September 2020: News and Updates
A monthly newsletter from the Center of Human Health and the Environment

Upcoming Events
9/18/20 Community Grant Program Deadline

9/28/20 Fall 2020 Pilot Project Deadline

9/29/20 CHHE & Toxicology Program Co-sponsored Seminar: Kathleen Gray, UNC "Engaging Lay Publics in Environmental Health Sciences Research & Education"
Seminar will be held via Zoom webinar:
September 2020 Monthly Wall Calendar_ 3D rendering isolated on white background
NC State University’s Center for Human Heath and the Environment (CHHE) is announcing its request for applications (RFA) for pilot project proposals for Fall 2020. Applications are due on September 28, 2020.  The earliest start date is mid-Dec. 2020 and CHHE expects to fund 6-8 projects. 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
Abstract pre-submission ( is encouraged but not required to determine if proposal topics are consistent with the mission of the CHHE. Individual awards will range up to $25,000 direct costs for one year. Questions can be directed to Dr. Jamie Bonner (, Director of CHHE PPP.
Paper Highlight

Kwiatkowski C, Andrews D, Birnbaum L, Bruton T, DeWitt J, Knappe D, Maffini M, Miller M, Pelch K, Reade A, Soehl A, Trier X, Venier M, Wagner C, Wang Z, and Blum A. 2020. The scientific basis for managing PFAS as a chemical class. Environmental Science and Technology Letters:
CHHE members Jamie DeWitt and Detlef Knappe both coauthored a recent publication that presented the scientific basis for managing all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as a single chemical class. This commentary included coauthors from academia, non-profit organizations, and regulatory agencies and highlighted the multiple lines of evidence accumulated for well-studied PFAS that all PFAS have the characteristics of persistence, bioaccumulation, mobility, and/or toxicity. Persistence, or recalcitrance to environmental or biological degradation is a common feature of all PFAS or terminal degradation products of those PFAS that do degrade – into other PFAS – and means that remediation of contaminated areas may take decades to centuries. Cancer, immunotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, liver toxicity, and endocrine disruption are among the health effects associated with the relatively small number of PFAS that have been studied toxicologically. As the number of identified PFAS grows – some estimates list over 7,000 individual PFAS – assessing and managing their risks chemical-by-chemical is inadequate. This publication discusses PFAS characteristics and outlines how a class-based approach is a scientifically justified approach to reduce the potential hazards posed by PFAS.
Welcome New Member
Andy Baltzegar, Genomic Sciences LaboratoryFull membership

Shobhan Gaddameedhi, Department of Biological Sciences, Full membership

Deepak Kumar, Director of BBRI, NCCU,Full membership

Owen Duckworth, Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Full membership

Jessica Islam, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Affiliate membership
Listen to member Khara Grieger - The Measure of Everyday Life: The Unseen World of Food Nanotechnology. Podcast interview, released September 2, 2020. Listen here.

Congradulations Carresse Gerald, NCCU was awarded a two-year long student training fund from NSF-HBCU UP program ($200,000.00)

Suzanne Lea is PI on COVID-19 study being conducted among ECU students through fall semester 2020. Blood is being tested for immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and Nasopharyngeal swabs are being tested for COVID-19 disease among 300 undergraduate and graduate students. Funding is from the North Carolina General Assembly COVID-19 Recovery Act awarded to the Brody School of Medicine.
We want your good news! Please send it to Jackie Broughton or Jane Hoppin.
Suzanne Lea is Co-PI on a $500,000 grant from NC DHHS with ECU, UNC-CH, and Duke University Medical Center. The goal is to estimate COVID-19 disease and seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Pitt, Chatham, and Cabarrus Counties, respectively, through flu season 2021.

Community Engagement
In August, the CEC hosted three webinars on grant writing, program, evaluation, and logic models, and 160 participants from community-based organizations and other stakeholder groups attended. The webinars helped build the grant-writing capacity of groups applying to the CHHE Community Grant Program ahead of the September 18 deadline. 
Interest Groups News
Environmental Epigenetics and Genetics Interest Group
Leaders: David Aylor and Mike Cowley
This group will build a community of faculty, staff and students interested in the mechanisms and consequences of interactions between the environment and the epigenome. We will discuss current trends, exchange ideas, share technical knowledge, and foster collaborations with the goal of addressing outstanding questions in the field.

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
LeaderVijay 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. We will hold meetings at both NCSU and ECU to facilitate exchange of ideas and expertise that will result in interdisciplinary groups that can apply for external funding opportunities.

Emerging Contaminants Interest Group
Leader: Jane Hoppin
Are you studying PFAS, BMAA, green space, nanoparticles, other emerging topics of interest? If so, think about joining the Emerging Contaminants Research Interest Group. 
Career Development
All investigators but particularly Early Stage Investigators are encouraged to work with the Career Development Core in development of their grants. Talk to Nanette Nascone-Yoder to set up a chalk talk to help organize ideas for your next proposal.
Remember to cite our CHHE grant P30ES025128 in publications if CHHE has provided you services, facility core use, seed/pilot project funds etc. NIH tracks this as an important CHHE metric.
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.

CHHE Cited Publications 

Click here to check them out!