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What's New: Grant Recipient Spotlights

Superfund Research Program

Pavilonis and Team
SRP Webinar Series Highlights Grant Recipients' Contributions to Worker Safety
Grant Recipient Spotlights - June 20, 2024

New approaches to address the occupational health and safety risks found in various workplaces were the focus of a Superfund Research Program (SRP) Progress in Research webinar series.

Researchers at Fidalgo Bay
Connecting Cultures: Conducting Ethical Research in Tribal Settings
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 17, 2024

Jamie Donatuto, Ph.D., is in a unique position as both the environmental health analyst for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and as the co-leader of the Community Engagement Core at the Oregon State University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center. She has spent decades researching the intersections of environmental contaminant exposures, Indigenous practices, and community health, and she regularly advocates for and educates others about ethical research collaborations that benefit Tribal health.

Digital map showing water settling points
Using Spatial Analytics to Address Flooding and Contamination in Fence-Line Communities
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 11, 2024

As head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and a member of the NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center at Texas A&M University, Galen Newman, Ph.D., focuses on improving urban resilience against natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding. His work shapes community resilience plans that use environmentally conscious landscape design to improve health outcomes.

Andrew George
Forging Partnerships to Reach and Empower Rural Well Water Users
Grant Recipient Spotlights - March 7, 2024

As the community engagement coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill (UNC) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, Andrew George, Ph.D., is educating rural communities about the health risks of drinking well water contaminated with metals. He also relies on partnerships with community organizations across North Carolina to help under-resourced communities test their wells for free.

Robyn Tanguay
Zebrafish Represent Key Piece to Toxicology Puzzle
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 14, 2024

Superfund Research Program (SRP) grant recipient Robyn Tanguay, Ph.D., was recently interviewed by NIEHS Director Rick Woychik, Ph.D. Tanguay, who serves as the director of the Oregon State University SRP Center, discussed her research using zebrafish and why she thinks they represent a paradigm shift in toxicological research.

Ana Navas-Acien
Scientific Journeys: From Preventive Medicine to Environmental Health Sciences
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 14, 2024

Ana Navas-Acien, M.D., Ph.D., grew up in a desert-like area of Spain called Almeria where drinking water was scarce. For years, her parents relied on a rainwater collection system called an aljibe for drinking and cooking. These early experiences planted a seed.

Jennifer Richmond-Bryant
Combining Environmental and Social Sciences to Address Community Air Quality Concerns
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 22, 2024

While Jennifer Richmond-Bryant, Ph.D., was studying for a degree in civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University, she heard that workers in nearby municipal offices were experiencing "sick building syndrome." This experience highlighted for her that environmental issues were really health issues.

Rollie Mills
Rollie Mills wins 2023 Wetterhahn Award
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 22, 2024

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) selected Rollie Mills, from the University of Kentucky (UK) SRP Center, as the 26th recipient of the Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award.

Kathy Vandiver
Building Environmental Health Literacy Across Generations and Communities
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 22, 2024

Prior to joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2005 as a community engagement and education specialist, Kathleen Vandiver, Ph.D., taught middle school science for 16 years.

Map of SRP grant recipients that focus their research efforts on PFAS.
SRP Seminar Series on the Complexity and Persistence of PFAS Compounds
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 3, 2024

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) recently brought together several grant recipients and experts from other federal agencies to discuss new strategies and continuing challenges for PFAS site characterization. The three-session event, Tools for PFAS Site Characterization, included presentations on research efforts and tool development for sampling, monitoring, detecting, and characterizing PFAS. The widespread commercial use and the variety of risks of PFAS make site characterization important to researchers, who need to know which PFAS chemicals are where.

Grandjean in Faroe Islands
Scientific Journeys: From the Faroe Islands to PFAS Research
Grant Recipient Spotlights - October 20, 2023

Longtime NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grant recipient Philippe Grandjean describes what kickstarted his career and where his research is headed, as well as the health effects of PFAS and how people can limit their exposure. Grandjean is an investigator at the University of Rhode Island SRP Center and works with communities in the Faroe Islands, an archipelago between Iceland and Norway.

New Mexico Mining Waste
Partnering With Indigenous Communities to Improve Tribal Health
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 7, 2023

Johnnye Lewis, director of the University of New Mexico Superfund Research Center, researches the Tribal health implications of exposures to environmental pollutants, particularly those from hardrock mining activity.

