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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News January 2018

Volume 9, Issue 1: January 2018

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Increasing Diversity in the Environmental Health Workforce

A new internship program for undergraduate students is providing research and learning experiences for ethnic groups who are typically underrepresented in the environmental health sciences. The program is a joint effort between the Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Center at the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University, Los Angeles (CalStateLA) to increase diversity in the environmental health workforce.

"Currently there is a national need for increasing the presence of minorities in the field of public health to achieve health equity. The objective of this internship program is to increase the workforce of well-trained and culturally competent researchers, program managers, and community outreach coordinators in the environmental health field," said Claudia Toledo-Corral, Ph.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of public health at CalStateLA who co-leads the Eagles-RISE (Research Internship and Service in Environmental health disparities) program with MADRES researcher Tracy Bastain, Ph.D.

Through the program, students from CalStateLA, a Hispanic- and minority-serving institution, work on environmental health projects with MADRES Center researchers. In 2016, the program's pilot year, each of 5 interns completed hundreds of hours of field and academic work and received university credit for that work. All interns were first-generation college students.

During their 15- to 30-week internships, students learned about a range of environmental health topics, including community-based education modules on environmental toxins, development of research survey tools, statistical analysis of environmental health data, and research protocols related to MADRES Center studies. The MADRES Center examines how exposure to environmental pollutants, coupled with psychosocial and built environment stressors, may lead to obesity in pregnant women and their infants. MADRES Center researchers work with populations living in low-income, urban minority communities in Los Angeles.

"As a leading research institution in Los Angeles, we see it as our responsibility to train underrepresented college students as emerging public health leaders of their communities," said Carrie Breton, Sc.D., who co-directs the MADRES Center with Frank Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D.

Achievements from the first cohort of interns show promise for the program's capacity to increase diversity in environmental and public health fields. All interns have completed or are slated to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in public health from CalStateLA. In addition, they all have applied to or secured a public health-related job or graduate school position.

"The internship program gave me the opportunity to develop workshops to educate women in my community and, in return, empowered me to pursue a master's degree in environmental health. I was able to put into practice what I had learned in class, gaining the experience and necessary skills to land a job; first as project assistant and now as a research coordinator for the MADRES study," said Andrea Calderon, a first-year Eagles-RISE intern who received her Bachelor of Science in public health from CalStateLA.

Now in its second year, the program is bringing in 10 more undergraduate students to learn about and participate in environmental health research. "So far, the CalStateLA Eagles-RISE program has successfully served as a feeder program to emerging opportunities in environmental and public health at USC and local community agencies. Furthermore, we foresee most of our interns entering graduate programs in public and environmental health in the near future," said Toledo-Corral.

The MADRES Center is funded through the Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research program and the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast

In our latest podcast, hear about the complex environmental and social factors that contribute to environmental health disparities and learn how NIEHS and NIEHS-funded researchers are working to promote environmental justice for all.

You can find more podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat webpage or subscribe to the series on iTunes. We want your feedback! Send comments and ideas for future podcasts to

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Nicolette Teufel-Shone, Ph.D.

Nicolette Teufel-Shone, Ph.D., is a community engagement specialist, anthropologist, and nutritionist at Northern Arizona University, who works with Native American communities to promote health and wellness. As director of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) within the Center for Indigenous Environmental Health Research (CIEHR), Teufel-Shone bridges scientific research with the experiential knowledge of Native communities to inform change. For example, in response to community concerns, CIEHR researchers are investigating whether sheep meat and organs are affected by water polluted with heavy metals. The researchers are working to document the frequency and importance of sheep consumption to identify potential risk for human contamination. This information will equip the community with evidence to support requests for resources and assistance in restoring their water sources. Read the PEPH Grantee Highlight to learn more.

PEPH in the December NIEHS Environmental Factor

Breast cancer, environment featured in California community forum. A focus on breast cancer drew upwards of 100 people to an NIEHS community forum sponsored by the City of Hope Medical Center.

Collaborative marks 10 years of applying science to local challenges. Using science to inform policy decisions took center stage at the 10th Annual Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative.

Helping teachers take biomedical research approaches into classrooms. NIEHS worked with nearly 130 local educators in the past month, through partnerships, collaborations, and in response to direct requests.

NIEHS researchers use video to promote science. NIEHS scientists Allen Wilcox and Paul Wade each took time away from their research to contribute to science videos.

Explore NAM's Visualize Health Equity Digital Art Gallery

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is excited to share the Visualize Health Equity community art project, a collection of artistic creations illustrating the concept of health equity. In early 2017, NAM called on artists from across the nation to illustrate what health equity looks, sounds, and feels like to them. NAM received over 100 submissions, including paintings, drawings, poetry, photos, videos, and more. The pieces now can be viewed on NAM's permanent digital gallery, including an environmental health equity quilt, created through a collaboration between the NIEHS-funded Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET) Community Engagement Core and the Chester Boys and Girls Club. The quilt was created by high school students to express their concerns about environmental injustice in their community of Chester, Pennsylvania. Read more about the quilt on the CEET blog.

