September 2021 | Center for Human Health and the Environment
Upcoming Events

Sept. 14: Toxicology/CHHE Seminar: Maria Rodgers, Immunotoxicolgy: Understanding Oil Spill Impacts and Looking into the Future 4:00pm zoom link
Sept 15: CHHE Pilot Project application deadline
Sept. 24: Find out Fridays: Carolyn Mattingly, Comparative Toxicogenomics Database 12:00pm zoom link
Oct. 1: Find out Fridays: Hannah Atkins, An Update on Pathology Services Available through UNC 12:00pm zoom link

The CHHE Mini-Retreat scheduled for Wed. Oct. 6 at Transfer Co. Food Hall from 3-6:00pm, has been CANCELLLED. Thank you all for completing the CHHE Mini-Retreat Participation Survey. It is clear that you all are looking forward to meeting and reconnecting with your CHHE colleagues but it is best that event is rescheduled.

Add the CHHE Google Calendar to your calendar to make sure you never miss an event or opportunity!
Please join us for Dr. Maria Rodgers seminar "Immunotoxicology: Understanding Oil Spill Impacts and Looking into the Future" on Sept. 14 at 4 pm zoom link
Maria Rodgers is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Connecticut.  Her current research focuses on building microfluidic “gut on chip” systems to precisely examine the interactions of immune cells and resident microbiota within fish intestines, and how stressors such as toxicants impact these interactions.  She is also interested in understanding the immunotoxic effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and is broadly interested in sea turtle immunology and disease research.  Maria holds a BS degree from the University of Miami in marine science and biology and a PhD from Clemson University in biological sciences. 
Find out Fridays

"Find Out Fridays" is a CHHE zoom event held at noon on Fridays of each monthThe purpose of these sessions is to provide CHHE members and their groups with an overview of 1) a CHHE service/benefit or 2) a topic of general interest to the CHHE membership. 

On certain Fridays at noon, a CHHE Leader/Navigator/Core Director/Member will provide a 10 minute overview of the capabilities/support/services of their core or topic of general interest. This will be followed by a 15-20 minute Q&A/discussion session. Please invite your graduate students, postdocs, and technicians. You and your group are invited to attend all sessions or just those sessions of interest. Presentations are recorded and available on the website.
If you have suggestions about future topics, please let us know.

Please join us on 
September 24 at noon to learn more about the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database and its usefulness for CHHE members. Carolyn Mattingly will present.
October 1 at noon to meet Hannah Atkins, the new CHHE pathologist. She’ll share an update on the Pathology Services at UNC.
Please join us for all sessions and seminars at: zoom link

Bring your questions!
RFA for Pilot Project Proposals $25K & $50K Fall 2021

NC State/NIEHS CHHE is soliciting applications for pilot project proposals for this fall. Applications are due on September 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm. EDT.

Individual awards will range upwards to $25,000 (direct costs) for one year and CHHE expects to fund up to five proposals. CHHE will also award up to two $50,000 proposals (direct costs) for dual-investigator, multi-disciplinary collaborative research which requires additional funding and separate budgets. CHHE full members can now use the STC Voucher Program Funds for STC services that are part of a CHHE PPP.  

The CHHE Pilot Project Program (PPP) fosters collaborations, increases interdisciplinary research and aids in the career development of early career investigators to advance environmental health research. The overarching goal of CHHE’s PPP is to provide support for research aimed at understanding the adverse impacts of environmental factors on human health and disease. The CHHE PPP encourages multidisciplinary/collaborative approaches and the use of CHHE’s cores and resources. The PPP has added a new program that supports community engaged projects. More details about the objectives of the PPP and RFA instructions can be found at
New Grants!

Congratulations to James Bonner and Carolyn Mattingly!

James Bonner was awarded a $2.25M NIEHS R01 grant entitled "Mechanisms of Nanoparticle Modulation of Allergic Lung Disease". This 5 year grant will involve collaboration with co-investigators at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill to investigate the mechanisms through which carbon nanotubes interact with house dust mite allergens, forming a biocorona that enhances allergen proteolytic activity and activation of a signaling cascade involving the protease-activated receptor (PAR2) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), resulting in increased severity of lung disease. The research topic is relevant to both the Pulmonary Health RIG and the Emerging Contaminants RIG within the CHHE.

