The Administrative Core serves as the central contact for "all spokes of the CEG wheel” by facilitating communication and connectivity among our 69 Full, Clinical and Associate members, as well as trainees, laboratory staff, and collaborators throughout the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Pilot consortium partners. Our mission: To conduct innovative, multidisciplinary GXE research and translate discoveries to regional and global disease prevention with healthier environments and community empowerment. Toward this end, among its many activities the Center has administered more than 2.2 million dollars in Pilot program funds during the past 9 years alone, providing seed money that has in turn generated more than 28 million dollars in additional research funding among our allied investigators and their research teams.
Career Development \ Building Environmental Health Science Capacity
The CEG aims to identify promising early stage investigators and enhance their professional development through interdisciplinary education, mentoring and research support. Our career development initiatives seek physician-scientists, basic scientists, and population health researchers who can successfully traverse the interface between their respective disciplines and studies in environmental health science, in order to build productive, cross-disciplinary research teams.
Building the Next Generation EHS Workforce. Then . . .
Historically, CEG New Investigator Scholar (NIS) awards supported graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with demonstrated enthusiasm and strong potential for careers in the study of gene-environment interactions. As a freestanding core, the earlier CEG Career Development Program (CDP) also provided Next Generation Biomedical Investigator (NGBI) awards to promising junior faculty members. From 2007 through 2017, the program supported 76 awardees. Our 23 NGBI awardees alone have produced more than 133 peer-reviewed publications, 22 internal grants, and 28 external grants amounting to >$10,000,000 or a return on investment of more than 30 to 1. Many of our New Investigator Scholars have likewise advanced to tenure track academic positions, obtained subsequent major funding via K99/R00 and R01 awards, and are embarked on highly productive independent research careers.
and Now . . .
While the CDP and its NIS and NGBI award mechanisms are no longer extant in the current P30 grant cycle, the CEG maintains robust career development efforts. With our first cohort of New Investigator Awards (NIA's) under the 2018 - 2023 grant cycle, the CEG recognized the outstanding potential of awardees Kelly Brunst, Ph.D., Katherine Burns, Ph.D., Roman Jandarov, Ph.D., and Liang Niu, Ph.D. (2018 - 2020). Our 2020-2022 NIA's are
- Angelico Mendy, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the UC Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, UC College of Medicine;
- Jun Wang, Ph.D., P.E., C.I.H., C.S.P., Assistant Professor in the Division of Environmental and Industrial Hygiene Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences; and
- Dr. Patrick Ray, PhD., Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UC College of Engineering and Applied Science.
These awardees were profiled in the May/June 2020 CEG News. Our newest NIA (2022 - 2024) is Nalinikanth Kotagiri, Ph.D., MBBS, Assistant Professor, UC College of Pharmacy. Dr. Nalinikanth's research interests are primarily in therapeutic agents, but recently Dr. Kotagiri was awarded a $484,000 DoD grant to protect skin from ultraviolet light: MRP Idea Award: “Engineering skin microbiome to generate natural sunscreens for prevention of melanoma” (Role PI. 7/1/21 – 6/30/24). CEG Associate member. Mentor: Zalfa Abdel-Malek, PhD.
On a biennial basis, the Center may recognize up to three New Investigator Awardees (NIA’s) for a 2-year term. These are promising junior tenure-track faculty members with demonstrated interest in environmental health science. NIA’s receive up to $25,000 in salary support and associated benefits each year, contingent on 1st year performance. Applications for New Investigator Awards must include a nomination letter from the proposed mentor, copies of the applicant’s and mentor’s CVs, and a personal statement by the applicant specifying his or her plans for environmental health research over the 2-years of CEG funding. The statement should include planned NIEHS grant submissions. UC and CCHMC faculty members who are interested in the study of gene-environment interactions are encouraged to contact the CEG for more information about opportunities for mentoring, collaboration and funding.
Prior Career Development Awardees