Department Notes Archive – 2007

Department Notes – 2007

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Dr. Russ Hauser became Acting Chair, and then Chair, of the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on September 1, 2016. Dr. Douglas Dockery was the Chair from 2005 – 2016.

Notes 12/7/2007

First, congratulations to Melissa Perry who became the proud mother of a baby boy on Thursday this week.  Details are limited but I’m told Melissa and her new son are doing well.

Congratulations to Joe Chang and Jeff Yanosky who successfully defended their doctoral dissertations in November.  Well done.

Don’t miss the chance to hear about Russ Hauser’s work as he will be presenting “Environmental Challenges to Fertility and Pregnancy:  The role of modern chemicals” next Friday, 12:45-1:45 in Kresge G-3.

On Thursday Louise Ryan and colleagues will lead a presentation at the EH Colloquium entitled “Environmental Statistics and Bioinformatics: The new Generation of Quantitative Research in Environmental Health” in Room 1302 at 3 p.m.  Note the change in the room. We gave up Kresge G-3 so it could be set up for the visit by President Drew Faust at 4:00.

Our coffee research continues but I believe I’m noticing a direct correlation between the 13th floor MIPS post-doc coffee consumption and productivity.  Gee…

Have a great weekend!


Notes – 11/19/2007

You probably have heard by now that Dean Barry Bloom announced he is stepping down at the end of the academic year ( I think President Faust’s email made clear the significant contributions Dean Bloom made to the school in his ten years of leadership.  It’s very difficult to always be successful in such a challenging job but Barry can look back at many successes over the past ten years.  Barry has had the difficult task of being our advocate to the University, and also the messenger from the administration. While we have not always been in agreement, I have found Barry to be an advocate and friend of the EH Department and a supportive colleague in my time as Chair. I am pleased that he will remain at the school as a member of our faculty. I hope you will join me in thanking Dean Bloom for his leadership over the past ten years.

Photos from the Whittenberger Symposium are now up on the web site.  The second link shows the photos from the symposium, poster session and reception. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger view of each photo.

To streamline the reservation process for the Department’s conference rooms in Building I (1302, 1306A and B), we have created an online reservation system using the Groupwise calendar.  Everyone in the department (faculty, students and staff) have been given access.  All current reservations have been transferred to the online system. Details were sent out by Barbara on Friday.  The system will be launched on today, November 19th.  If you have any questions, contact Barbara Zuckerman at ( or at 432-1471.

The Harvard University Center for the Environment is seeking six post-doctoral Environmental Fellows to begin September 2008. Environmental Fellows at Harvard will work for two years, supervised by a faculty host in any part of the University. These fellowships are highly competitive, and are targeted at innovative approaches to environmental problems.  For our doctoral students and fellows, there is an explicit expectation that “their research and host arrangements take them in new directions and forge new connections within the University. Harvard candidates should not propose to continue to work with the same professors or lab groups with whom they are currently associated. No candidate should propose to work extensively with his or her thesis advisor.”  If you are interested in applying, please give mea call so we can discuss how to you can optimize your chances o fsuccess. For complete details on the application process, fellowship requirements, and the 2007 Fellow are available at the Center’s website: Applications for the Environmental Fellowships are due on January 15,2008.  Accepted applicants will be announced in early April 2008.

I’ll be traveling next week returning December 3, 2007.  If you have items that need my attention before then please get them to Lisa (432-1270) by Wednesday of this week.


Notes – 10/16/2007

I hope you were able to attend the James L. Whittenberger symposium, “Environmental Genetics and Epigenetics”, on September 28, 2007.  Andrea Baccarelli and Bob Wright gave terrific presentations on their genetic and epigenetic research.  We were very pleased to welcome David Schwartz back to HSPH to give the James L. Whittenberger Lecture.

The posters were informative and very well done.  Jim Whittenberger would have been very proud of the work currently being done by all in the EH Department.  My thanks to all involved in putting the symposium together, particularly Ken Wenger, Lisa Smith, and Barbara Zuckerman. Note check for photos from this event on the EH web site later this week.

The memorial service on Saturday was a fine tribute to Jim and a lifetime of service to the improvement of the public health.  Thanks to Joe Brain for organizing such a fitting remembrance.

