Volume 6, Issue 2: February 2015
- Engaging Epigenetics: A New Video Breaks Down Complex Concepts
- USC COEC Creates Traffic Pollution Infographic
- New eBook Explores How Environment and Genes Interact to Affect Health across the Lifespan
- PEPH Grantee Highlights
- PEPH in the Environmental Factor
- PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series
- New Journal for Citizen Science Community – Call for Papers
- National Health Security Preparedness Index Call for Measures
- Apply by February 16th for the CCPH Annual Award!
- Job Opening: Project Coordinator for University of Illinois COTC
- EPA/NIEHS Children’s Centers Webinar
- Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings
- Funding Opportunities
Engaging Epigenetics: A New Video Breaks Down Complex Concepts
A short new video produced by the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH) and the Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality (CGHE) at the University of Washington (UW) uses animation and simple terminology to introduce the concept of epigenetics. Created by doctoral student Lorelei Walker in collaboration with Evan Stuart Productions, the video breaks down the complex topic for a general audience and also suggests steps people can take to reduce their exposure to harmful environmental chemicals.
“Though epigenetic pathways are complex and non-linear, this concept is direct,” said Walker. “We believe that by teaching epigenetics in the context of individual and population level exposures, we can increase awareness of environmental toxicants, improve genetic literacy across a broad public audience, and continue current environmental health conversations,” she explained.
The three-minute animation begins at the cellular level, explaining how epigenetics regulates genes by turning them on or off and how environmental exposures can change the way our genes are regulated. Air pollution, pesticides, and bisphenol A (BPA) are used as examples of chemicals in the environment that can alter gene regulation to affect health. The video explains how people come into contact with these harmful chemicals, often ingesting or inhaling them in their everyday lives. The susceptibility of children and pregnant women to potential health effects of these chemicals is also highlighted. The video concludes with a few broad suggestions of how people can reduce their exposure to harmful environmental chemicals, such as avoiding products that contain BPA, limiting foods with high pesticide residues, and helping to reduce air pollution.
The video, which has already been viewed over 850 times on YouTube, is a great outreach tool for teachers, public health professionals, and other stakeholders to teach general audiences about epigenetics and environmental health. Also, be sure to check out the PEPH podcast, The Epigenome, - it’s a great companion piece to the video!
USC COEC Creates Traffic Pollution Infographic
The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) at the University of Southern California (USC) Environmental Health Sciences Center recently launched an infographic for people who want to learn more about how their health is affected if they live or go to school in an area with lots of traffic pollution. Clicking on text in the infographic provides direct links to scientific research articles or additional resources related to traffic pollution. This is the first in a series of infographics the USC COEC is developing. Check out the new traffic pollution infographic and be on lookout for more in the coming months!
New eBook Explores How Environment and Genes Interact to Affect Health across the Lifespan
A new multimedia eBook, A Story of Health, uses a case-based approach to let readers explore how our environments interact with our genes to influence health across the lifespan. The eBook offers free continuing education credits for health professionals through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The eBook grounds the science of health in stories of fictional people, their families, and communities to enable readers to explore the risk factors for disease and learn how to prevent disease and promote health and resilience. Pop-up graphics and rollover functions reveal key concepts, relevant graphics, and links to videos presented by researchers. Download the eBook for free and then use the hashtag - #StoryOfHealth - to share the eBook with stakeholders in your network and to follow how others are using the new resource!
A Story of Health was developed by ATSDR; the Collaborative on Health and the Environment; the University of California, San Francisco’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit; the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment; and the Science and Environmental Health Network.
PEPH Grantee Highlights
We are pleased to share with you the stories of two of our PEPH colleagues, Joe Taylor and Alexandra Anderson. Read a brief overview of their work below and visit the PEPH Grantee Highlights Web page to learn more about Taylor, Anderson, and other PEPH colleagues.
Joe Taylor is Executive Director of Franklin’s Promise Coalition (FPC), an organization in Apalachicola, Florida that partners with a diverse network of researchers and community organizations to promote health and build community resilience. Partnering with the University of Florida on an NIEHS-funded project to examine the health impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Taylor and the FPC team use creative strategies, such as community drumming, square dancing, and the visual arts, to build trust and close the gap between researchers and the community. Check out the Joe Taylor PEPH Grantee Highlight to learn more about the unique approaches he uses to promote community resilience!
