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

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

Linking Environmental Toxicants and Human Health

    Article by Shivani Kamal Many diseases and disabilities such as autism, obesity, asthma, respiratory illness, allergies and a weakened immune system are a product our environment! They’re all outcomes linked to the environmental exposure of toxins in the air, pollutants in drinking water and even common household and personal-care products. Multi-disciplinary studies aim to reduce environment-related diseases, and are growing the next generation of environmental health scientists. Environmental health science is the study of how the environment and surroundings impact human health and disease. This may include natural settings of the air, water and soil, indoor settings like home or work as well as the social features of the environment. Environmental hazards impact human health in both urban and rural areas, particularly in the San Joaquin and Central Valley Region, comprising a total of 18 counties in Northern California. Read the full article at the California Aggie