Congratulations to Birgit Claus Henn who has been awarded an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship.  These are highly competitive awards, and this is a great achievement by Birgit.

Behrooz Behbod and Maggie Parks are the new Department of Environmental Health representatives for the Student Government.  They welcome input from all students and faculty on any issues or ideas you would like them to raise. They can be contacted at and

The quest for the perfect Department coffee machine continues. Please stop by the 13th floor kitchenette and try out the new Flavia coffee/tea machine!  We will have a three-day trial from Monday, October 22 through Wednesday, October 24 in the afternoon. There will be several flavors of coffee and tea, including cappuccinos that so many of you love!  Let us know what you think about this machine. You can leave comments on the white board or email Lisa Smith (

Lisa also asked that I remind those using the conference rooms to please return them to the setup you found them in when you leave.  In particular, please make sure that all the computers, displays, and projectors are turned off.

We are glad to have Ken back in the office after his two week vacation to northern Italy.  Somehow we managed to muddle through without him.  We also are glad to have Lisa back, who has been out with a serious oral infection.

I also have been in and out over the past two week.  Our family lost my wife Jeanne’s dad last week to heart failure.  We were fortunate to have him home receiving hospice care at our house on the Cape.  He was well prepared for this transition, and even had written his own obituary.


Notes – 9/26/2007

We are looking forward to the ENVIRONMENTAL GENETICS & EPIGENETICS Symposium on Friday.  We will start with an Introduction to Epigenetics by Dr. Andrea Baccarelli followed by  a description of Genetics &Epigenetic Studies of Neurodevelopment in Children presented by Dr. Robert Wright.  After a break and refreshments, Dr. David Schwartz will present the 10th James L. Whittenberger Lecture on Epigenetics and Environmental Asthma.  After the Whittenberger Lecture you are invited to a reception and poster viewing in the Kresge Cafeteria.

For those of presenting posters, please set up your poster(s) in the Kresge Cafeteria room 101  sometime between 1:00 and 3:30 pm.  There is room for a few more posters. If you have a poster you would like to display, or if you have any questions, contact Barbara Zuckerman at or at 432-1471.

Congratulations to Alexey Fedulov who was awarded a K99 ‘Pathway to Independence’ Award by the NIEHS for his project entitled “Inhaled environmental particles, pregnancy and neonatal allergy”. This is a highly competitive grant program that provides 5 years of funding, two with mentorship and the final three as an independent phase with ‘portable’ funding to assist transition to a tenure-track faculty position.

Congratulations also to David Lee who presented and successfully defended his doctoral dissertation “Effect of Computer Input Device Designs on Hand Biomechanics and Motor Control” last Friday.

Several of the students are proposing to form an Environmental Health Student Organization here at HSPH. The organization would address issues defined by the members including hosting a student discussion forum, inviting outside speakers to present on topics of interest to members and hosting a web site with relevant student information (i.e. job fairs, conferences, speakers, etc.). Neha Mukhi is coordinating this initiative.  If you are interested in participating please contact Nehaat

See you Friday at the Symposium!


Notes – 9/10/2007

I am back from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology(ISEE) meetings in Mexico City last week. The meeting was organized and hosted by our colleagues (and HSPH graduates) Mauricio Hernandez-Avilia and Isabelle Romieu, with help from Francine Laden (Secretary Treasurer of the ISEE) and Joel Schwartz (ISEE Councilor). While there were presentations and posters on the full range of environmental problems, two topics stood out – air pollution and metal exposures.  I was veryproud of the high visibility that research from our department received at this meeting.  Congratulations to Jennifer Cavallari, Carrie Breton, Shona Fang, and Amar Mehta who received scholarships based on the quality of their abstracts.

On Friday night we had a dinner for about 50 EH faculty, students, fellows, graduates and friends attending the meeting.  This year we met in an amazing, but informal outdoor restaurant overlooking the main square (zocalo) in Mexico City (the Plaza de la Constitución). This annual dinner is one of the highlights of the meeting for me. For some attending, the highlight appeared to be embarrassing the senior faculty. I expect that there are some interesting pictures circulating. Thanks to Adrienne Ettinger who organized this event.

