CONTACT: DAN MCMILLAN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6835; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: July 11, 2001
Thorne to lead UI Environmental Health Sciences Research Center
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Environmental Health Sciences Research
Center (EHSRC), a multidisciplinary center focused on agricultural and rural
environmental exposures and health effects, is under new leadership.
Peter Thorne, Ph.D., professor of occupational and environmental health,
has been named director of the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center
(EHSRC), succeeding James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the College of
Public Health. Merchant directed the center from its inception in 1990.
"Dr. Thorne will provide excellent leadership for this core center,"
Merchant said. "Under his guidance, the EHSRC will continue to fulfill
its mission of investigating and addressing the environmental health issues
of concern to Iowans and others living in rural areas."
Thorne, an environmental toxicologist who trained at the University of Wisconsin
and the University of Pittsburgh, previously was the center's deputy director.
He also directs the EHSRC's Inhalation Toxicology Facility and the center's
pilot project grant program. He has been with the
UI since 1988.
Thorne's research interests include bioaerosol toxicology, pulmonary diseases,
evaluation and control of toxicants in agricultural and industrial settings,
and indoor air quality.
"I am extremely honored to have been selected to lead the EHSRC,"
Thorne said. "This center brings together leading UI researchers to address
many of the complex environmental health problems we face, problems such as
pesticide-induced cancer, environmental contaminants from agricultural operations,
and rural childhood asthma."
Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of
the National Institutes of Health, the EHSRC provides expertise and core facilities
to promote environmental health research at the UI. The EHSRC interacts with
other environmental health research units at the UI, including the Center
for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, the Center for Global and
Regional Environmental Research, and the University Hygienic Laboratory. The
center is based in the UI College of Public Health's department of occupational
and environmental health and includes 51 faculty from the UI Colleges of Public
Health, Medicine and Engineering.