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Environmental Factor, December 2012

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Varmus recognizes NIEHS leadership on GEI

By Ed Kang

NCI Director Harold Varmus, M.D.

“[NIH] is an organization that represents, in my view, the best in what the government can do for the public,” said NCI Director Harold Varmus, M.D., at the awards ceremony held at the NIH Masur Auditorium. “All of you should feel proud of the fact that you’re doing such great work to advance the public good.” (Photo courtesy of NCI)

Each year, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recognizes the outstanding contributions of people who aid in the continued advancement of cancer research. NCI staff gathered Nov. 15, not only to recognize their own, but also to acknowledge several NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT) members who helped coordinate and lead the successful Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative (GEI).

From 2007 to 2010, NIEHS and other National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes coordinated research on exposure biology and genetics through GEI. The award recognizes the efforts made to accelerate progress in the field of exposure biology, which focuses on unraveling how the toxicants a person is exposed to during life can interact with each other, with lifestyle factors, and with a person’s genes, to cause disease.

The group was nominated by Susan Krebs-Smith, Ph.D., chief of the NCI Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch. Awards were presented to 28 scientists and staff from the participating institutes. 

NIEHS awardees included: 

  • Gwen Collman, Ph.D., DERT director
  • William Suk, Ph.D., Superfund Research Program director
  • Claudia Thompson, Ph.D., Susceptibility and Population Health Branch chief
  • David Balshaw, Ph.D., program administrator
  • Daniel Shaughnessy, Ph.D., health scientist administrator
  • Kimberly McAllister, Ph.D., health scientist administrator
  • Jennifer Collins, program analyst

Although the GEI program has ended, NIEHS remains committed to advancing exposure biology and supports many promising research efforts in this area.

(Ed Kang is a public affairs specialist in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison and a frequent contributor to the Environmental Factor.)

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