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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News May 2019

Volume 10, Issue 5: May 2019

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EHP's Indigenous Health Collection is Now Available!

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Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) just released a new curated collection of articles on indigenous health. The editors at EHP carefully selected the articles to include highly cited papers and other notable content about environmental health issues facing tribal communities.

"Our curated collections showcase some of EHP's best content on topics we think are important to the environmental health community," said EHP editor-in-chief Sally Darney, Ph.D. "We want to reach readers from a broad swath of disciplines and levels of expertise. For each collection we pick a balance of epidemiological and experimental papers, plus more lay-friendly articles that members of the general public might find interesting."

Health disparities research shows that indigenous peoples overall experience a disproportionate burden of several chronic diseases compared with other racial and ethnic groups. Furthermore, these communities often face unique environmental exposures. "This collection is important in that it highlights the type of exposures that continue to affect tribal communities and efforts to address these environmental health disparities. This can include legacy pollutants such as uranium or the effects of the current mining industry on indigenous lands, as well as the impacts on traditional foods from land loss and the contamination of air, soil, and water," said Symma Finn, Ph.D., program officer in the NIEHS Population Health Branch.

In the collection, EHP presents research, reviews, and commentaries that focus on environmental exposures, health effects, and research considerations of relevance to indigenous populations, particularly in North America. In addition, a variety of feature articles explore numerous aspects of tribal environmental health, including housing, diet, regulatory issues, and the legacy of mining in the Southwest.

"With these collections, we aim to draw attention to high-quality research that investigators can use to inform their own work," said EHP news editor Susan Booker. "We also want to find new ways to get our news articles in front of more general readers. There's a lot of good information here that people can use to feel more informed about environmental health issues and more empowered to make changes in their own lives."

NIEHS Participating in a Twitter Chat for Asthma Awareness Month!

On Tuesday, May 7, NIEHS, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are hosting #AsthmaChat as part of our Asthma Awareness Month efforts. During the Twitter chat, we will highlight new asthma research at the National Institutes of Health, as well as efforts to increase the adoption of existing guidelines for the treatment, management, and care of asthma patients.

Please join us on World Asthma Day (May 7) in standing with the nearly 25 million patients in the United States who are affected by this chronic condition. Participate in #AsthmaChat to share information and resources on research regarding asthma care, prevention, and control.

SRP Researcher Heather Stapleton Featured in Science News

Duke University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center researcher Heather Stapleton, Ph.D., was featured in an article in Science News about how children may be at risk for chemical exposures from vinyl floors and fire-resistant couches. The article explains how these common household items may release volatile organic compounds, which have been linked to health outcomes like autism and cancer. It further describes how Stapleton's team measured elevated levels of these contaminants in children living in homes with vinyl flooring and flame-resistant furniture compared to children living in homes without these items. Stapleton's SRP project focuses on understanding how contaminants found in house dust, such as flame-retardant chemicals, impact development in human cells and in zebrafish.

Share a Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Accomplishment

The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is soliciting input to develop a list of key public health and health care accomplishments that were made possible, in full or in part, as a result of behavioral and/or social sciences research. OBSSR hopes that this resource will be useful when making the case for the importance of the behavioral and social sciences to health.

To contribute to the resource, submit, comment on, or vote for accomplishments that have had a substantial health impact and for which behavioral and social sciences research was critical to achieving. An expert panel will review the submissions and assist OBSSR in how best to select, organize, and make them available online. Submissions are due July 31.

EPA Tool Helps Citizen Scientists Explore Air Quality Data

Created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Real Time Geospatial Data Viewer (RETIGO) is a Web-based tool designed to help researchers and citizen scientists visualize and explore data from stationary or mobile air quality monitors. RETIGO enables users to input their data on pollution concentrations, meteorological conditions, time of day, and location to create maps and graphs. In addition to viewing your own data, RETIGO allows users to view data from nearby air quality and meteorological stations. Visit the RETIGO website to learn more and use the tool!

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast

In our latest podcast, The Many Factors Involved in Chronic Kidney Disease, we hear about a unique epidemic of kidney disease that cannot be explained by traditional or known risk factors, like high blood pressure or genetics, and what NIEHS-funded researchers are doing to understand and address this growing problem.