Alexandra Anderson is the leader of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) for the Cohort of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET) Study. The CYGNET Study aims to identify developmental, lifestyle, and environmental influences on the timing of puberty by following 444 girls in the San Francisco Bay Area. Two years ago, Anderson and her colleagues organized the CYGNET YAB as a way to get feedback from participants about the study and to teach the girls about environmental health. Anderson uses creative approaches to engage the participants in environmental health, such as a photo-voice project in which the girls took pictures of environmental health issues in their communities. Read the Alexandra Anderson PEPH Grantee Highlight for more about her efforts to engage youth in environmental health!
PEPH in the Environmental Factor
The latest issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor features several stories highlighting our PEPH colleagues. Take a moment to catch up with some of the latest projects, events, and activities happening in the PEPH network:
The impacts of air pollution on the immune system. Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., teamed up with researchers from several universities in California, as well as NIEHS and the EPA, to form the Children’s Health and Air Pollution Study - San Joaquin Valley. The study aims to understand and reduce the risks of air pollution exposure to children living in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
NIEHS leads disaster research response project. Aubrey Miller, M.D., shared details of the new project, dubbed DR2, at the 2014 Worker Safety and Health Technical Conference this fall in Washington D.C.
PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series
Did you know that most obstetricians believe environmental contaminants are an important concern for pregnant women, yet most do not talk to their patients about these issues? In a new podcast, Preventing Prenatal Exposures, we hear from University of California, San Francisco professor Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., about how women and their doctors can work together to reduce harmful exposures during pregnancy
New Journal for Citizen Science Community – Call for Papers
Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, is a new open-access, peer-reviewed journal focused on advancing the field of citizen science by providing a central space for cross-disciplinary scholarly exchanges. The journal is currently accepting submissions of research papers, review and synthesis papers, case studies, and essays for the inaugural issue. See the journal’s focus and scope statement for full details on submissions. Submit a paper by March 31, 2015 to be considered for the inaugural issue, which will be published in summer 2015!
National Health Security Preparedness Index Call for Measures
The Program Management Office for the National Health Security Preparedness Index is now soliciting recommendations for new measures to be incorporated into future versions of the Index. The Index provides a tool for assessing and improving the nation’s readiness for large-scale health threats, disasters, and emergencies. Stakeholders having scientific or operational knowledge about strategies for reducing the impact of large-scale hazards, disasters, and emergencies on human health and wellbeing are invited to recommend new measures for inclusion in the Index. New measures that reflect social, economic, or environmental dimensions of preparedness and resilience are especially encouraged. Recommendations to change or eliminate existing measure definitions and specifications are also welcome. Recommendations must be received by February 15, 2015 to be considered for the next iteration of the Index. View the 2014 version of the Index and its associated documentation at nhspi.org.
Apply by February 16th for the CCPH Annual Award!
The Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Annual Award was established in 2002 to highlight the power and potential of community-campus partnerships as a strategy for health equity and social justice. Each year, it recognizes exemplary partnerships between communities and academic institutions that are striving to achieve the systems and policy changes needed to overcome the root causes of health, social, environmental, and economic inequalities. Partnerships from anywhere in the world are invited to apply. The application submission deadline is February 16, 2015. The award will be presented at C2UExpo in Ottawa, Ontario, May 26 - 29, 2015.
Job Opening: Project Coordinator for University of Illinois COTC
The Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is seeking to fill a full-time project coordinator position. The position will be responsible for coordinating the Community and Outreach Translation Core (COTC) of the Children’s Environmental Health Center. The focus of the COTC is to translate research from the Children’s Center at Illinois into practical strategies and dissemination tools for parents, childcare providers, healthcare workers, and public health providers. This is a full-time, twelve-month, non-tenured, academic professional position. In order to receive full consideration, applications must be received by February 6, 2015. Visit the job details Web page to view a full job description and to apply.
EPA/NIEHS Children’s Centers Webinar
The upcoming EPA/NIEHS Children’s Centers Webinar will focus on the role of environmental exposures in childhood obesity, metabolic syndrome, and neurobehavioral abnormalities. The webinar will take place Wednesday, February 11, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST. Register online.
Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings
February 4-6, 2015: Children's Environmental Health Network 2015 Research Conference in Austin, Texas. The conference will explore how the interaction between food and environmental factors affects children’s health.
February 11-12, 2015: Citizen Science 2015 in San Jose, California. This is the inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association. Use the hashtag - #CitSci2015 - to share or keep up with conference news!
February 27, 2015: 36th Annual Minority Health Conference at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This year’s conference will focus on the impact of socioeconomic factors on minority health, with an emphasis on health disparities in the aftermath of the recession. The conference will highlight recent research and best practices for advancing minority health by creating opportunities for mobility in the present period of economic recovery.
March 2-3, 2015: The Interplay between Environmental Exposures and Obesity workshop at the NIEHS’s main campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The workshop, hosted by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable, will explore the role of chemical exposures in the development of obesity through sessions focused on a lifespan view, possible biologic pathways and environmental influences, and effects of food additives and antibiotics. The workshop will be webcast for those who are unable to attend in person. Register to attend and view the agenda for more information on workshop sessions.
March 12-14, 2015: Eighth Health Disparities Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference will focus on replicable interprofessional collaborative models and approaches from the clinical, research, and community arenas that integrate all levels of providers to improve health outcomes, eliminate health disparities, and achieve health equity.
March 18, 2015: 14th Annual Pediatric Research Day (189KB) in Detroit, Michigan. This year’s conference theme is Community Engagement in Child and Maternal Health. The conference is co-sponsored by the Michigan State University Superfund Research Program.
March 24-28, 2015: Society for Applied Anthropology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There will be several sessions addressing PEPH-related issues of environmental justice, community-engaged research, citizen science, and hydraulic fracturing. Sara Wylie, Ph.D., will chair a session on fracking and citizen science on Tuesday, March 24, from 1:30 to 3:20 p.m., and members from several COECs will participate in a session on community-engaged research and fracking on Friday, March 27, from 1:30 to 3:20 p.m.
May 6 - 8, 2015: Save the date for the NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Baltimore, Maryland. Each year, the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) sponsors these seminars to help demystify the application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminars are appropriate for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students. These seminars often reach capacity, so start making plans to attend now! Registration is now open. In the meantime, you can access more information and a listserv option at the NIH OER Web page.
May 26 - 29, 2015: C2UExpo in Ottawa, Ontario. C2UExpo is an international conference designed to showcase best practices in community-campus partnerships; create space for collaboration around key issues; and foster ideas, connections, and frameworks with the purpose of strengthening communities. Registration will open in early 2015.
August 10 - 13, 2015: Save the date for the 16th International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium, in Depok, Indonesia! Traditional areas covered by PBC conferences include hazardous waste management and remediation, e-waste, air pollution, persistent toxic substances, emerging pollutants, global climate change, and children’s environmental health. See the 2015 Preliminary Program for information on session topics.
Visit the PEPH Funding Opportunity Announcements page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.
Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training. EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field, with a focus on solid and hazardous waste remediation, environmental health and safety, and wastewater-related training. Deadline: February 3, 2015.
Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01, R03, R21). The goal of this program announcement is to encourage methodological, intervention, and dissemination research for understanding and promoting health literacy. Deadlines: February 5, 2015 (R01); February 16, 2015 (R03, R21).
CDC’s Summer Program in Environmental Health (SUPEH). SUPEH is a paid 10-week internship program for undergraduate students majoring in environmental health. Interns participate in activities with the Environmental Health Services Branch of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, where they gain environmental health experience and an understanding of environmental health work at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels. Deadline: February 11, 2015.
Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health through Community-Based Participatory Research (R03). This FOA supports community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects planned and developed by recipients of the Phase I Academic-Community Partnerships Conference Series awards under PAR-09-092 and PAR-12-102. Deadlines: February 26, 2015; a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.
Mentored Career Development Award in Biomedical Big Data Science for Clinicians and Doctorally Prepared Scientists (K01). This Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) FOA solicits applications for a mentored career development award in the area of Big Data Science. The aim of the initiative is to support additional mentored training of scientists who will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be independent researchers, as well as to work in a team environment to develop new Big Data technologies, methods, and tools applicable to basic and clinical research. Deadlines: April 1, 2015 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.
Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01). The purpose of this FOA is to develop, adapt, and test the effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention interventions in Native American populations. Deadline: May 12, 2015 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.