Kelly Pennell
Kelly Pennell, Ph.D. - From Pipes to People: Addressing Vapor Intrusion and Water Contamination
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 7, 2023

As a high schooler, Kelly Pennell, Ph.D., was inspired by environmental and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa to help people affected by environmental exposures. Now, as director of the University of Kentucky (UK) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, she is working to protect public health from exposures to toxic substances like PFAS, trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethene (PCE).

PROTECT and Community Engagement
Protecting the Health of Mothers and Babies
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 1, 2023

Led by Northeastern University and funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), the Puerto Rico Test Site to Explore Contamination Threats (PROTECT) SRP Center brings together researchers from many institutions to explore the connection between environmental exposures and preterm birth in Puerto Rico.

The seven trainees that were awarded the 2023 K.C. Donnelly Externship Award
Seven Trainees Awarded K.C. Donnelly Externships
Grant Recipient Spotlights - August 7, 2023

Seven NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees won K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplements to conduct research outside of their host centers. The three-month-long externships provide current SRP-funded graduate students and postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to learn new methods and techniques, while working in other SRP-funded institutions and government labs.

Quetawki Headshot
Increasing Indigenous Health Literacy Through Visual Arts
Grant Recipient Spotlights - March 29, 2023

Artist Mallery Quetawki combines her visual art skills, biology and healthcare background, and Indigenous knowledge to improve environmental health literacy among American Indian Tribes. A member of the Pueblo of Zuni Tribe in New Mexico, Quetawki has collaborated on environmental health outreach projects using art with the University of New Mexico (UNM) SRP Center. She currently serves as the artist-in-residence for the UNM College of Pharmacy s Community Environmental Health Program (CEHP).

Ghosh Headshot
Enhancing Remediation Technology to Clean Up Contaminants
Grant Recipient Spotlights - March 23, 2023

Upal Ghosh, Ph.D., explores how chemical contaminants move through the environment and affect aquatic food webs, with the goal of developing and implementing technologies to help ecosystems recover from pollution.

Joseph Hamm
Fostering Trust-Building to Promote Environmental Health
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 6, 2023

Joseph Hamm, Ph.D., strives to contribute to a deeper, fuller understanding of trust, one that crosses disciplines and helps different groups to work collaboratively toward better outcomes for community health and safety.

Amanda Armijo, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Amanda Armijo Wins 2022 Wetterhahn Award
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 1, 2023

Amanda Armijo, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SRP Center, was selected as the 25th recipient of the Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award. Armijo received the award December 15 at the SRP Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she was recognized for her work on tracing how the toxin NDMA damages genes, and how the DNA might repair itself.

Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem, M.D., Ph.D., MPP.
Combining Medicine, Environmental Research, and Policy to Reduce Health Disparities
Grant Recipient Spotlights - December 7, 2022

From a very early age, Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P., a former NIEHS SRP-funded postdoctoral fellow, knew he wanted to pursue a career addressing health disparities in the U.S. and abroad.

Elkin Headshot
Chemical Toxicant Contributes to Low Birth Weight, Can Damage Placenta
Grant Recipient Spotlights - November 1, 2022

During an NIEHS lecture Oct. 6, Elana Elkin, Ph.D., a former NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainee and recipient of the 2019 Karen Wetterhahn Award, described how a chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE) can interfere with fetal development in the womb.

Top row, from left: Avinash Kumar, Ph.D., and Rebecca Dickman. Middle row, from left: Martine Mathieu, Charlotte Wirth, and Laura Dean, Ph.D. Bottom row, from left: Melissa Woodward and Francisco Leniz
Superfund Research Program Trainees Win Prestigious K.C. Donnelly Awards
Grant Recipient Spotlights - October 1, 2022

Seven trainees with the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) have earned K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplements. Named for longtime SRP grantee Kirby K.C. Donnelly, the funding enables graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to learn techniques relevant to their work from experts at outside institutions.

U.S. map highlighting the location of each of the 8 returning P42 SRP centers.
SRP Welcomes New and Returning Multiproject Centers
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 27, 2022

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) welcomes 11 new and returning multiproject centers.

Kirsten Reid and Anna Kremer
SRP Summer Interns Shine at NIEHS Poster Competition
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 20, 2022

SRP summer interns Anna Kremer and Kirsten Reid presented their summer research projects in a virtual poster showcase along with interns and trainees from across NIEHS on July 28.

