All M-LEEaD News and Member Updates

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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

June 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter June 2023: Recap of Career Development Event, Member News, Upcoming Opportunities, and More! • On May 9, 2023, M-LEEaD hosted our 2023 EHS Early Investigator Career Development Workshop for 30 virtual and in-person Early Stage Investigators, including attendees from other EHSCCs at Wayne State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Washington, and Oregon State University. This lively event included a presentation on “Building and Maintaining Collaborative Networks” from Drs. Justin Colacino and Kelly Bakulski (both faculty at the University of Michigan). The Director of Graduate Student and Program Consultation Services from the U of M Rackham Graduate School, Mallory Martin-Ferguson, presented an interactive session on “Difficult Conversations.” In this session attendees worked... Read more

May 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter May 2023 • The Center Scientist position, offered through M-LEEaD's Career Development Program led by Gil Omenn and Justin Colacino, provides special mentorship experiences to two early stage investigators, and selected candidates engage in research that addresses the goals of the M-LEEaD Center to define, explain, or mitigate impacts of environmental exposures during vulnerable stages of life. We are pleased to announce the 2023-24 Center Scientists! Xin Wang, PhD, MPH, is a Research Investigator in the Department of Epidemiology. He received his PhD and MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. With a strong foundation in environmental epidemiology, Dr. Wang is dedicated... Read more

April 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter April 2023- Center Scientist Successes, Member News and Upcoming Events • Both of M-LEEaD’s current Center Scientists attended and presented posters at the 2023 Society of Toxicology meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. We would like to highlight some of their recent successes! Rebekah Petroff (Bek), a postdoctoral fellow researching epigenetics and environmental exposures in the lab of Drs. Jackie Goodrich and Dana Dolinoy, presented a poster at SOT on the topic of the associations between developmental lead and DEHP exposure and differences in brain and blood DNA hydroxymethylation. An article, which Bek was first author on, was just published in Clinical Epigenetics, with the title “Mediation effects of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation... Read more

March 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter March 2023 • M-LEEaD Traditional Pilot Project Grants- now accepting applications! M-LEEaD’s Pilot Project Program provides limited, short-term funding to encourage innovation, creativity, and multidisciplinary collaborations, to attract new scientists to our center, and to address gaps in our knowledge about lifestage vulnerability to environmental exposures. Proposed projects should foster research related to the M-LEEaD Center’s mission and/or the Strategic Plan of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Applications are being accepted through March 20th, 2023. Proposals should address one or more of the following objectives: Provide initial support in environmental health sciences for early investigators; Allow exploration of innovative directions representing a... Read more

January 2023: M-LEEaD Newsletter February 2023: Spotlight on R&R Seminar Series, Statistics Consulting, Corrected Center News Features • 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


December 2022: M-LEEaD Newsletter December 2022- APHA Updates, News and Events • The APHA 2022 conference from November 6-9 focused on creating health equity, meaning that everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health, and confronting and acknowledging racism and bias in the U.S. This year, the theme was 150 Years of Creating the Healthiest Nation: Leading the Path Toward Equity. M-LEEaD’s Community Engagement Core Co-Leader Amy Schulz and other members were well-represented at this event with two presentations: Presentation 1: MI Future MI Power: Community mobilization and mapping to promote energy equity. Sergio Cira-Reyes from the Urban Core Collective in Grand Rapids and Amy Schulz presented on behalf... Read more

November 2022: M-LEEaD Newsletter November 2022- Event updates, News features including ALS Research, MI-CARES, Detroit's Water Affordability Plan • We hope you were able to join us for some of our amazing in-person events so far this semester, including: - The Integrated Health Sciences Core hosted our 2022 Environmental Statistics Day on October 24, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Corwin Zigler from the University of Texas. Dr. Zigler presented on “Causal Inference in Air Quality Regulation: an Overview and Topics in Statistical Methodology,” and the event included an expert panel discussion with SPH faculty Sara Adar, Tim Dvonch, and Roderick Little. Watch a recording of the presentation, panel discussion, and Lighting Talks by current students and postdocs working on environmental... Read more

September 2022: M-LEEaD Newsletter September 2022- New Center Scientists, Recap from EHSCC Meeting • The 2022 NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Core Centers in-person meeting was hosted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai this past July, with stellar attendance from centers across the country. Climate change and health, translational toxicology, and environmental justice and health inequities represent important areas of scientific focus at NIEHS and were explored during the three-day meeting. Our M-LEEaD Center was well represented at the event, and highlights included: - Simone Charles presented “On The Road to Scientific Workforce Diversity: Many Paths, One Destination” - Carina Gronlund’s talk at the plenary session on Climate Change & Human Health... Read more

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November 2020: M-LEEaD Symposium featured on CBC Radio

A three part Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio documentary series from Quirks & Quarks producer Sonya Buyting features M-LEEaD’s February 2020 Symposium “From PBB to PFAS: Research and Action to Address Michigan’s Large Scale Chemical Contaminations”, including an interview with keynote speaker Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, DABT, ATS. The series looks at emerging concerns about a huge class of chemicals used in everything from fast food packaging, to textile treatments, to non-stick cookware, to firefighting foams.