The department will be hosting the James L. Whittenberger Lecture on September 28 here at HSPH.  David Schwartz, a graduate of our MPH program in occupational health, will be presenting the Whittenberger lecture entitled “Epigenetics and Environmental Asthma”.  Andrea Baccarelli and Bob Wright will also be presenting and a poster session and reception will follow.  If you have a poster to present, please send the title to Barbara Zuckerman (, 2-1471) by Friday, September 15th.

Amy Gerson joined us this week as our new Associate Director of Finance.  Amy will be responsible for department financial planning, forecasting, reporting and tracking. She will provide financial management support to the programs and assist the department executive committee with strategic financial planning. She joins us from MGH and prior to that she worked at Harvard Medical School so she is familiar with Harvard systems.  Amy’s office is in room 1304 and her number is 432-2109.  Amy joins Barbara Zuckerman and Lisa Smith to complete the staffing of our department office.  Stop by and say hello.

While you are up on the 13th floor please try the coffee machine in the “Tea Room” opposite the department office.  Lisa has taken on the challenge of finding the optimum coffee maker, and she currently has an espresso machine for a one week trial.  She welcomes your feedback on the current trial.  (Hope she filled out the human subject forms!)


Notes – 8/29/2007

Orientation started this week, and we are excited to welcome our 23 new students.  We have 10 Master of Science students, 12 Doctor of Science students and one student entering a one year residency program.  There are ten students from the United States, three from Mexico, two each from Lebanon and Taiwan and one each from Cyprus, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, UK/Iran and Serbia/Montenegro.

Speaking of the new academic year, we want to welcome Barbara Zuckerman who started yesterday as our Academic Administrator.  Barbara is new to Harvard, but has worked in academic administration at Johns Hopkins, Emory, the University of Texas in Austin, and Northwestern.  Ken and I will be showing Barbara around the Department, and hope to get a chance to introduce you.  But please feel free to come by Room 1301 and introduce yourself to her.  Barbara can be reached at 3-1471.

The PREMUS 2007 International Conference on Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders is currently underway at the Conference Center on Avenue Louis Pasteur.   The meeting was over subscribed with more than 450 attendees from 36 countries.  I have been able to stop by briefly, and the meeting appears to be a great success.  Three of our students have presented their results, including Joe Chang who was one of the five winners of the “Best Student Abstract”.  Jack Dennerlein put a huge effort into organizing this meeting.  Congratulations and thanks to Jack, Glenn Pranksy who was also on the organizing committee, and to everyone else who has helped make this Conference so successful.

Please keep the afternoon of Friday, September 28st on your calendar for the James Whittenberger Symposium.  We will be honoring Dr. Whittenberger who was the founding director of our NIEHS Environmental Health Center in 1964, and Chair of our Department of Physiology from 1948 to 1980. Dr. Whittenberger died earlier this year at age 93.    We will hold a memorial service for Dr. Whittenberger on Saturday, September 29th.

The theme of this symposium will be the “Epigenetic Effects of Environmental Exposures”.  The program will include an introductory talk on epigenetics by Dr. Andrea Baccarelli, and a description of current epigenetic studies in our Center by Dr. Robert Wright.  After a break, we would have the Whittenberger Lecture.  This will then be followed by a reception with viewing of posters.  This would be a great opportunity to kick off the new academic year by showing your posters from recent conferences.  Let my assistant, Lisa Smith, know if you have a poster to present.

Many of us are heading off to the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology meeting in Mexico City next week.  This is one of those events where we see many of our former students and fellows.  In addition, it is a forum where our research activities really stand out.

With the new academic year, it is time to update the distribution list for thee notes.  If you get these and want to be off the list, or if you do not get them and would like to be on the list, please e-mail Lisa Smith (



Notes – 8/21/2007

I returned back from Switzerland over the week-end. I returned to find the department still in good order, and my office barely recognizable for its neatness.  My new assistant Lisa Smith has taken it as a personal challenge to bring order to my office.  I was concerned that she seemed a little too eager for me to leave on this trip. Nevertheless, no damage was done, and everything is findable. Thanks Lisa.

I have received two very bits of news since getting back.  Yesterday, Dr. David Schwartz announced that he is stepping aside as Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, during an independent review of these programs ordered by Dr. Zerhouni. You can find additional details in Science News (

In an e-mail sent to NIEHS investigators, David said; “As you know, there have been recent inquiries by members of Congress and others regarding certain activities and management decisions at the National Institute on Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP).  Dr. Zerhouni has responded to these inquiries and is taking appropriate action to ensure that the issues being raised are reviewed and, if necessary, properly addressed.”

