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Your Environment. Your Health.

Stories of Success

NIEHS-funded scientists work in a variety of disciplines, performing groundbreaking research into how the environment influences the development and progression of disease. Through these Stories of Success we invite you to explore the people behind the research in stories that you won't find in a scientific journal. Read about NIEHS grantees who are developing new technologies to better measure environmental exposures and their effects on our body; partnering with communities to help them understand the effects of pollution; and cultivating tomorrow's environmental health scientists.

Featured DERT Success Stories

Unexpected Discovery Links DNA Repair Gene Variant to Lupus in Mice

Headshot of Sweasy without Text

Joann B. Sweasy, Ph.D.

Joann B. Sweasy, Ph.D., is internationally recognized for her expertise in DNA repair and cancer biology. Her surprising discovery of a link between a DNA repair gene variant and lupus led to the development of a mouse model for lupus that could help researchers understand how environmental factors affect risk for the disease. Read more...

PECASE Awardee Works to Understand the Environment’s Role in Autism

Photo of Young-Shin, Kim

Young-Shin Kim, Ph.D.

Young-Shin Kim, Ph.D., wants to understand why autism prevalence is increasing by studying the role of environmental risks and gene-environment interactions. Read more...

High School Teacher’s Research Experience Benefits Students

Tyler Beach

Tyler Beach

Tyler Beach spent a summer conducting environmental health research at the University of Rochester thanks to support from an NIEHS administrative supplement grant. He can draw upon this summer research experience when teaching science at Greece Athena High School in Rochester, N.Y. Read more...

Undergraduate Researchers Contribute to Melanoma Research

James Hoerter

James Hoerter, Ph.D.

James Hoerter, Ph.D., is working to understand the causes of melanoma, a type of skin cancer that claims around 8,000 lives each year in the United States. He is funded through an NIEHS Academic Enhancement Research Award (AREA), a program designed to support small-scale research projects at institutions where primary focus is undergraduates. Read more...

ONES Awardee Studies Ion Channels Activated by Environmental Irritants

Sven-Eric Jordt

(Photo courtesy of Yale University)

Sven-Eric Jordt, Ph.D.

Sven-Eric Jordt, Ph.D., investigates sensory neuron ion channels called transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. The ion channel is found in large numbers in the eyes, where it causes tears, as well as in the throat and larynx, where it initiates the coughing reflex.His early research linked these channels to pain sensing, and more recently he found that the channels are also responsible for the watery eyes and coughing reactions some people have when exposed to cigarette smoke and other environmental irritants. Understanding how TRP channels work could lead to new pain medicines, asthma therapies, and ways to counteract chemical warfare agents. Read more...

Researchers Partner with Community to Study Traffic-related Air Pollutants at Schools

Pollutant Sensor

Patrick Ryan, Ph.D.

Patrick Ryan, Ph.D., is examining the impact of traffic-related pollutants on asthma in inner-city schools through a community-based research project called the Cincinnati Anti-Idling Campaign study. The study involves University of Cincinnati researchers partnering with the Cincinnati Health Department and the Cincinnati Public Schools to develop and implement an anti-idling campaign aimed at reducing children's exposure to traffic-related air pollution while traveling to and attending school. Read more...

Wearable Monitor Tracks Individual Exposures to Air Pollution

Pollution Map

Nongjian (NJ) Tao, Ph.D.

A wearable monitor developed by NIEHS grantee Nongjian (NJ) Tao, Ph.D., tracks and transmits real-time information on multiple air pollution components to which a person comes in contact. This personal exposure information can help researchers identify gene-environment interactions that lead to various health effects. Read more...

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