Recent M-LEEaD News and Member Updates

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June 2024: M-LEEaD Newsletter June 2024 • The Center Scientist position, offered through M-LEEaD's Career Development Program led by Drs. Gil Omenn and Justin Colacino, provides special mentorship experiences to two early-stage investigators each year. Selected candidates engage in research that addresses the goals of the M-LEEaD Center to define, explain, or mitigate the impacts of environmental exposures during vulnerable stages of life. We are pleased to announce the 2024-25 Center Scientists! Olivia Halabicky, M.Sc., PhD, is current Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and a former Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She received her... Read more

May 2024: M-LEEaD Newsletter May 2024 • In the ongoing mission to address air pollution and its detrimental effects on health, the M-LEEaD Center's Community Engagement Core (CEC) has unveiled its newest resource: a comprehensive factsheet titled "Enhanced Indoor Air Filters: Reducing Air Pollution Inside Homes and Schools." The factsheet delves into air filtration, explaining MERV ratings and the efficacy of HEPA filters. It also sheds light on Particulate Matter (PM), a prevalent indoor pollutant with severe health implications. The factsheet recommends utilizing better filters in homes and schools, especially as one report ranks Detroit 5th among the most challenging places to live with asthma in the... Read more

April 2024: M-LEEaD Newsletter April 2024: Stats Day recap, RFA for 2024 Center Scientists released, and more! • The Environmental Statistics Day Symposium on March 18, 2024, at SPH was an insightful event to learn about research collaborations on Artificial Intelligence techniques as they apply to Environmental Health Research. The keynote address was given by Jason Moore, PhD on Automating Machine Learning for the Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Moore holds the positions of Chair in the Department of Computational Biomedicine, Director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research & Education, and Professor of Computational Biomedicine and AI in Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The event concluded with a Michigan Perspectives session, featuring early career investigators from U of M... Read more

March 2024: M-LEEaD Newsletter March 2024: Catch up from PEPH, Pilot Grant Call, Member News! • The Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) 2024 meeting bought grantees and partners within the PEPH network together to discuss common issues, approaches, and opportunities. The focus was on engaging diverse teams in the context of the intersection of climate change and environmental justice. M-LEEaD was well-represented at the event, as outlined below: Natalie Sampson was a panelist on the workshop session titled “Intergenerational Engagement,” which focused on the importance of engaging multiple generations in environmental health topics as essential when building capacity for youth and beyond in this sector. The session provided an understanding of effective strategies when working... Read more

February 2024: M-LEEaD Newsletter February 2024 • Have you caught any of M-LEEaD’s Residents & Researchers (R&R) Seminars? The R&R series, a collaboration between the Community Engagement and Integrated Health Sciences Cores, facilitates partnerships and understanding of community concerns among M-LEEaD researchers - and of scientific research among people experiencing environmental exposures in their communities. The goal is to help connect research on environmental risk factors to the experience of environmental hazards in the places where people live, work and play - and even more importantly, to provide examples of the power of partnerships between researchers and community residents in addressing critical environmental health issues. The focus... Read more

January 2024: M-LEEaD Newsletter January 2024: Partnership Development Program, Member News, and More! • M-LEEaD’s Community Engagement core is excited to announce our “Partnership Development Program” (PDP). The PDP provides financial and technical support for new partnerships between community members and researchers. We can also support existing partnerships taking on new or expanded collaborative research efforts. Applicants should be working in partnership to address research questions related to environmental health and justice issues—either their causes or their solutions or both. Applications must be submitted on behalf of at least two partners: an academic partner and a community group, community-based organization or government agency in Detroit, Southeast Michigan or other Michigan communities experiencing environmental health... Read more


December 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter November/December 2023: APHA Updates, Member News • This year’s American Public Health Association (APHA) conference from November 12-15 was organized around the theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social & Ethical Challenges.” M-LEEaD’s Community Engagement Core was well represented at the event in Atlanta! Sam Karsky, Alison Walding and Amy Schulz presented a poster session on behalf of the Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments Partnership titled “Participatory, formative evaluation of the Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments (CAPHE) partnership: Results and actions, 2014-2023“ in a session on the impact of community-based and community-engaged research. CAPHE partners from Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, the Ecology Center and... Read more

November 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter October 2023: EHSCC Annual Meeting Recap, News Highlights and Upcoming Events • The 2023 NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Core Centers in-person meeting was hosted by the Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health this past October, with stellar attendance from centers across the country. Environmental contributions to health disparities, precision environmental health, and climate change and disaster research response represent important areas of scientific focus at NIEHS and were explored during the four-day meeting in Houston, TX. The M-LEEaD Center was well represented at the event, with the following speakers: Bambarendage Pini Perera presented in the Early Stage Investigator Spotlight on “Emerging Roles of PIWI-interacting RNA in Toxicoepigenetics Research: Sex- and Tissue-Specific... Read more

October 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter September 2023: Legislative Forum Recap, Center News, Apply for new Seed Pilots • M-LEEaD’s Climate, Environment & Health Legislative Forum in Lansing on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 focused on providing scientific research and expertise relating to Michigan's most pressing climate issues. This bipartisan forum, sponsored by Michigan State Representatives Abraham Aiyash and Greg Markkanen, offered legislators and staffers access to prominent researchers speaking on topics of affordable water, improving community environmental health, weatherizing homes, and wildfire preparedness. Elizabeth Mack, PhD, MA, from Michigan State University, spoke on “Steps Towards Affordable Water: A Policy Agenda.” Dr. Mack’s research utilizes mixed methods to understand the evolution of the economy in the face of rapid technological change... Read more

September 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter August 2023: Recap of Summer Omics and Data Science Symposium, Member News • On July 20, 2023, the M-LEEaD Pan Omics and Data Science (PODS) Core hosted the Summer Omics and Data Science Symposium at the U of M School of Public Health. PODS leaders Maureen Sartor and Jackie Goodrich organized the event, with 2 keynote speakers and 4 shorter presentations by early career researchers. The keynote speakers Drs. Justin Colacino and Stephen Goutman spoke on “Single cell and spatial omics studies in EHS” and “Targeting the ALS Exposome for Disease Prevention,” respectively. The 4 lighting round talks were presented by Drs. Rachel Morgan, Pini Perera, Kai Wang, and Yue Zhao. These talks... Read more