Andres Cardenas, Ph.D., head shot
Combining Biostatics and Genomics Research to Prevent Disease
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 9, 2022

Andres Cardenas, Ph.D., of the University of California (UC), Berkeley SRP Center explained how is applying his epigenetics expertise to investigate how environmental exposures contribute to the development of diseases, and how to prevent them.

Johnnye Lewis, Ph.D., head shot
Tribal Environmental Health Strengthened by Lewis and Team
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 5, 2022

For nearly three decades, Johnnye Lewis, Ph.D., has advanced Native American health by combining basic research, population-level studies, clear science communication, and robust partnerships with tribes.

Joel Meyer, Ph.D.
Toxic Agents Can Target Mitochondria, Influence Disease, Expert Says
Grant Recipient Spotlights - August 10, 2022

Joel Meyer, Ph.D., of the Duke University SRP Center, discussed his research into how early-life mitochondrial toxicity can affect later-life health, during his NIEHS Keystone Science Lecture.

Karlatta Chief, adorned in Native American jewelery with a smile
Partnering with Tribal Communities to Protect Water from Pollution and Climate Change
Grant Recipient Spotlights - July 1, 2022

Karletta Chief, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona SRP Center, explained how her interest in water stemmed from growing up within Navajo nation.

Kathleen Gray, Ph.D.
Improving Environmental Risk Communication Through Interdisciplinary Collaborations
Grant Recipient Spotlights - May 19, 2022

Kathleen Gray, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) SRP Center talked about her passion for increasing understanding of environmental exposures in communities affected by contamination.

Mike Denison, Ph.D.
Remembering Mike Denison, Longtime SRP Grantee
Grant Recipient Spotlights - May 13, 2022

Environmental toxicologist Michael (Mike) Denison, Ph.D., of the University of California (UC), Davis, who was internationally known for his fundamental research on persistent organic pollutants and for developing a widely used test for detecting toxic substances in samples, died March 22 of brain cancer. A longtime grantee of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), Denison served as a project leader for more than 25 years.

Tiffany Sanchez, Ph.D.
Uncovering the Link Between Metals and Disease
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 19, 2022

Tiffany Sanchez, Ph.D., a former trainee at the Columbia University SRP Center, reflected on her experience as a trainee working with large cohorts, or groups of participants, to understand the connections between metal exposures and disease.

Stefano Monti, Ph.D.
Preventing Disease Through Bioinformatics
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 19, 2022

Stefano Monti, Ph.D., explained how he is developing computational models for environmental contaminants to predict their long-term health effects, such as cancer and metabolic disorders. Since 2012, Monti led the Bioinformatics and Molecular Modeling Core at the Boston University SRP Center.

Danielle Carlin, Ph.D.
SRP Shines at SOT
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 14, 2022

NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees from across the country gathered in person and virtually for the 2022 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting, held March 27-31 in San Diego. The meeting highlighted diverse, cutting-edge research.

Veena Antony, M.D.
Advancing Environmental Justice Through Research and Outreach
Grant Recipient Spotlights - March 4, 2022

University of Alabama at Birmingham SRP Center Director Veena Antony, M.D., described her work to improve lung health in residents near a local Superfund site.

Keri Hornbuckle, Ph.D.
Exposure to Airborne PCBs an Ongoing Challenge, Expert Says
Grant Recipient Spotlights - March 1, 2022

Approaches for studying airborne exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, and helping communities reduce such exposure, were discussed by University of Iowa Superfund Research Program Director Keri Hornbuckle, Ph.D., during her February 4 Keystone Science Lecture.

Celia Chen, Ph.D.
Leveraging Partners Across Disciplines and Continents
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 18, 2022

A feature on Dartmouth College SRP Center Director Celia Chen, Ph.D., explains how she is leveraging decades of research on Mercury to better understand how people are exposed to per and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta, Ph.D.
Engaging Communities to Improve Well-being
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 17, 2022

Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., from the University of Arizona SRP Center, shared her experience engaging communities in science and her journey from SRP trainee to SRP researcher.

Elsie Sunderland, Ph.D
Complexities of PFAS Research Focus of Congressional Hearing
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 1, 2022

Complexities of studying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were shared by SRP grantees and other experts during a congressional hearing. Witnesses discussed how increased research and development can better inform regulation and strengthen methods for cleaning up PFAS in the environment.

