NIEHS celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, and this past month hosted an institute-wide, four-day celebratory event called the Environmental Health Sciences FEST in Durham, NC. Over 1300 attendees engaged in presentations and panel discussions on the full spectrum of topics supported by the institute ranging from the molecular mechanisms of toxicity, to pollutant fate and transport, citizen science, exposure prevention, and bench-to-field research translation.
The Brown SRP sent 15 participants to the Durham including nine trainees, and our center made significant contributions to the success of the FEST. Opening plenary talks by Institute Director, Linda Birnbaum, and Program Director, William Suk, highlighted one of our center’s recent publications in PNAS* and featured our recent interactions with Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and Dr. Birnbaum on the Brown campus. On the first day, graduate student Ruben Spitz won first place in the environmental sciences and engineering category for his poster “Breathable Graphene Oxide Toxicant Barriers.”
On Tuesday, Dr. Marcella Thompson from the Community Engagement Core gave a platform oral presentation on her work with the Narragansett Tribe titled “Are These Fish Safe to Eat? The Namaus (All Things Fish) Project.” Dr. Robert Hurt, Center Director and Project 4 Leader presented an oral talk titled “Nano-Enabled Technologies for Environmental Health.” in a session on bench-to-field research translation. To wrap up the week, Dr. Jennifer Guelfo, State Agency Liaison Postdoctoral Fellow, and Thomas Marlow, graduate student in sociology working with the Community Engagement Core, discussed “The Benefits of Research Translation to Environmental Research: An Example Reaturing Perfluoroalkyl Acid (PFAA) Fate and Transport.”
Additional poster presentations were given by:
- Christina Ergas, State Agency Liaison Postdoctoral Fellow, (Poster: 12/6: Communicating Environmental Risk: A Community Assessment Survey)
- David Klein, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, (Poster Session 12/6: Determining Male Reproductive Toxicity of Bolus Versus Continuous Exposure to Trichloroethylene)
- Tom Marlow, Graduate Student, (Presentation 12/8: The Benefits of Research Translation to Environmental Research: An Example Reaturing Perfluoroalkyl Acid (PFAA) Fate and Transport; Poster 12/5: Hazardous Conditions: Industrial Growth and Environmental Inequality in Rhode Island, 1954-2010)
- Michael Murphy (Trainee) (Poster 12/5: Uncovering Historical Environmental Health Threats at Mashapaug Pond, Rhode Island)
- Ruben Spitz (Trainee) (12/5: Poster: Breathable Graphene Oxide Toxicant Barriers)
- Jonathan Strom (Trainee) (Poster 12/7: Sub-slab depressurization systems for vapor intrusion mitigation – some aspects of design)
Overall, the FEST was a great success and will be remembered as a special event in the history of the environmental health field in the United States.
* Wenpeng Zhu, Annette von dem Bussche, Xin Yi,Yang Qiu, Zhongying Wang, Paula Weston, Robert H. Hurt, Agnes B. Kane & Huajian Gao, “Nanomechanical mechanism for lipid bilayer damage induced by carbon nanotubes confined in intracellular vesicles” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 (44) 12374-12379 (2016).