News & Events
January 12, 2022 DEPHS Wednesday Seminar: Environmental Health and Epigenomics: New Paths to Precision Medicine, presented by Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD; Leon Hess Professor and Chair Department of Environmental Health Sciences; Director, Columbia Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan; and Director, Laboratory of Precision Environmental Biosciences Columbia University. 10:00 AM. Via WebEx: Meeting number (access code): 2624 442 3626, Meeting password DEPHS. https://ucincinnati.webex.com/ucincinnati/j.php?MTID=m13c0fb1d3ec632f3f1c1bf99ae0ae0ae. In his seminar, Dr. Baccarelli will present the emerging concept of precision environmental health, which uses molecular biology approaches to identify individuals who are exposed to higher levels of a potentially harmful environmental exposure and/or more susceptible to a specific environmental exposure. Dr. Baccarelli will present approaches ranging from epigenome-wide DNA methylation to exosome/extracellular vesicles and epitranscriptomics as promising new paths to enhance understanding of the effects of environmental exposures on human health.
February 16, 2022, CEG-hosted DEPHS Wednesday Seminar: Gail S. Prins, PhD, Michael Reese Endowed Professor; Departments of Urology, Physiology and Biophysics, and Pathology; University of Illinois at Chicago; and Director, Chicago Center for Health and Environment (CaCHet, an NIEHS P30 Core Center). 10:00 AM Weds Feb 16.
February 23, 2022, CEG-hosted DEPHS Wednesday Seminar: UC Proteomics capabilities with some recent impact in biomedical research, presented by Ken D. Greis, PhD, Professor, UC Department of Cancer and Cell Biology, and Executive Director for Research Infrastructure and Facilities, Office of the Vice President for Research. 10:00 AM Feb 23.
April 20, 2022, CEG-hosted DEPHS Wednesday Seminar: Cryo Electron Microscopy: CryoEM Capabilities at UC, presented by Desiree A. Benefield, PhD; Research Scientist; UC Cardiovascular Research Center. I Dr. Benefield has used advanced Cryo-em techniques to advance understanding of positive-strand RNA virus genome replication mechanisms. This seminar will feature CryoEM core facility services coming available as of July 2022.
The Genomics and Epigenomics Sequencing Core (GESC), managed by Xiang Zhang, PhD, has updated its online form for requesting services: https://med.uc.edu/depart/eh/cores/genomics/services-and-form. CEG investigators who use GESC services should self-identify as CEG members, in order to enhance Center reporting of research productivity. CEG members also should indicate on the form whether they would additionally like their data to be transferred to the CEG Bioinformatics Core (Director: Mario Medvedovic, PhD). The Bioinformatics Core offers long-term data storage, as well as options for highly sophisticated data analysis.
Integrative Technologies Support (ITS) Core Funding Available: CEG members are eligible for ITS Subsidies (i.e., matching funds) for use of certain cores and services, including Bioinformatics support. PIs with currently funded CEG Pilot awards may receive pro bono Bioinformatics support for the CEG-funded project. Details and an application form can be obtained on the ITS Core Web page.
Save the Date:
NIEHS Precision Environmental Health Community Forum, Tuesday May 10, 2022. We look forward to welcoming to Cincinnati next spring NIEHS Director Roy Woychik, PhD;
Special Assistant for Community Engagement and Outreach John Schelp, MPA; and colleagues. The forum will bring together local government and public health officials and community leaders to discuss precision environmental health and its significance for our region. More details to come. . .
The CEG has proudly welcomed these new members in 2021:
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.
Senu Apewokin, M.D.,
Associate Professor, UC College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine, Divisiion of Infectious Diseases.Diseases. Dr. Apewokin's research interests are in the efficacy of vaccinations and in infectious disease in transplant patients. In
2019, he received a CEG New to EHS Pilot award, “Association between PFOA Exposure and Humoral Responses to Pneumococcal Vaccines” (25K). He also has a K08 award from the National Cancer Institute, 06/01/20 – 5/31/2025, “Harnessing
induced human intestinal organoids (IHIOS) and metagenomics to unravel host immune-microbiota interactions during cancer chemotherapy-associated clostridium difficile infections.” CEG Clinical member.
Michael T. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology and Co-Director, Animal Behavior Core (CCHMC). Dr. Willams is interested in the study of developmental impacts, including genetic, environmental, and stress-related factors, on cognitive ability and behavioral sequelae throughout the lifetime. He has particular interest in the developmental impacts of exposure to manganese. He is a multi-PI with Dr. Charles (Chip) Vorhees on NIEHS R01 ES032270, “Gene-pesticide interactions and ADHD” (8/2020– 2/2025) and serves as Associate Director on NIH T32 ES07051 (PI: Vorhees) Training Grant in Teratology. CEG Full member.