Cherie De Vore, Ph.D.
Former SRP Trainee Featured in NIEHS Global Environmental Health Newsletter
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 1, 2022

Cherie De Vore, Ph.D., a former trainee with the University of New Mexico SRP Center, explained how her mechanistic research on metal contaminants in the environment is grounded in her Dine identity.

systems approach graphic
Annual SRP Meeting Highlights Collaboration and Innovation to Address Emerging Challenges
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 5, 2022

The annual meeting to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) was held as an abbreviated virtual event December 16, 2021. Drawing over 400 attendees from across the U.S., the meeting highlighted how SRP's dedication to innovation and collaboration across scientific fields can tackle emerging challenges.

Molly Frazar
Effort to remove PFAS from water earns grad student Wetterhahn Award
Grant Recipient Spotlights - January 1, 2022

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program bestowed the honor on Molly Frazar, from the University of Kentucky.

Graphic with lock and internet symbol representing cybersecurity
Uncovering a Link Between Chemicals in Dust and Disease
Grant Recipient Spotlights - December 17, 2021

Duke SRP Center Co-Director Heather Stapleton, Ph.D., described her research to understand the harmful chemical exposures that people may encounter in their homes and how they affect health.

Juan Parras
Organizing Community Voices to Achieve Environmental Equity, Justice, and Resilience
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 29, 2021

Juan Parras described his partnership with the SRP Centers at Texas A&M University and the Baylor College of Medicine through the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.).

Brown SRP trainees, researchers, and community members take safety precautions during community volunteer days.
Trainees Get Creative During the Pandemic
Grant Recipient Spotlights - July 21, 2021

When in-person events, classes, and research activities were put on hold due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded trainees got creative and identified unique opportunities to pursue safely during the pandemic. With support from their mentors, SRP trainees gained experience across multiple scientific fields, conducted research in a collaborative environment, and engaged with diverse stakeholders and community members.

Diana Rohlman, Ph.D
Innovating Environmental Health Communication
Grant Recipient Spotlights - June 22, 2021

Former Oregon State University (OSU) SRP Center trainee Diana Rohlman, Ph.D., discussed creative approaches for culturally sensitive community engagement and research translation.

SOT Virtual Meeting poster
SRP Impresses at Virtual SOT
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 19, 2021

NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded researchers from all over the country tuned in for the virtual 2021 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting and ToxExpo on March 16-26. More than 60 SRP project leaders and trainees from more than 13 SRP Centers gave oral and poster presentations.

drawing of a human figure in silhouette inside a circle with images of the enviromnent and scientific illustrations filling sections of the circle
SRP Grantees Share Innovative Science at Microbiome Conference
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 8, 2021

In an NIEHS virtual symposium, held February 23-24, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees were well represented within the broader NIEHS community, sharing their efforts to understand the relationship between environmental exposures, the microbiome, and human health.

Angela Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Developing Innovative, Sustainable Technologies to Clean-up Water
Grant Recipient Spotlights - April 7, 2021

Angela Gutierrez, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky SRP Center shared her journey from SRP trainee to NIEHS small business innovative research grant to develop new strategies to remove contaminants from water.

Morello-Frosch is a professor in the School of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. She leads the Community Engagement Core at the UC Berkeley SRP Center. (Photo courtesy of the UC Berkeley SRP Center)
Linking Chemical and Nonchemical Mixtures to Health Disparities
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 5, 2021

Rachel Morello-Frosh, Ph.D., conducts research to understand how social factors, such as inequality and psychological stress, interact with environmental chemical exposures to influence disparities in the health status of different groups.

FAIR principles
Annual Meeting Satellite Workshops Boost Collaboration
Grant Recipient Spotlights - February 1, 2021

Two workshops, held December 16 as part of the first NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) virtual annual meeting, provided forums to delve into data science issues and showcase innovative remediation and detection technologies.

Photograph of Mike Aitken
Remembering Mike Aitken, Esteemed SRP Scholar and Mentor
Grant Recipient Spotlights - October 9, 2020

Michael (Mike) Aitken, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, passed away September 19 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Aitken served as a project leader and integral part of the UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center for more than 20 years.

Angela Slitt, Ph.D.
SRP Grantees Part of the Conversation on PFAS
Grant Recipient Spotlights - September 3, 2020

A new virtual seminar series is providing an opportunity for researchers to share information on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The first session of the series, which kicked off on July 31 and included more than 400 participants, featured Angela Slitt, Ph.D., of the NIEHS-funded University of Rhode Island Superfund Research Program Center.

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