Today is Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019

Department of Environmental Health

Center for Environmental Genetics


News & Events

  • CEG News at a Glance, 2019 April 2: PDF
  • CEG News at a Glance, 2019 March 6: PDF


Photo of Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhDCEG-hosted DEH Weds Seminar April 17: Featuring Ivan Rusyn, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, and Chair, Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology, Texas A&M University. Dr. Rusyn is also PI of the TAMU Laboratory of Environmental Genomics. Dr. Rusyn's lab was the first to report on the genetic regulation of gene expression in the liver, thus enhancing our understanding of the impact of genetic variability in toxicity pathways. Seminar topic: A Population-Based Organotypic Culture Model for High-Throughput Cardiotoxicity Risk Assessment. Wednesday April 17, 2019 at 10:00 AM in Room 140 Kowalewski Hall. Lunch Q&A to follow in the Kettering Atrium. Lunch complimentary; RSVP required.

Photo of Dr. Zalfa Abdel-MalekThree long-time CEG members were among UC faculty members honored for obtaining US Patents in 2018: Zalfa Abdel-Malek, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Dermatology, received patent No. 9,834,580 “Pharmaceutical compositions comprising selective peptide-based agonists of melanocortin 1 receptor.” The peptides, pharmaceutical compositions, and methods described in the patent are expected to benefit persons suffering from skin disorders and diseases such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, porphyria, polymorphous light eruption, vitiligo, and solar urticarial. Dr. Abdel-Malek is a three-time CEG pilot award recipient, including a 2017 Affinity group award for the study “p16 mutations increase melanoma risk by altering the melanocyte microenvironment,” and a 2018 Shovel Ready pilot award for the study “Efficacy of small alpha-MSH analogs in inhibiting oxidative stress in melanocytes to reduce UV-induced genotoxicity.”

Photo of Dr. Patrick TsoPatrick Tso, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, received patient No. 9,730,980 “Method of treating type I diabetes using apolipoprotein A-IV” and patent No. 9,951,120 “Method of treating diabetes using non-glycosylated apolipoprotein A-IV.” The pharmaceutical compositions and methods described in the patents will benefit persons with type I and type II diabetes, respectively. Dr. Tso is a CEG internal Advisory Board member.

Dr Jonathan Bernstein and Dr. Anastasios Angelopoulos imageCEG clinical member Jonathan Bernstein, M.D., and his colleagues Daniel Kanter, MD,and Anastasios Angelopoulos, PhD, received patent No. 9,921,167 “Optical sensor based on PFSI membrane comprising associated benzene-1,3-diol for detecting target compounds, and method thereof.” Details about all of these patents here

Photo of Dr. Kelly Brunst, UC DEH EpidemiologyCEG New Investigator and 2018 Pilot awardee Kelly Brunst, Ph.D., recently was one of three UC College of Medicine faculty members chosen to attend the Early Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar of the Association of American Medical Colleges, February 2-5, 2019 in San Diego.  Dr. Brunst and UC’s Silvi Shah, MD, and Alyson Ryan, MD, were among 155 women from the United States and Canada selected for the seminar. Read more about this well deserved honor by clicking here

In 2017 doctoral student Andrew VonHandorf received a CEG New Investigator Scholar award for his project, “Effects of exposure to hexavalent chromium\ Cr(VI) exposure on CTCF regulated transcription and the Cohesin complex: Role in carcinogenesis” (Mentor: CEG Associate Director Alvaro Puga, Ph.D., Fellow A.A.A.S., A.T.S.). This spring, VonHandorf will be presenting a poster at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology: VonHandorf A, Puga A. Hexavalent Chromium Disrupts Chromatin Architecture. Poster P779 at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, Baltimore MD; 2019 Mar 10-14.

Photo of Maria Czyk-Krzeska PhDCEG member Maria Czyzyk-Krzeska, MD, PhD, was one of 3 UC College of Medicine faculty members who recently received the Optime Magistrum (Best Teacher) Award for excellent teaching from 1st year medical students in the College of Medicine. John Monaco, a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology, was recognized for his presentations in the course “Fundamentals of Cellular Medicine.” Elisabeth Schlaudecker, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, was honored for her presentations in the course “Physician and Society 101.” Czyzyk-Krzeska, a professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, was recognized for her pulmonary physiology lectures in the renal/pulmonary bloc.

CEG member Zalf Abdel-Malek, PhD video 1st in a new series! A firsthand look at the fascinating work of CEG members, in terms that lay persons and newcomers can understand. In this inaugural Meet the Researcher video, we are introduced to Zalfa Abdel-Malek, PhD, Professor of Dermatology, whose study of gene-environment interactions has already led to a patented agent to help prevent melanoma. CEG video

Photograph (head shot) of Dr. Susan PinneyIn 2018 CEG Deputy Director Susan M. Pinney, Ph.D., F.A.C.E., was awarded more than a half-million dollars in research funding for her epidemiological studies of environmental exposures and the developmental origins of disease. These recent awards include R01 and R24 funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and a new R03 award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):

  • R24 ES0285271 Fernald Community Cohort: Research Resource for Environmental Epidemiology; NIEHS, 09/30/18 -- 06/30/23; five years, $399,875 total funding in year 1 ($249,922 direct; $149,953 indirect).
  • R01 ES029133. Longitudinal Study of Endocrine Disrupting Chemical Exposure and the Early Hormonal Milieu of Girls around the Time of Thelarche; NIEHS Project dates 8/15/18 - 06/30/19. $394,748 total funds in 2018; i.e., $268,445 direct; $126,304 indirects in 2018.   
  • R03 HD094236,  Headaches and Migraines: Pubertal Parameter and Hormone Predictors in Adohttp://  https://www.cnn.comlescent Girls; from the NICHD Project dates; 08/07/18 - 07/31/19. $86,674 total funds in 2018, i.e., $54,171 direct; $32,503 indirects in 2018. Project dates 08/07/18 - 07/31/19.

Pinney, who currently serves as interim director of the CEG Community Engagement Core, was quoted in the CNN story, “What are PFAS chemicals, and what are they doing to our health?” February 14, 2019; online at

Construction continues to affect pedestrian access to Kettering. Visitors should enter Kettering via its northeast doors, near marker "1a" on this map (upper lefthand corner of map).