Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

August 2017

Exceptional Superfund trainees receive K.C. Donnelly Externship Awards

Eight promising NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees received 2017 K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplements to enrich their research by working at another institution. This award honors the legacy of longtime SRP grantee and environmental health researcher Kirby (K.C.) Donnelly, Ph.D.

Oluwadamilare (Dami) Adebambo

Oluwadamilare (Dami) Adebambo is a doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University. For her externship at the Columbia University SRP Center, she will expand her current research to study how exposure to metals and metal mixtures results in changes at the molecular level, which may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes.

"This opportunity will not only benefit my scientific research, it will also enable me to continue my development into a strong female leader in the science community," said Adebambo.

Pamela Barrett

Pamela Barrett, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. Barrett will travel to Dartmouth College for her externship to train on different chemical separation procedures, extraction techniques, and analytical methods for measuring different types of arsenic in environmental and biological samples.

"The K.C. Donnelly externship will equip me with a new set of analytical skills that will enhance my research capacity as I move forward in my career," said Barrett.

Anne Bozack

Anne Bozack is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University. She will conduct an externship at Oregon State University to focus on statistical approaches for characterizing complex mixtures and associating exposures with health outcomes in humans.

"This externship will complement my interest in environmental epigenetics by providing me with the tools to process high-dimensional data and apply advanced statistical techniques," said Bozack.

Nancy Cardona-Cordero

Nancy Cardona-Cordero is a doctoral candidate in public health at the University of Puerto Rico. For her externship, she will travel to the University of Arizona to work on two ongoing citizen science garden projects and to build skills in the development of participatory research.

"This externship will provide me with the tools and techniques necessary to conduct community-based research using new community-engaged strategies and to successfully translate research into action," she said.

Rosemarie de la Rosa

Rosemarie de la Rosa is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. She will spend her externship at Boston University learning molecular modeling and experimental design techniques to understand how mixtures of potentially harmful chemicals affect a molecular pathway involved in the body’s response to stress.

"This opportunity prepares me to pioneer significant research that drives improvements in public health, particularly for under-resourced communities," said de la Rosa.

Jennifer Guelfo

Jennifer Guelfo, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University. At the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, she will learn about chemical contaminants in coastal regions that are of particular interest to surrounding communities and stakeholders.

"The K.C. Donnelly externship will help me establish an academic career that uses an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, research, and research translation related to emerging environmental challenges," said Guelfo.

Victoria Parker

Victoria Parker is a doctoral student at the University of Iowa. Her externship at the University of Kentucky will expand upon her current work with human fat cells to explore important differences between human and rodent cell models.

"This externship will provide an excellent opportunity to advance my research, collaborate with leading experts in my field, and prepare me to achieve my career goals," said Parker.

Eric Uwimana

Eric Uwimana is a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa. At the University of California, Davis, he will use a high-throughput screening approach to study the underlying mechanisms linking polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure and liver disease.

"This opportunity will allow me to contribute to our understanding of how certain chemicals may affect our health and to interact with leading experts in my field," said Uwimana.

(Adeline Lopez is a research and communication specialist for MDB Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training.)


Honoring a renowned mentor and scholar

Donnelly was a dedicated mentor to his students and postdoctoral researchers. He passionately instilled in them the importance of applying their knowledge and research to improve the health of communities exposed to environmental contaminants.

In 2009, Donnelly passed away after a distinguished career with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. In honor of his contributions, this award supports SRP graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are pursuing transdisciplinary research. This award emphasizes the importance of research application and collaboration to promote human health.

The K.C. Donnelly Externship Award provides outstanding SRP trainees with up to $10,000 to fund supplies, travel, housing, research, training, and collaboration. The support, which lasts up to 3 months, covers research activities at other SRP centers, government laboratories, and at state, local, or tribal agencies.

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