“To ensure the independent nature of the review, while it is being conducted, I will temporarily step aside as Director of the NIEHS and NTP.  During this period, I will … continue to serve as Chief, Laboratory of Environmental Lung Disease, NHLBI.”

“Although this development is personally painful, I am committed to a full and comprehensive review of the management of NIEHS/NTP.”

David is a graduate of our Master of Occupational Health program, and has been a good friend of the Department. He led the External Review of the Department two years ago.

This morning I received a copy of a press release from the California Air Resources Board ( our friend and colleague Henry Gong died last week.  Henry hasbeen one of the leaders in air pollution research, particularly inclinical studies.  Many of us just saw Henry last month at a meeting inNorth Carolina.  I will let you know as I learn more details.


Notes – 7/30/2007

We are at the end of July and the second summer term has begun which must mark mid-summer.  I hope everyone has taken or has plans to take a well deserved vacation break.

Jim Shine was back at the Tar Creek Children’s Study site in Oklahoma last week, examining the effects of the recent flooding.  The Children’s Study has been examining the exposures of children to heavy-metals from the huge mine waste (chat) piles in the community.  Six weeks ago Jim led a team which sampled metal contamination in the Tar Creek flood plain.  Since then there has been massive flooding of the Neosho River.  Jim organized a quick follow-up to retest the same sites they had tested before the flooding.  This will allow separation of the heavy-metal contamination from the mine waste from that due to river sediment.  This was a terrific effort by Jim to get this organized, reviewed and approved (IRB), funded, and accomplished so quickly.  These efforts were greatly appreciated by the community; see the front page article in the Joplin Globe.   Well done Jim! We are looking forward to seeing the results.

Last week we finally got signage on the glass doors to the Department office.  We have been surprised at how many incidents we have had of people walking into the glass.  Deep in thought I presume.  Hopefully the signage will prevent more of that.

On Wednesday Lisa Smith will join our team in the Department Office as my new Executive Assistant.  Lisa has been working in private enterprise with a strong background in customer support. Please introduce yourself and welcome her to the academic environment. Thanks to Christian Halmi who has done a terrific job of filling in this position over the past month.

On Tuesday I will be talking about Boston Air Pollution in the Hot Topics series.   This will be largely a repeat of the talk I gave in the HSPH Community Forum in January.  However,  I do not plan a reprise of the exploding projector in the middle of my presentation that we experienced in January.

Have a good week.


Notes – 7/20/2007

Last month at the 100th Annual Conference of the Air and Waste Management Association in Pittsburgh, Jack Spengler received the Lyman A. Ripperton Award for distinguished achievement as an educator in air pollution control. It is awarded to “an individual, who by precept and example, has inspired students to achieve excellence in all their professional and social endeavors. It recognizes the abilities that only a few in the education profession possess — to be able to teach with rigor, humor, humility, and pride. The recipients of this award are representative of the educators we would have chosen if we had a choice. They are known by the accomplishments of their students.”  I had the good fortune to be one of Jack’s first doctoral students.  I want to thank Jack personally for his mentoring over my many years here at HSPH, and to thank him for all of us for his outstanding service as a teacher, advisor, and mentor.  Congratulations Jack on this well-deserved award.

Jack came to the Department as a MS student in 1971.  David Leith was his fellow student who went on to complete a ScD studying fabric filtration of particles.  David was on our faculty for several years before moving to the University of North Carolina where he is now Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.  David has been hiking in the White Mountains, and will stop by on Monday, July 23rd to give a seminar on his “Passive Sampler for Aerosols” (10:30, Landmark, 4th Floor Conference Room).  Hope you can come by, greet David, and hear about his current research.

There was a nice piece in US News and World Report on a recent article by Jane Burns (research fellow in EOME) reporting that teens with low dietary intake of fruits and vegetables were more likely to report coughing, wheezing, episodes of bronchitis, and asthma, and to have lower lung function.

Have a great weekend.


Notes – 7/6/2007

I hope everyone enjoyed the July 4th festivities and had the opportunity to be creative with time off during the week.  The Wednesday holiday made for some interesting work schedules.  It also felt like the week had two Mondays.  Thankfully it will be awhile before the 4th falls on a Wednesday again.