Special Publication: Perspectives on Health Equity & Social Determinants of Health

A new special publication from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), Perspectives on Health Equity & Social Determinants of Health, provides recommendations to advance and promote health equity for all. Organized by research approaches and policy implications, systems that perpetuate or ameliorate health disparities, and specific examples of ways in which health disparities manifest in communities of color, this collection of discussion papers make way for the translation of policies and actions to improve health and health equity for all. Download the special publication for free and use NAM's social media toolkit to share it widely!

Request for Public Comments: ODP Strategic Plan FY 2019 - 2023

The NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) is seeking broad public input on the development of its 2019 - 2023 strategic plan. Prevention researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public are encouraged to review and provide comments on:

  • A set of draft strategic priorities, which will outline activities coordinated by the ODP to assess, facilitate, and stimulate research in disease prevention and disseminate the results of this research to improve public health
  • Other strategic priorities and scientific opportunities not already proposed by the ODP, suggested new partnerships, and areas that transcend disease prevention research that the Office should consider as it develops its new plan

The mission of the ODP is to improve public health by increasing the scope, quality, dissemination, and impact of prevention research supported by the NIH. Submit a response by January 22, 2018.

Apply to the Mobile Health Training Institute

The NIH Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge invites technologists and clinical investigators to apply to the 2018 Mobile Health (mHealth) Training Institute. The week-long immersion program uses a blended learning environment to provide selected scholars with a core grounding in the latest mHealth methodologies and develops their capacity to successfully contribute to team science. Through reflective and active learning guided by faculty mentors, scholars will apply gained knowledge to developing transdisciplinary mHealth solutions for real-world health problems.

Applicants should have an interest in the multidisciplinary science of mobile and wireless technologies and hold a doctoral-level degree in one of the following fields: behavioral and social sciences; health science specialties (medical, nursing, dental, etc.); biological, physical, or earth sciences; computational sciences and mathematics; engineering. The mHealth Training Institute will be held July 29 - August 3, 2018 at the University of California, Los Angeles. Applications are due January 27, 2018.

Job Opportunity: Associate/Full Professor in Environmental Health Social Science at the University of Arizona

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona (UA) seeks to fill an Associate or Full Professor, tenure-eligible position in environmental health social science. UA is especially interested in scholars whose research connects to the social sciences and focuses on any of the following areas: the social/material determinants of health, including health impacts of environmental change and disasters; health geographies; social dimensions of health; human adaptation to environmental stress, including genetic and genomic approaches; influence of environmental and cultural change on the health of communities; emerging diseases; health equity; environmental disparities; health policy; and exposure to human-produced hazards (e.g., chemical or biological agents).

The candidate must have a strong record of grants and publications and a doctoral degree in anthropology, geography, sociology, information, or a related field in environmental health social science. Experience working in interdisciplinary contexts and with diverse communities is preferred. See the full job posting for more information. Application review will begin January 16, 2018, and the position will remain open until filled.

Four Job Opportunities in the College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University

The Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University invites applications to fill four positions:

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor - Population Health Sciences. Seeking candidates with expertise in applying advanced research methods to any of the following areas: public health intervention design, analysis, or policy planning, especially relative to health disparities; health services access, utilization, and cost-related research, particularly in the context of population health management and improvement; and U.S. and international health systems planning and economics.

Open Rank Teaching Professor or Professor of the Practice - Biostatistics. Seeking candidates with demonstrated excellence in teaching to bring innovative and effective pedagogical methods for biostatistics courses and the potential to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor - Biostatistics. Seeking candidates with a strong methodological research background in modern statistics who can contribute to multiple areas of population health and health sciences research.

Associate/Full Professor & Director of Digital Health Initiative. Seeking a strategic and collaborative academic leader in health technology, data analytics, human-computer interaction, and health to lead a Digital Health Research and Graduate Education Program at Northeastern University. The position is supported jointly by the College of Computer and Information Science and the College of Health Sciences.

Share Your Job Postings with the PEPH LinkedIn Group!

Do you have a job opportunity to share with the PEPH Network? The PEPH LinkedIn Group is a great way to publicize job openings with environmental health professionals! The group is open to everyone and promotes networking and knowledge sharing among individuals with an interest in environmental public health. It is a great space to share other announcements, too, such as funding opportunities, recent findings, and upcoming events.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Events

January 19, 2018: Triangle Global Health Career Day at NIEHS's main campus in Durham, North Carolina. This event will bring students and professionals together to connect, find new opportunities, and build skills for a career in global health.