Carolyn Mattingly
The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD; was awarded a U24 grant ($7M over 5 years, co-funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) through a new mechanism for Biomedical Knowledgebases. Established in 2004, CTD is a unique, publicly available resource that provides information about human exposures and their influence on our genes, biology, and health. This project will build on CTD's established infrastructure by expanding the data content and analysis capacity to provide new insights into the complex relationships between our environment and human diseases. The CTD team consists of Carolyn Mattingly (co-PI), Allan P. Davis (co-PI), Cindy Grondin, Tom Wiegers, Jolene Wiegers, Daniela Sciaky, Robin Johnson and Roy McMorran as well as our collaborators, Tony Planchart and David Reif.
Upcoming CHHE speakers

The Toxicology Seminar Series began on August 17, 2021 at 4:00pm. Some seminars will be in person and all seminars will be available via zoom: . CHHE is sponsoring four speakers throughout the semester:

Sept. 14: Maria Rodgers, Immunotoxicolgy: Understanding Oil Spill Impacts and Looking into the Future 4:00pm
Oct. 12: Carla Ng, PFAS Toxicokinetics: Navigating the Ins and Outs of Cells and Organisms *Sponsored by Emerging Contaminants RIG 4:00pm
Nov. 9: Yvonne Fondufe-Mitlendorf, Epigenetic Reprogramming in Response to an Environmental Toxicant 4:00pm
Nov. 16: Suzanne Martos, Single-Cell Approaches Reveal altered CD8+ T Cells in Smokers Indicating Immune Dysfunction and Premature Aging 4:00pm
*Sponsored by Environmental Epigenetics and Genetics RIG
Research Interest Group Updates

Environmental Epigenetics and Genetics Research Interest Group
Leaders: David Aylor and Mike Cowley

Suzanne Martos, Postdoctoral Fellow at NIEHS on November 16 at 4 pm.
Dr. Martos is the 2020 recipient of the Best Postdoctoral Publication Award from the Society of Toxicology, for her manuscript published in Cell Reports Medicine on the effects of tobacco smoke on the human immune system. In this paper, Dr. Martos described the use of single cell RNA-sequencing to identify a subpopulation of natural killer-like cells that is increased in smokers. Her work also demonstrates that smoking is associated with increased epigenetic aging and immune dysfunction.

Behavior and Neuroscience Interest Group
Leader: Emilie Rissman
This group will focus on research examining the influences of the environment on issues in Neuroscience. Examples of the environment include sensory, diet, behaviors, neurotoxicants, etc. Goals include increasing research collaborations, grant submissions, enhancing trainee presentation skills and our presence at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Pulmonary Interest Group
Leader: Vijay Sivaraman
This group will work to establish collaborations between basic and translational scientists and clinicians that are interested in understanding mechanisms behind environmental exposures and lung diseases. 

Emerging Contaminants Interest Group
Leader: Jane Hoppin

Carla Ng from the University of Pittsburgh will be joining us on October 12, 2021.
Dr. Ng's research focuses on developing models to understand the fate of legacy and emerging chemicals in the environment and in organisms, with a particular focus on waterborne chemicals. Her group has expertise in predicting the biological fate and potential hazards of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). They are also involved in model development to better characterize the cascading benefits of green infrastructure networks, particularly with respect to water quality and ecosystem benefits. RIG members can join her for lunch and have opportunities to meet with her throughout the day. More information to follow. Reach out to Jane Hoppin for more details or suggestions about the Emerging Contaminants RIG.
Employment Opportunities

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
The CHHE Website posts job openings in the environmental health sciences field.
Send us your postings for new jobs, email CHHE Program Manager, Michico James. It's a great place for students and post-docs to see new available positions.
Just posted includes a post-doctoral position in Khara Grieger's group in Interdisciplinary Risk Sciences and a post-doctoral position at NCCU in John Bang's group looking at ROS and Alzheimer's.
Cleaning out your lab?
Local schools can use your old lab supplies!

Local science teachers are in need of your old lab supplies! Before you send things to university surplus (or throw them away), send Katy May an email with a description of the item(s). There's a good chance that the teachers we work with in Wake and Durham counties will be able to use them in their classrooms, summer camps, and after school programs. 
Career Development:
Want some help with your grant?

All investigators, especially Early Stage Investigators, are encouraged to work with the Career Development Core to develop and refine their grants. Email to set up a chalk talk to help organize ideas for your next proposal.
Free Online Workshop
"The Art of Grant Writing"
Sept. 09 2:00pm

Michele Steinbach from NC State's Proposal Development Unit will lead a workshop on strategies and best practices for grant writing. She will use the CHHE Community Grant application as an example of how to tell a convincing story to funders, while addressing the required components of a grant proposal. 

Please remember to cite and acknowledge NIH award support and the CHHE’s P30 grant in future publications and presentations by including this –
“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P30ES025128. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

Publications citing the Center grant in the acknowledgements of a manuscript and in the deposit of the manuscript in NIHMS are the currency for the P30 renewal!!

CHHE Resources and Facilities Page for NIH Grants is available on the CHHE website.
PINS: Remember when submitting your grants, be sure to select "Center for Human Health and the Environment" as a center in PINS. Link to Additional Resources
CHHE Cited Publications
Click here to check them out!