July is a busy month for our administrators and financial staff in particular.  Thanks to all working so diligently on the Fiscal Year close.  The first close-out was yesterday.  I think few of us realize how much effort goes into this.  Please support your administrators as they complete this challenging and vital process.  Second close is July 12 and third close July 19th.

I haven’t mentioned our renovations lately but be assured that we continue to make progress.  The third floor is complete and Stephanie Shore and her staff are settling into their new lab and office space.  The current construction on the 13th floor is on schedule for a Labor Day completion.  After Labor Day we begin the two relatively small final phases on 13 to complete the job.  I look forward to the MIPS folks getting resettled on 13 before we move on to work on the 14th floor.

Our newest faculty member, Dr. Quan Lu joined the MIPS program as a assistant professor this week.  Dr. Lu has a B.S. and M.S. in Zoology and Virology at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Iowa State University. He has been conducting post-doctoral research in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University in Stanley Cohen’s laboratory. His interests include molecular mechanisms of protein trafficking and receptor signaling in mammalian cells and the use of genetic screening approaches to study how pathogens and environmental agents cause cellular dysfunction. Dr. Lu is moving this week into the lab and office space adjacent to Stephanie Shore.

Christian Helmi has joined us as a Temporary Executive Assistant in the Department Office while we fill our open positions.  He can be reached at 432-1270.

One additional new arrival. Howard Hu and Sudha are the happy parents of a baby boy, Arjun Vijay Liang Hu, born June 14.  See attached picture.  Congratulations.

Have a great weekend, the summer heat is back!


Notes – 6/25/2007

Greetings from Cyprus! I arrived Tuesday evening to teach for a couple weeks and have enjoyed reconnecting with the faculty and students here at the Cyprus International Institute. I was particularly happy to see two of the students, Behrooz Behbod and Rima Habre who will be starting as doctoral students at HSPH in the fall.

Also nice to see Nicos Mittleton and Ezgi Alhum here. Nicos has been a post-doctoral fellow in EER for the past year. Ezgi graduated from our Master of Science program earlier this month. Both now working at the Cyprus Institute. Ezgi is a Turkish Cypriot. Twice a day she crosses the border, which is only a few hundred meters from the Institute, to get to work. Everyday someone teases her, asking how the weather is in her country.

Joel Schwartz and I are teaching Environmental Epidemiology. Joel taught the first seven lectures, and I am giving eight classes through the end of this week. Then Stephanos Kales and David Christiani will be teaching Occupational Health the following two weeks. Simultaneously our friend Lance Wallace has been leading an exposure assessment class.

The weather has been warm. The high temperature today was 38 degrees Centigrade (100 degrees F). However, reasonably dry. More importantly I have not seen a cloud since I arrived.

In Boston the end of June is a time of transitions for us. Frieda Marsh, Susan Pollak, and Katondra Murphy will be leaving the department this week. Katondra has been the smiling face of the department office for the last seven years. Susan has been managing the finances of the department office for ten years, but has been at the University for over 26 years. Frieda has had many roles in the department during her 34 years of service, most recently serving as our Academic Administrator. We are very grateful to all of them for their dedicated and loyal years of service.

This is also the last week for Ken Olden who has been our first Yerby Visiting Professor. It has been such a treat to have him here at the school and he has set the bar high for future Yerby Professors. I have valued the opportunity to have him across the hall as a colleague and confidant. He has been a terrific source of wisdom and counsel for me, our faculty, fellows, and students. If you have not taken advantage of the chance to meet with Ken, I would advise you to try to squeeze yourself into his calendar. His door always seems to be open.

Melissa Perry also formally assumes her new role as Associate Professor of Occupational Epidemiology on July 1st. You can find a spotlight on her on the EH home page. Congratulations Melissa and keep up the good work.

Next week we will also be welcoming Dr. Quan Lu, a new Assistant Professor in the MIPS program. Look for a web page spotlight on him soon.

Have a good week!



