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Environmental Factor, June 2014

NIEHS Spotlight

Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.Birnbaum receives honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University Story contains video

NIEHS and NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., added one more laurel to her long list May 20 with the award of an honorary doctorate by Ben-Gurion University.

John Balbus, M.D.National Climate Assessment includes key messages about human health

Released May 6, the NCA makes clear that climate change, once thought an issue for the distant future, has moved firmly into the present, with impacts on human health.

Cheryl Walker, Ph.D.Centers of excellence adds Texas consortium

NIEHS has designated the Center for Translational Environmental Health Research in Texas as the newest National Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Science.

Maria Freire, Ph.D.Director of FNIH promotes foundation

Foundation for NIH director Maria Freire, Ph.D., seeks to change the lack of FNIH support for NIEHS research.

Walter Rogan, Ph.D.Pregnant and breastfeeding women need iodine supplements

New policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics aims to protect children from iodine deficiency and adverse impacts of certain environmental chemicals.

Kosak and PackenhamEvent helps employees laugh their way into ethical compliance

NIEHS held its fifth annual Ethics Day May 15 with a refreshing mix of tunes, funny yet instructional videos, good-natured competition, and serious talk about ethical conduct.

Gwen Collman, Ph.D.Variety of topics covered at council

At the 142nd meeting of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council, members learned about NIEHS programs and provided thoughtful feedback.

Steven Roberts, Ph.D.Molecular genetics groups break for annual retreat

The NIEHS Laboratory of Molecular Genetics kicked off its two-day departmental retreat May 8 at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Kevin Gerrish, Ph.D.Genomics Day highlights breadth of NIEHS resources and research

The fifth annual Genomics Day highlighted genomics resources available to NIEHS researchers and featured posters and talks on the research those resources support.

Alaina LevineNIEHS Biomedical Career Symposium draws hundreds Story contains slideshow

Nearly 400 people attended the daylong event featuring workshops, networking, and job-hunting advice on a variety of career paths.

Heather Henry, Ph.D.Emerging concerns with PCBs in schools draw hundreds to SRP webinars

Two April webinars provided more than 300 people with overview, exposure assessment, and approaches to reducing health risks from PCBs in schools.

US S&E logoNIEHS reaches out at nation’s largest STEM event Story contains video

Members of the NIEHS Office of Science Education and Diversity were part of a trans-NIH effort at the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival April 26-27.

Raina Maier, Ph.D.Translating research into products to improve public health

Three NIEHS-funded researchers, who have launched start-ups that promise to enhance public health, were recognized for their efforts this spring.

NIH LogoNIEHS fellows earn honors at NIH Postbac Poster Day

Caitlin McDonough and Jessica Boni won Outstanding Poster awards May 1 at the 2014 Postbac Poster Day at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Inside the Institute

Sallie DewarAdministrative professionals recharge and empower at NIEHS seminar

NIEHS support staff gathered April 23 for a lively workshop on strategies for recognizing accomplishments, managing stress, and establishing respect.

HHS logoNIEHS renovation team wins HHS Green Champions Award

The Green and Fit Retrofit team was selected for a small group award, for the sustainable, healthy priorities that guided a recent NIEHS renovation.

Schelp and Richard BanksLead design architect revisits NIEHS

More than three decades after completion of the main building at NIEHS, lead design architect Richard Banks returned to NIEHS May 19 for the first time.

Jianying LiFun and fitness abound during 2014 NIEHS Health and Fitness Week

May 5 marked the beginning of NIEHS Health and Fitness Week, an unofficial rite of spring, with multiple events every day of the week.

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Calendar of Upcoming Events

  • June 03, Executive Conference Room 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. — Receptor Mechanisms Discussion Group Seminar Series, featuring Carolyn Mattingly, Ph.D., addressing "Predicting Chemical-Gene-Disease Interactions with CTD [Comparative Toxicogenomics Database]"
  • June 04, Webinar 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. — NIEHS Superfund Research Program Arsenic Panel Discussion Webinar Series, “Part 4: Prevention and Remediation Strategies for Arsenic Exposure,” register ( 
  • June 05, Rall D350 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. — Laboratory of Toxicology and Pharmacology Seminar Series explores “Early Antidepressant Exposure Induces Global Network and Glial Dysfunctions,” by Rick Lin, Ph.D.
  • June 09, Keystone 1003AB 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. — 11:00 a.m. Keystone Lecture: Dr. Leo Trasande, “The Economic Case for Protecting the Public from Environmental Hazards” (Kristi Pettibone)
  • June 10, Webcast 10:00 a.m.–11:30 p.m. — webcast (  from Bethesda, Maryland, NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion LGBTI Portfolio presentation, “On Being Human: Reflections on Trans* Health and Wellness,” with panelists Cecilia Chung, Ruby Corado, Rayceen Pendarvis, and JV Sapinoso, Ph.D.
  • June 12 (Offsite event), Daily Planet Cafe at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. — Science Café discussion of “History and Roles of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps,” with Capt. Terri Clark, D.V.M.
  • June 17–18, Rodbell Auditorium 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. — NTP Board of Scientific Counselors meeting
  • June 18, Webcast 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. — webcast (  from Bethesda, Maryland, NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, featuring a presentation by Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., “Human Organs on Chips and Programmable Nanotherapeutics”
  • June 21–24 (Offsite event), McCormick Place West in Chicago 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. — Endocrine Society annual meeting
  • June 25, NIH William H. Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. — ICCVAM Public Forum, register (  by June 11
  • June 30 – July 02, Rodbell Auditorium 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. — Outstanding New Environmental Scientists (ONES) awardee meeting

