Center Announces RFP for 2018-2019 Pilot Projects

The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center is pleased to announce release of a Request for Proposals for 2018-2019 Pilot Projects. Investigators, particularly those interested in community-engaged research are encouraged to review the priority concerns identified by our Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee (CSTAC), which represents the Center’s community partners in the Central and San Joaquin Valleys. Programmatic Priorities: Interdisciplinary team research Development of resources, methods, or technology that will benefit the field of environmental health sciences. Human health concerns, particularly respiratory conditions, cancer, neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental disorders, immune regulation, reproductive/endocrine or metabolic function, mental health. Translational science Projects likely to inform policy or advocacy efforts for scientifically supported actions Substantial relevance to California’s Central Valley population, such as pesticides, air pollution, climate change and its consequences, water quality and quantity, and toxicants in household and personal care products. A focus on prevention of environmentally-induced disease and disability. Four types of proposals will be considered for funding: Type 1 awards for $20,000 to $30,000 direct costs for a one year project are for standard pilot project proposals, including some community outreach and engagement (required). Revised submissions will be prioritized this year. Type 2 awards for up to $30,000/year direct for two

Domoic Acid Workshop to be held at UC Davis on May 4th

The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center, the UC Davis Counter ACT Center and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment will host a workshop, Domoic Acid: Evaluating the State of the Science and Implications for Human Toxicity. The event will be held on the UC Davis campus in the Buehler Alumni Center. Domoic acid is a neurotoxin that is produced by some species of the algae Pseudo-nitzschia and can accumulate in shellfish, including crustaceans. Following large algal blooms along the California coast, the contamination of shellfish can be widespread. Consuming contaminated shellfish poses potential health concerns for both humans and marine mammals. The workshop will explore dose levels that induce adverse effects and the spectrum of endpoints. Program details and registration information can be found on the workshop website. Space is limited to register early!

EHS Center Announces 2017-18 Pilot Grant Recipients

The UC Davis EHS Center Pilot Projects Program is pleased to announce recipients of the 2017-2018 pilot awards: Developmental exposure to organophosphorus pesticides to evaluate airway hyperreactivity – Principal Investigator: Ana Cristina Grodzki, PhD (Department of Molecular Biosciences) Immune mechanisms of ozone-induced lung inflammation in non-human primates – Principal Investigator: Angela Haczku, MD, PhD (Department of Internal Medicine: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine) Effects of atrazine on the developing ovary – Principal Investigator: Neil Hunter, PhD (Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics) Public health and the intersection of water and air quality in the Salton Sea – Principal Investigator: Kent Pinkerton, PhD (Department of Pediatrics) Cognitive and behavioral and neuroanatomical phenotypes following early life pesticide exposure – Principal Investigator: Jill Silverman, PhD (Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences) Ozone and lung remodeling – Principal Investigator: Laura VanWinkle, PhD (Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology) Noninvasive imaging of immune responses induced by environmental pollutants –  Principal Investigator: Christoph Vogel, PhD (Department of Environmental Toxicology)

EHS Center Member Update

Center Director, Irva Hertz-Picciotto testified on chronic neurodevelopmental effects of pesticides at a Hearing of the California Senate Committee on Environmental Quality on new regulations proposed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). The new regulations would impose limitations on pesticide applications near schools, and were created in response to a 2014 report from a study by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), Agricultural Pesticide Use Near Public Schools in California. The 15-county study looked at over 2500 public schools and found that although a majority of the schools (64%) did not have any pesticides of public health concern applied within a quarter mile of the school property, more than half a million pounds were applied nearby the over 1/3 of schools that did. Moreover, the schools located within 1/4 mile of pesticide applications were attended by a higher proportion of Hispanic children. The proposed regulatory action by DPR would require growers to notify public K-12 schools, child day care facilities and county agricultural commissioners about planned pesticide applications near school sites and some types of pesticide applications would be prohibited during certain times. Laura Van Winkle has been invited to serve as an associate editor for the journal Toxicological Sciences, the official journal

Project TENDR – Documentary

The science is in. The evidence is clear and sufficient. A group of leading health professionals, scientists and advocates agrees that chemical exposures are putting children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, ADHD and learning disabilities. EHS Center Director, Irva Hertz-Picciotto is the co-founder of Project TENDR, an organization that is working to protect infants and children from preventable threats to healthy brain development. Watch the new documentary about Project TENDR.

EHS Center Welcomes Jill Silverman, PhD

The EHS Center is delighted to welcome new member, Dr. Jill Silverman. Dr. Silverman’s predoctoral research in Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center employed preclinical rat models of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and drug abuse. She conducted postdoctoral training and research in translational and behavioral phenotyping projects in mouse models of autism in the laboratory of Jacqueline Crawley at the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program.

Rebecca Calisi-Rodriguez, PhD receives 2017-18 EHS Scholar award

Dr. Calisi-Rodríguez has been selected as the 2017-18 EHS Scholar, an award program sponsored by the Center’s Career Development Program. Her research focuses on how changing physical and social environments affect the brain, behavior, and reproduction. As the Center’s EHS Scholar, Dr. Calisi-Rodríguez plans to expand her research program to investigate how pollutants in the environment affect animal behavior and biology, deepening our understanding of how environmental exposures threaten human health and how we can develop strategies to minimize their effects. Her research incorporates ethology, endocrinology, neurobiology, and genomics using various model vertebrate systems including rodents, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. As an EHS Scholar, Dr. Calisi-Rodríguez will apply her diverse skill set to study feral pigeons as bioindicators of pollutants in the agricultural and built environment. Click here to read the New York Times article about Dr. Calisi-Rodriguez’s research

Center researchers receive grant to develop Environmental Justice Academy

Building effective, equitable, and sustainable university-community partnerships is essential to the success of environmental health science research. Yet, researchers and community advocates often do not have the capacity to build and maintain these partnerships. Without effective training academic and community stakeholders may miss important opportunities for bi-directional learning, potentially reproduce disparities between universities and communities, particularly in partnerships with historically under-served communities.  Strengthening the capacity of academic and community partners engaged with environmental justice efforts to work together is central to the development of effective and equitable partnerships to address pressing environmental health issues.   The UC Davis Environmental Health Science Center and the Michigan Lifestage Environmental Exposure and Disease Center in Ann Arbor will collaborate to develop a curriculum for an Environmental Justice and Health Equity Academy. The project objective is to provide a new resource to strengthen capacity among environmental health centers across the country to foster meaningful multidirectional collaboration between researchers, community residents, administrative and legislative decision makers.   The project aims to develop a community of practice (COP) that assures community experience and expertise informs scientific research, and assures dissemination of environmental health science to address community concerns. The team will also develop several modules –based on community priorities– and refine the curriculum based