October 2020: Trish Koman on being awarded the APHA Distinguished Service Award!

Congratulations to Trish Koman, PhD, MPP, on being awarded the APHA Distinguished Service Award! The award was given in recognition of her work with the Environment Section as co-chair of the Chemicals & Health Topic Committee (National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures) since 2016, her contribution to drafting APHA public comments on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and on children’s environmental health topics, and as a result of this work, serving as an invited contributor to the University of California at San Francisco’s “Resetting the Science Agenda for Chemical Policy” working group. Trish served over 20 years as a senior environmental scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There she served as principal author of landmark national air pollution standards for particulate matter, a standard which withstood a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court. Since completion of her PhD, she has dedicated her career to building partnerships with community and practice organizations to continue to further environmental health research and its application to community challenges. Her deep commitment to creating opportunities for the next generation of scientists and environmental advocates is manifest in her teaching, which emphasizes the creation of opportunities for students to learn how to be effective in diverse, multi-disciplinary settings, and in the use of evidence-based pedagogy to inform environmental decision making.

Due in significant part to Trish’s leadership in developing public comments, in 2018 the Environment Section was presented with APHA’s award for advocacy. Trish continues to make substantial contributions towards environmental health policy and regulatory frameworks, and ongoing contributions to critical education for environmental literacy and advocacy make her an exceptional and deserving candidate for the Environment Section’s Distinguished Service Award!

October 2020: Newsletter for October 2020Read more

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January 2019: Accepting Applications: Center Scientist Announcement

The Michigan Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD) Center is accepting applications for two Center Scientists. The Center Scientist position provides special mentorship experiences to an early stage investigator and includes a contribution to salary and benefits. The Center Scientist is expected to engage in research that addresses the goals of the M-LEEaD Center to define, explain, or mitigate impacts of environmental exposures during vulnerable stages of life.

Application due date: March 18, 2019; expected funding period: May 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

Click here for the full announcement and application instructions


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August 2017: COEC Co-sponsored event, The Governor’s Environmental Justice Work Group Listening Session Listening Tour – Southeast Michigan Stop

The Environmental Justice Work Group begin in April 2017 and is working to develop and provide recommendations to the Governor that improves environmental justice awareness and engagement in state and local agencies. The Work Group will examine policy and recommend for implementation environmental justice guidance, training, curriculum, and policy that further increases quality of life for all Michiganders.

The members of the Governor’s Environmental Justice Work Group are interested in hearing directly from community members about how we can work together to improve our state around environmental justice.

Southeast Michigan Session will take place at:

Monday, August 7, 2017
5:30 PM Reception
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Listening Session
River Rouge High School
Coolidge Hwy, River Rouge, MI 48218

Please visit Michigan.gov for more information about this and other Environmental Justice Work Group Listening Sessions.

August 2017: Newsletter for August 2017Read more

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May 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Kestutis G. Bendinskas a valued M-LEEaD contributor from SUNY-Oswego!: “3 faculty earn awards for scholarly, creative activity”

In a new publication, NIEHS grantees describe a case study in multidirectional communication of environmental health science in community settings. The team emphasizes the benefits of partnerships with community groups and other stakeholders to enhance development of educational tools for Detroit area residents.

Kestas Bendinskas of chemistry and Juan Perdiguero of art have earned the President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity at SUNY Oswego, while Christopher Chandler of biological sciences received the Provost's Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity.

The President's Awards honor tenured faculty for exemplary mastery of subject matter, effectiveness in teaching, and scholarly and creative achievements; the Provost's Award similarly honors a junior faculty member. Awards will be formally presented at a date to be determined.

Read more at: https://www.oswego.edu/news/story/3-faculty-earn-awards-scholarly-creative-activity.

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March 2017: Case Study Highlights How Community Partnerships Inform Research Translation

In a new publication, NIEHS grantees describe a case study in multidirectional communication of environmental health science in community settings. The team emphasizes the benefits of partnerships with community groups and other stakeholders to enhance development of educational tools for Detroit area residents.

“Stakeholder partnerships are very powerful collaborations in a research effort. For example, when the community contributes to the direction of a project, it helps to ensure their overarching needs are met at the ground level. Research that embraces this approach can often be translated to action much more quickly than if it is done in isolation” said Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) Co-lead Donele Wilkins.

Read more at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/PEPH.

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The New York Times recently shared University of Michigan research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, on the Well Blog.

The research, led by neurologist Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., finds pesticide and other toxic environmental exposure could play a part in the onset of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a debilitating, progressive disease without a cure.

“This is the first and very important step to identifying what specific exposures are associated with ALS - to answering the ‘why me?’ question,” Feldman says.

February 2016: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, “Flint Drinking Water Crisis: Background and Next Steps”

In a 35-minute presentation, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha describes the background to the Flint water crisis, its health effects, and proposed next steps. A Q&A follows the talk. The event was attended by 500 people in the main SPH auditorium and four overflow rooms.