View More Events: NIEHS Public Calendar

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Science Notebook

Thomas Kunkel, Ph.D.Kunkel elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences Story contains video

This fall, NIH distinguished lead researcher Thomas Kunkel, Ph.D., will join fellow members in the 2014 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Christopher Wright, D.PhilUnderstanding organ development

At a May 6 NIEHS distinguished lecture, Christopher Wright, D.Phil., discussed his work on pancreas development, with implications for cell-based disease therapy.

Robert Sills, D.V.M., Ph.D.Peer review panel evaluates draft NTP technical reports

The NTP peer review panel met May 22 to review draft technical reports on two dietary supplements, a water disinfection byproduct, and a metalworking fluid.

Dmitri Zaykin, Ph.D.Statistical geneticist Dmitri Zaykin tenured

NIH Central Tenure Committee awards tenure to NIEHS statistical geneticist Dmitri Zaykin, Ph.D., who works at the interface of mathematics, statistics, and biology.

Aquatic NTP bannerSmall fish may offer big opportunities for future toxicity testing

An international gathering of researchers, co-sponsored by NTP and NCSU, explored the role aquatic species may play in new approaches to toxicity testing.

Stephen Shears, Ph.D.Cell signaling researcher explores the frontiers of therapeutic potential

NIEHS lead researcher Stephen Shears, Ph.D., opened his May 12 talk at NIEHS on inositol pyrophosphate signaling by describing its title as provocative.

Zachary Nagel, Ph.D.Fast test for measuring DNA repair

NIEHS-funded researchers at MIT report that a new test for DNA repair capacity may help doctors predict cancer risk and patient response to chemotherapy drugs.

Antonella Zanobetti, Ph.D.Scientists study impacts of climate change on public health

NIEHS-funded scientists developing methods to assess and quantify the role of climate change on human health presented their work at an April 25 webinar.

Rebecca Fry, Ph.D.Prenatal arsenic exposure and altered protein expression

NIEHS-funded researchers found prenatal arsenic exposure altered expression of 111 proteins and was associated with decreased head circumference of newborn males.

Tox21 logoHigh-throughput toxicity screening produces human-relevant results

Tox21 scientists report in the journal Nature Biotechnology a human-relevant system to provide rapid and accurate toxicity screening.

Sonia Hernandez-Diaz, M.D., Dr.P.H.Investigating medications as a source of phthalate exposure

Epidemiologist Sonia Hernandez-Diaz, M.D., Dr.P.H. shared the evolution of her studies of potential phthalate exposure in medications during a talk May 12 at NIEHS.

Ruthann RudelNew exposure biomarkers enhance breast cancer research

Scientists at the NIEHS-funded Silent Spring Institute have established new biomarkers for exposure to chemicals of interest to breast cancer researchers.

Senthilkumar Cinghu, Ph.D.Novel integrative approach sheds light on embryonic stem cell identity

NIEHS scientists find previously unknown regulatory circuitry, with potentially profound implications for understanding cell fate decisions in cancer stem cells.

Humphrey Yao, Ph.D.Yao receives award and helps launch new center

NIEHS lead researcher Humphrey Yao, Ph.D., was in Denmark last month, helping launch a new research center and delivering presentations at the 18th European Testis Workshop.

EHP logoThis month in EHP

The June issue of Environmental Health Perspectives examines potentially harmful exposures from cooking, and the benefits seen in Denmark from reduced antibiotic use in livestock.

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Extramural Research

Extramural papers of the month/news/newsletter/2014/6/dert/index.htm

Intramural Research

Intramural papers of the month/news/newsletter/2014/6/dir/index.htm

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