Soliciting Applications for Open Predoctoral Trainee Positions in Environmental Health

One predoctoral trainee position will be available starting October 1, 2017, thru September 30, 2018, with the possibility of renewal for a second year with good progress.  A predoctoral fellowship includes a yearly stipend; the stipend level for FY 2017 is $23,844.  The fellowship also includes an allowance for trainee-related expenses and covers 100% of fees. To be eligible, the student must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident matriculated in a UC Davis graduate program who has successfully completed at least the first year of their graduate program and is working on a thesis project related to environmental health sciences. A complete application consists of the following: The applicant’s biographical sketch or CV. The mentor’s NIH biosketch including other support. A concise plan (1-3 pages) describing the proposed research, its relevance to environmental health science and the applicant’s career goals. A copy of the applicant’s graduate and undergraduate academic records. Three letters of recommendation, one of which is from the PI supervising the trainee’s research. The PI needs to include a statement of how the applicant’s project will contribute to environmental health sciences and how the PI will help the student achieve this ultimate goal. The PI must also indicate how many

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

Message from the Director – Climate Change and Health

The decision in Washington last week to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is a step in the wrong direction, at a time when more, not less, is needed. Even the negotiators of the Agreement pointed out that collectively, the goals set by individual countries for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were insufficient to avert adverse impacts of climate change. Moreover, nothing was binding, no penalties are imposed for non-compliance, and no commitments were made to assist the most vulnerable populations. Nevertheless, the mere fact of an Agreement that included nearly all nations was historic and symbolized a collective will to tackle this global issue. In light of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) mission “to advance understanding of environmentally-induced disease and disability, and develop interventions that reduce harmful exposures or mitigate their effects on health”, over the last several months, the EHSC has moved towards a new thrust in Climate Change. With our expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, molecular biology, behavioral sciences, exposure sciences, informatics, bioengineering, and community-scientist partnerships, we are poised to play a pivotal role in addressing adaptation for human health and

EHS Center Hosts First Academy Day

The first ever UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Academy Day on March 21 brought together multi-disciplinary researchers and community-based organizations to discuss concerns about environmental health impacts, specifically those centered on water safety and contamination issues in the Central Valley. Academy Day provided attendees with opportunities for mutual learning and information sharing. The aim was to get individuals thinking about how scientists and communities can work together to solve environmental problems and translate science into action and policy.

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