Dr. John Reichard, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor in the Division of Industrial Hygiene in the UC Department of Environmental and Public Health Science. His research interests include applied human toxicology and chemical risk analysis, and he brings to the CEG highly respected
expertise in mechanistic toxicology, pharmacology, risk assessment and computational exposure modeling. He is currently collaborating with CEG members Susan Pinney, Ph.D., F.A.C.E. and Changchun Xie, Ph.D. on Dr. Pinney's R24 award from the National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Fernald Community Cohort: Research Resource for Environmental Epidemiology (R24 ES028527). CEG Associate member.
Edward J. Merino, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry in the UC College of Arts and Sciences and a chemist with research interests at the juncture between
chemistry and biology. Dr. Merino has been part of research teams that develop molecules to selectively kill cancer cells that have reactive oxygen species, generate new sunscreens to prevent DNA damage, and projects wherein he serves as the chemistry
lead to develop new bioactive molecules. A particular interest is molecular design toward new technology, especially through reactivity. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Anna Luisa Kadekaro, a former CEG Career Development Awardee, on
an NIEHS R15 award, Limiting UV-induced genome instability with self-cycling antioxidant reagents (R15 ES029675). CEG Full member.
William Miller, Ph.D.,
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program in the UC College of Medicine.The Miller laboratory is interested in the mechanisms by which microbial pathogens manipulate host cell signal transduction
pathways. Our main focus is on using cytomegaloviruses as model systems to examine how pathogens alter G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathways. Dr. Miller is director of the NIEHS-funded Environmental Carcinogeneses and Mutagenesis
T32 Training Program at the University of Cincinnati (T32 ES007250). Co-Leader: CEG Associate Director Alvaro Puga, Ph.D. CEG Full member.
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Michelle Burbage, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences, has been named co-leader of the CEG Community Engagement Core (CEC). Dr. Burbage is working alongside CEC Director Nicholas Newman, D.O., M.S., to advance community-based participatory research and the translation of scientific knowledge among grassroots partners. Dr. Burbage has worked on projects with the Ronald McDonald House, Urban Appalachian Council, YWCA’s mammogram outreach program, and local schools and health departments. In 2018 Burbage received the prestigious Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellowship of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Research Focus Group meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month. All are welcome. For details please contact Katherine Burns, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences. For details about the CEG's ImmunoToxicology Forum contact Jagjit Yadav, PhD. For details about the Smoking-related Cancers Research Focus Group contact Scott Langevin, MHA, PhD. All are welcome.
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The Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system is used to submit applications electronically to NIEHS and other NIH and Public Health Service agencies. It is also used to ensure PIs' compliance with timely reporting of Human Subjects Study inclusion enrollment data, etc. Delays and errors in Human Subjects reporting via ASSIST can delay or jeopardize individual and Center funding; hence, this guidance on Navigating ASSIST for Human Subjects and Clinical Trials, presented by NIEHS staff specialist Martha Barnes, M.S. is important for PIs and their staff: PPT slides accessible here (PDF). Webinar recording accessible here (mp4 file).
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Yolton, Cecil, Ryan Team earns $5 million NIEHS R01 Award
CEG Internal Advisory Board member Kimberly Yolton, PhD, Professor and Director of Research Section, General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and fellow CEG members Patrick H. Ryan, PhD, MS, Professor of Pediatrics, and Kim Cecil, PhD, Professor in the Department of Radiology, have received a new 5-year NIEHS R01 award: Longitudinal Impact of Air Pollution on Mental Health and Neuroimaging Outcomes during Adolescence in the Cincinnati Combined Childhood Cohorts (C4). R01 ES031621. Co-PI Patrick H. Ryan, PhD, MS, Professor of Pediatrics, and co-investigator Kim Cecil, PhD, are also CEG members. Project start-end 3/3/2021–12/31/2025, total 2021 funding $1.1 million.
The team will use existing longitudinal data from the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) and the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME) Study to address the hypothesis that exposure to air pollution during critical periods of brain development, including adolescence, is associated with adverse mental health outcomes.
Both prospective cohorts have been followed from birth and evaluated with concordant measures of mental health and neuroimaging at age 12 years. The team will conduct new follow-up at age 18 years to assess the onset and persistence of mental health outcomes through adolescence and apply validated models for PM2.5 and TRAP to characterize air pollution exposure from conception through age 18 years. The team also will acquire novel neuroimaging outcomes, including brain-aminobutyric acid and glutathione concentrations accompanied by anatomical and functional magnetic resonance imaging.