Today is Thursday, Jul. 18, 2019

Department of Environmental Health

Center for Environmental Genetics


News & Events

  • CEG News at a Glance, 2019 June 28: PDF
  • CEG News at a Glance, 2019 May 23: PDF


QR code for IRBworkshop SurveyMonkey. linkVFHQW8LIRB Processes for Basic Scientists and Epidemiologists: Workshop and Ice Cream Social, Wednesday July 31, Room 121 Kettering, 2:00-3:30 PM. Panelists: Angela Braggs-Brown, M.A., Director, UC Human Research Protection Program;Katherine Burns, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Environmental Genetics and Molecular Toxicology; Jagjit Yadav, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Toxicology, UC Department of Environmental Health; and Susan Pinney, Ph.D., F.A.C.E., Professor of Epidemiology and Director, Center for Environmental Genetics. RSVPs requested for ice cream and refreshments. Also, attendees are welcome to submit questions in advance:

Dr. Mei-Ling Bermudez in laboratory (photo)We congratulate CEG New Investigator Scholar (NIS 2014-2016) Mei Ling Bermúdez, Ph.D., on her new publication in NEUROSCIENCE: Bermúdez ML, Seroogy KB, Genter MB. Evaluation of carnosine intervention in the Thy1-aSyn mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Neuroscience. 2019 May 21 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31125602. Mentor: Mary Beth Genter, Ph.D., DABT, Fellow, ATS.

Cover of the journal Environmental Research, May 2019A new study by CEG members Kelly Brunst, Pat Ryan, Kim Yolton, Grace LeMasters and Kim Cecil, et al., has found an association between traffic-related air pollution and anxiety symptoms in children.  As reported in media such as The Times (London) and Daily Mail (UK), children from polluted areas are more likely to report feelings of anxiety than children who are not exposed to high levels of traffic-related pollution (TRAP). As part of the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) and in work funded in part through a $40,000 2018 CEG pilot award, Brunst and colleagues studied 145 adolescents who underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  Researchers measured in the anterior cingulate cortex several brain metabolites, including myo-inositol, N-acetylaspartate, creatine, choline, glutamate, glutamate plus glutamine, and glutathione. Investigators assessed anxiety symptoms using the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale. TRAP exposure in early-life, averaged over childhood, and during the 12 months prior to imaging was estimated using a validated land use regression model. Associations between TRAP exposure, brain metabolism, and anxiety symptoms were estimated using linear regression and a bootstrapping approach for testing mediation by brain metabolite levels. Brunst and colleagues posit that TRAP may elicit atypical excitatory neurotransmission and glial inflammatory responses leading to increased metabolite levels and subsequent anxiety symptoms.

Photo of Dr. Susan KasperCEG member and UC Professor of Environmental Health Susan Kasper, Ph.D., has been elected vice president of the Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR). Kasper will serve as vice president and president-elect for 2019-2020 and as SBUR president from 2020 to 2021. SBUR is a U.S.-based basic urologic research society affiliated with the American Urology Association. Members include basic and clinical/surgeon scientists from academia, industry and government with expertise in molecular and developmental biology, oncology, immunology, epidemiology, andrology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and clinical urology. Research areas cover urologic cancers, benign diseases, developmental biology, kidney and bladder function, urologic autoimmune, infectious and neurologic diseases, male reproductive biology, infertility and erectile dysfunction. More about Dr. Kasper here.

Photo of Dr. Zalfa Abdel-MalekThree 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 Maria Czyk-Krzeska PhDCEG member Maria Czyzyk-Krzeska, M.D., Ph.D., was one of 3 UC College of Medicine faculty members who received the Optime Magistrum (Best Teacher) Award for excellent teaching from 1st year medical students in the College of Medicine. John Monaco, a professor 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