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CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
5203 Westlawn
(319) 335-9647
e-mail: debra-venzke@uiowa.edu

Release: July 16, 2002

UI researchers receive $130,000 to study environmental health

University of Iowa investigators have been awarded a total of $130,000 in pilot grants by the UI Environmental Health Sciences Research Center (EHSRC) to conduct innovative environmental health-related research.

The EHSRC, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, annually awards pilot project grants to enhance and promote training in the environmental health sciences. The pilot grant program is open to all UI researchers interested in environmental health, with priority given to junior investigators.

"One of the goals of the pilot grant program is to help advance the careers of talented junior investigators by nurturing innovative ideas and creating opportunities for further grant support and publication," said Peter Thorne, Ph.D., EHSRC director and UI professor of occupational and environmental health.

Three grant programs are available to applicants: environmental health research, community-based participatory research and international environmental health research. International programs are funded up to $10,000 and other program categories are funded up to $20,000. In some cases additional funds may be available if the pilot grant recipients use EHSRC facilities to provide support services and expertise.

Following are the 2002 grant recipients and the titles of their research projects:

• Bryan Boulanger, graduate student; Jerald Schnoor, Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Keri Hornbuckle, Ph.D., associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; "Environmental Exposure Assessment of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate in Various Environmental Matrices."

• Caroline George, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics; Katarina Kulhankova, M.D., research assistant, occupational and environmental health; and Peter Thorne, Ph.D., professor of occupational and environmental health; "Effects of Early Life Endotoxin Inhalation on Murine Hyperresponsiveness in Adulthood."

• Brad Lester, graduate student; Peter Thorne, Ph.D., professor of occupational and environmental health; Aaron Peck, graduate student; Keri Hornbuckle, Ph.D., associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; Kelley Donham, D.V.M., professor of occupational and environmental health; Patrick O'Shaughnessy, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational and environmental health; and David Osterberg, associate professor of occupational and environmental health; "Ambient Air Quality in the Vicinity of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations."

• Shannon Marquez, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational and environmental health; Ousman Sowe, The Gambia College School of Public Health; and D.M.B. Jagne, The Gambia College School of Public Health; "Application of an RA/GIS Methodology to Evaluate Sanitary Risk Factors and Water-Related Diseases (The Gambia, West Africa)."

• Leslie Dennis, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology; Linda Snetselaar. Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology; and Peter Thorne, Ph.D., professor of occupational and environmental health; "Understanding Selenium Levels in Iowa and Their Association with Prostate Cancer."

• Catherine Woodman, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry; Greg Couser, M.D., medical resident; and Donald Black, M.D., professor of psychiatry; "Association Between Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Anxiety Disorders."

• Sigurdur Sigurdarson, M.D., pulmonary fellow, internal medicine; Joel Kline, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine; and Patrick O'Shaughnessy, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational and environmental health; "Exposure of Grain Dust and Ammonia to Asthmatic Subjects: A Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Model."

The EHSRC provides expertise and core facilities to promote environmental health research at the UI. The center 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 Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and includes faculty from the UI Colleges of Public Health, Medicine and Engineering.