The cross-divisional inflammation faculty is a trans-NIEHS collaboration on cutting-edge research related to Inflammation.

Inflammation is an immune system response to internal or external factors and can be helpful or damaging. Inflammation has been recognized to play a key role in a number of human processes and diseases, many of which are increasing in prevalence and severity, resulting in a great public health burden. The environment is likely triggering inflammation in diseases that affect the following systems, among others:

  • Autoimmune
  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Metabolic
  • Neoplastic
  • Neurologic
  • Reproductive
  • Cancer

The cross-divisional inflammation faculty will attempt to define the following:

  • Environmental exposures, individually and in combination, cause or modify inflammation, along with what genetic and other susceptibility factors influence the inflammatory response
  • Pathways and mechanisms are involved in environmentally-induced inflammation to cause, exacerbate, or ameliorate different diseases, and what are the relevant windows of susceptibility
  • Biomarkers that exist for key events in inflammation-related processes
  • Whether common environmental triggers, pathways and biomarkers exist across many diseases and are there disease-specific triggers, pathways and biomarkers
Environment and Genetic Factors influencing Inflammation

The NIEHS Strategic Plan encourages integrated collaborations among Division of Intramural Research (DIR), Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT), Office of the Director (OD) and Division of Translational Toxicology (DTT) which have been started to answer these key unresolved questions in the field of inflammation.


  • Inflammation Faculty Members met with seminar speaker Christine Jobin, Ph.D., to discuss his findings on the microbiome relationship with inflammation
  • Inflammation Faculty Members met with seminar speaker Bevin Engelward, Sc.D. to discuss her findings that repeated bouts of inflammation enable kinetic overlap between inflammation-induced DNA damage and inflammation-induced cell proliferation, leading to a synergistic increase in recombination frequency and potentiating mutations
  • Linking inflammation with environmental exposures – A webcast seminar highlighted the current research on inflammation by National Toxicology Program (NTP) scientists
  • Three NIH-funded experts explored the connections between inflammation and obesity during an Inflammation Faculty Seminar and Webcast
  • Inflammation Faculty Member, Shepherd Schurman, MD, identified 25 Principal Investigations within the Division of Intramural Research at NIEHS who are involved with inflammation related research
  • Tom Guilarte, Ph.D., addressed NIEHS scientists as part of the Inflammation Faculty Seminar Series on TSPO, a biomarker of brain injury and inflammation

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