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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS Guidance to Grantees – Communicating your Impacts

In January 2017, NIH introduced the Final RPPR format, which will replace the Final Progress Report. NIH’s implementation of the Final and Interim-RPPR is designed to provide the public with easy access to information about project outcomes and impacts, which will now be available through the NIH Reporter system

To help NIEHS grantees comply with these new requirements we have developed sample impact summaries for NIEHS-funded projects.

Below, you will also find several other resources you can review for more guidance on writing clear, compelling summaries of your project outcomes and impacts.

Sample NIEHS Project Impacts:

Grant Number: R01ES019968 PI: Scott Burchiel
Title: Synergistic Immunosuppression by PAHs and Arsenite
Impact: This research studied the ways that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and sodium arsenite (As+3) work to suppress the immune systems in mice and humans. We are exposed to PAHs through the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to arsenite through the water we drink. Findings from this research indicate that exposure to arsenite can cause T cells to suppress the body’s immune system. In blood tests of more than 30 people, preliminary findings for some people show effects of arsenite on T cells at concentrations 100x lower than current EPA drinking water standards.

Findings from this research might enable:

  • Regulators to establish water quality standards that will protect people from arsenite exposure.
  • Reductions of sicknesses and diseases that result from exposure to arsenite, including cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, diabetes and skin and bladder cancer.

Grant Number: R01ES019179 PI: Joann Sweasy
Title: DNA Polymerase Beta Variants and Cancer
Impact: This research studied how genetic mutations, which can be passed on to new generations, (versus random or somatic mutations that are not passed on) affect how cells respond to chemotherapy. Our mouse study separated two enzymatic activities of a genetic mutation called polymerase beta (pol ß). The findings from our research show that the DNA polymerase activity of pol ß is essential for survival and genome stability. Our findings also show that pol ß is a promising biomarker that can be used to predict responses to specific chemotherapies.

Findings from this research might enable:

  • The development of chemotherapy treatment plans for cancer patients that are tailored to the unique genetic make-up of the patient.

Grant Number: P30ES007048 PI: Frank Gilliland
Title: Environmental Exposures, Host Factors and Human Disease
Impact: Researchers from the University of Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Core Center have been supporting research about the effects of air pollution on human health for more than two decades. As part of their most recent competitive renewal, the center reported several findings that have been enabled by the infrastructure supported by this grant:

  • Decreases in ambient air pollution in Southern California were associated with significant reductions in respiratory symptoms in children with and without asthma.
  • As air quality improved in the Los Angeles basin, children’s lung health also improved. Improving lung function during developmental years could lead to better lung function in adulthood, and potentially reduce risk for adverse health outcomes.
  • Particulate air pollution has chronic effects on respiratory and cardiovascular health, and that traffic emissions have harmful effects including increasing the risk for asthma and decreasing lung growth in children.
  • The center has also developed GIS methods that enable assessments of the broader public health impact of air pollution and make it easier for researchers to explain the findings to community members and policy makers.

Grant Number: R01ES023779 PI: Barry Rosen
Title: The Human Arsenic Methylation Pathway
Impact: Arsenic is a naturally occurring toxic substance that causes cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, diabetes and skin and bladder cancer. Rice is uniquely able to absorb and store arsenic. Because rice is a major source of food for much of the world, arsenic exposure through rice has the potential become a major public health problem.

Dr. Barry Rosen studied a specific genetic variation in 3 different plant models to understand how arsenic ends up in rice.

The researchers demonstrated that two specific proteins, AtINT2 and AtINT4 enable plants to absorb and store arsenic. The researchers will next study whether the proteins act the same way in rice. If the proteins do work in rice the same way, researchers may be able to genetically change the proteins to reduce the arsenic content of rice grains. While a lot of attention focuses on arsenic in drinking water, currently there are no standards for safe arsenic levels in rice. When considering the amount of rice consumed by populations around the world, arsenic contaminated rice could emerge as a global health concern.

Findings from this research might enable:

  • Development of new ways to cultivate rice to reduce the risk of arsenic exposures through rice consumption.
  • Reductions of sicknesses and diseases that result from exposure to arsenic, including cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, diabetes and skin and bladder cancer.

Additional Resources