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About Dr. Cummings and Jilcott Pitts' Research

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which often results in a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association’s Statistical Update, in 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had an initial heart attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent episode. About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.

Researchers Dr. Doyle “Skip” Cummings, pharmacist and professor of family medicine, and Dr. Stephanie Jilcott Pitts, assistant professor of public health, are alarmed at these statistics. They both have research backgrounds in learning more about heart disease.

For their latest project, Cummings and Jilcott Pitts are collaborating with researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, health-care practitioners, and community leaders in Lenoir County to study this disease.

Cummings received his BS in pharmacy from West Virginia University and his PharmD from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He completed additional coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics at John Hopkins University School of Health. Jilcott Pitts received her BS in Biology and her PhD in nutrition, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been at ECU since 2008.

This has been a production of East Carolina University.