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 Webinar: Using Ethnographies and Oral Histories to Address Environmental Public Health Issues

Join us for the May PEPH webinar, Using Ethnographies and Oral Histories to Address Environmental Public Health Issues. In this webinar, we will hear from two projects that are working with their community partners to collect oral histories about historical environmental exposures and their lived experience. The teams are analyzing the stories to better understand the complexities of how people perceive environmental risks and to inform public health action. The webinar will be held May 22, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT. Stay tuned for more information!

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Courtney Carignan, Ph.D.

Courtney Carignan, Ph.D., values community input in environmental health research and has shaped her work to meet the needs and concerns of communities. Carignan, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, is working with communities in New England and Michigan to characterize PFAS exposures and understand the potential health effects from those exposures. "I'm currently investigating the effects of PFAS from contaminated drinking water on children's immune systems and helping create an educational resource for exposed communities," she said. "I'm also providing technical assistance for communities here in Michigan, as well as for the state health department." Read the PEPH Grantee Highlight to learn more.

PEPH in the April NIEHS Environmental Factor

Upcoming PEPH-Related Events

May 15, 2019: Enhancing Community Involvement in the Regulatory Process. Hosted by the U.S. EPA, this webinar will focus on how to enhance community involvement in the regulatory process. It will focus on (1) how to plan and support effective community involvement processes, (2) an advocate's perspective on what state agencies can do to ensure meaningful community involvement in the regulatory process, and (3) how to effectively integrate community involvement into the state agency culture and decision-making processes. The webinar will take place from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT. Registration is required.

June 6 – 7, 2019: Integrating Quality Conference: Getting on Track to Achieve Health Equity in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 11th annual Association of American Medical Colleges' Integrating Quality Conference is a highly interactive, interprofessional meeting focused on sharing innovative approaches and strategies for improving health care quality, patient safety, and high-value care through health professions education, care delivery, and research.

June 10 – 12, 2019: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Second National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. This conference will bring together diverse stakeholders from across the country working on PFAS issues. NIEHS and NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker. Register by June 5.

June 10 – 14, 2019: Health Literacy Leadership in Boston, Massachusetts. This one-week institute directly supports the work of professionals engaged in health literacy to transform public health and health care delivery in the United States and across the globe. Those working to improve patient-provider communication and health care quality, as well as those working with learners in community settings, will find the institute directly applicable.

June 24 – 28, 2019: 2019 Data Science Innovation Lab: Data Science Challenges in Rural Health and Environmental Exposures in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Organized by the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Training Coordinating Center, this five-day workshop will foster the development of new interdisciplinary teams to tackle the challenges associated with the analysis, modeling, and visualization of large-scale data sets associated with rural health. Early-career investigators from quantitative and biomedical fields are highly encouraged to apply. A committee will select approximately 30 applicants to take part.

August 12 – 16, 2019: Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) in Bethesda, Maryland. Hosted by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising minority health / health disparities research scientists early in their careers and to stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science.

Funding Opportunities

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

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: June 5, 2019.

Addressing the Etiology of Health Disparities and Health Advantages Among Immigrant Populations (R01). Supports innovative research to understand uniquely associated factors (biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental) that contribute to health disparities or health advantages among U.S. immigrant populations. Deadline: June 5, 2019.

Environmental Exposures and Health: Exploration of Non-Traditional Settings (R01 and R21 Clinical Trial 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: June 5, 2019 (R01); June 16, 2019 (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. Deadline: August 12, 2019 (application). A letter requesting permission (LRP) to submit an application is required and must be received six weeks prior to the application receipt 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.

Leveraging Health Information Technology (Health IT) to Address Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01 Clinical Trial Optional). Supports research that examines how health information technology adoption impacts minority health and health disparity populations in access to care, quality of care, patient engagement, and health outcomes. Deadline: October 28, 2019.

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, 2019.

Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities in Environmental Health Sciences (R21). Supports environmental health research in which an unpredictable event provides a limited window of opportunity to collect human biological samples or environmental exposure data. The program aims to understand the consequences of natural and human-caused disasters or emerging environmental public health threats in the U.S. and abroad. See the Funding Opportunity Announcement for application due dates.

Community Changemaker Grants for Native Youth. Funded by the National Indian Health Board (NIHB), these grants assist Native youth in advocating for health in their communities. The grants are small amounts of money ($250) that can help supercharge a youth-led health event. They are open to American Indian and Alaska Native youth ages 14 - 24 years old. The application should be emailed to Wendee Gardner.

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