January 24, 2018: 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health (Webinar Series). The fifth installment of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment's (CHE) webinar series will feature NIEHS grantee Ami Zota, Sc.D., an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University, and Nourbese Flint, program manager at Black Women for Wellness. The webinar will start at 1:00 p.m. EST. Please RSVP.

January 24-26, 2018: National Air Quality Conference in Austin, Texas. Participants will learn about the latest information on air quality forecasting and mapping, air quality and health, and innovative outreach programs.

February 8, 2018: Center for Human Health and the Environment (CHHE) Second Annual Symposium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Center for Human Health and the Environment (CHHE) Second Annual Symposium will explore the importance of epigenetics in linking environmental exposures to human health and disease, covering the spectrum from fundamental biological mechanisms to novel therapeutic approaches.

March 25 - 29, 2018: 7th Young Environmental Scientists (YES) Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry's (SETAC) YES conference is planned and attended entirely by students and recent graduates in the fields of environmental toxicology and chemistry. YES meetings help young scientists build their confidence and become part of the global scientific community.

April 7, 2018: Save the date for Women's Health Awareness Day in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Sponsored by the NIEHS Clinical Research Branch, Women's Health Awareness Day (WHAD) is a free community health conference for women of the Triangle area and surrounding counties. WHAD provides health awareness, education, information, resources, and on-site health screenings. Stay tuned for more information.

April 29 - May 2, 2018: Save the date for the 3rd International Conference on One Medicine One Science (iCOMOS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. iCOMOS will explore new ways to solve pressing health issues, facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, and promote science's role in influencing public policy at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment. The conference will feature NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. Poster abstracts are due January 15, 2018. A limited number of travel awards will be available for selected abstracts, with preference for students and trainees.

August 26 - 30, 2018: 2018 ISES-ISEE Joint Annual Meeting in Ottawa, Canada. The meeting theme is: Addressing Complex Local and Global Issues in Environmental Exposure and Health. Abstract proposals are due January 8, 2018.

Funding Opportunities

Visit the Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.

Interactive Digital Media STEM Resources for Pre-College and Informal Science Education Audiences (STTR) (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Provides opportunities for eligible small business concerns to submit NIH Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications to develop interactive digital media science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) resources that address student career choice and health and medicine topics for: (1) pre-kindergarten to grade 12 students and pre- and in-service teachers or (2) informal science education (i.e., outside the classroom). Deadline: January 5, 2018.

Interactive Digital Media STEM Resources for Pre-College and Informal Science Education Audiences (SBIR) (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Provides opportunities for eligible small business concerns to submit NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications to develop interactive digital media science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) resources that address student career choice and health and medicine topics for: (1) pre-kindergarten to grade 12 students and pre- and in-service teachers or (2) informal science education (i.e., outside the classroom). Deadline: January 5, 2018.

Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Teachers (Admin Supp). For NIEHS-funded principal investigators with R01, R21, R15, R35, R37, or P01 awards, funds are available for administrative supplements to support summer research experiences in environmental health science for high school students, college undergraduates, master's degree candidates, medical students, secondary school science teachers, and science professors from Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) grant-eligible institutions. Administrative supplements must support work within the scope of the original project. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Addressing Health Disparities through Effective Interventions among Immigrant Populations (R01 Clinical Trial Optional). Supports innovative research to develop and implement effective interventions to address health disparities among U.S. immigrant populations. Deadline: February 5, 2018.

Research to Action: Assessing and Addressing Community Exposures to Environmental Contaminants (R01 Clinical Trial Optional). Encourages applications using community-engaged research methods to investigate the potential health risks of environmental exposures of concern to the community and to implement an environmental public health action plan based on research findings. Deadline: February 5, 2018. Check out the Research to Action Currently Funded Grantees webpage for a sense of the types of projects supported through this FOA.

Environmental Exposures and Health: Exploration of Non-Traditional Settings (R01 and R21 Clinical Trail Optional). Encourages interdisciplinary research aimed at promoting health, preventing and limiting symptoms and disease, and reducing health disparities across the lifespan for those living or spending time in non-traditional settings (i.e., playgrounds and nursing homes). Deadlines: February 5, 2018 (R01); February 16, 2018 (R21).

NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13). Supports investigator-initiated scientific meetings; NIEHS is interested in supporting meetings that will advance the field of environmental health sciences. Deadlines: April 12, 2018 (application); a letter requesting permission (LRP) to submit a conference application must be received via email no later than six weeks prior to the application due date. See the NIEHS Conference Grant webpage for information about the types of conferences and meetings the Institute is interested in supporting, as well as LRP guidelines.

Collaborative Minority Health and Health Disparities Research with Tribal Epidemiology Centers (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Supports collaborative research between Tribal Epidemiology Centers and extramural investigators on topics related to minority health and health disparities in American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. Deadline: December 4, 2018.

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