Notes – 6/11/2007

Commencement on Thursday was a great event.  Altogether we awarded 12 Doctor of Science degrees, 1 Doctor of Philosophy, 9 Masters of Science, and 2 Masters of Occupational Health.  My job on Thursday was to read off the names of the Doctor of Science recipients, congratulate the other degree recipients, and not fall asleep on stage (or at least not on camera).  It’s not heavy lifting, but the pressure is on to make sure you don’t mess up anyone’s name, especially considering that their families have so anxiously awaited this event and hearing their loved one recognized. While I have known these new graduates for several years now, I still stumbled once. If you are curious who tripped me up, watch the tape on the school web site. I think I was forgiven.  However, if I start calling you by your first, middle, and last name, it is only in preparation for next year.


In other transitions, Frieda Marsh will be leaving the Environmental Health Department at the end of this month after 34 years. Harvard is fortunate to have many long service employees but few have worked in the same department for their entire careers.  Frieda has been the rock of this department and it’s predecessors since she first came to Harvard.  That’s a lot of students, faculty and visitors that have been greeted and supported by Frieda. Note I didn’t say retire, a word that is not in Frieda’s vocabulary!  Her plans aren’t final but you can be sure she will be very busy and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her helping out at future graduations and other events.

Katondra Murphy will also be leaving at the end of the month.  Katondra has been the always cheerful face of the Department for the last seven years.  She has been my right hand since I became Department Chair almost two years ago.  It won’t be the same without Katondra and Frieda running the “front office”.  Join us on Friday June, 15 at 3:30 in the Kresge cafeteria as we say goodbye and thank them for years of loyal service to the Department.

On Tuesday, June 12 in Building 1 Room 1302, Diane Gold will speak at our final EH Colloquium of the year.  Her talk is entitled “T cell regulation at birth–can it be related to in utero environmental exposures?”  Note the Tuesday date is a departure from our normal Thursday dates. Thanks to all our presenters for making this years EH Colloquia particularly informative and educational.

Next Monday I am heading off to Cyprus to teach at our International Institute for Environmental and Public Health for two weeks.  If you need something signed before the end of the month, please try to get it to our office before Friday.  Ken will of course be able to help you while I am away.

Have a great week!

Notes – 6/1/2007

The big tent should be going up this week-end as we begin preparations for graduation next Thursday. I have always looked forward to the commencement ceremonies and consider congratulating the graduates as one of the best parts of my job.  Our students have been preparing for this day for years and we congratulate them on reaching this goal. This year we have thirteen who have earned a Doctor of Science and eight who have earned a Master of Science.

Doctor of Science in Environmental Health:
Jennifer Adibi, Lope Barrero, Lisa Baxter, Jennifer Cavallari, Robin Dodson, Karen Lachmayr, Christopher Lewis, Chen-yu Liu, Pradeep Rajan, Ami Zota

Doctor of Science Environmental Health and Epidemiology:
John McCracken, Cathyrn Tonne

Doctor of Science in Health Policy and Management and Environmental Health:
Katherine von Stackelberg

Master of Science in Environmental Health:
Ezgi Alhum, Juan Barrera Cordero, Shelley Ehrlich, Victoria Jackson, Rebecca Moran, Ramon Sanchez Pina, Kayo Shibata, Jodi Smith

Each of our graduates has the talent, intelligence, and the skills necessary to make a meaningful contribution to improving public health.  I know all our faculty and staff, and the other students join in congratulating our graduates.  We are proud of your achievement and are confident you will accomplish great things in the future. Well done and congratulations to you and your families.  I look forward to sharing the festivities with you on Thursday.

Speaking of accomplishments, we were excited to hear from Melissa Curran (nee Veno) that she had delivered a new baby girl, Gretchen Elizabeth (7 lbs 15 oz) on Wednesday morning.

Enjoy the weekend!


Notes – 5/21/2007

Lots of good news as our faculty and students are recognized for their outstanding work….

Dr. Melissa Perry has been promoted to Associate Professor of Occupational Epidemiology.  Melissa is currently in New Zealand working on farm worker occupational health issues.   Join me in congratulating her in person when she returns next week.

Congratulations to Dr. Alexey Federov, who was appointed Research Scientist.

Also congratulations to our student winners of the Faculty Council Poster Exhibit!

First prize in the student category ($500 prize) went to Shona Fang, (EOME), for Vascular responses to metal-rich particulate matter: acute changes in arterial stiffness among welders, with Ellen Eisen, Jennifer Cavallari, Murray Mittleman, and David Christiani

Student authors receiving honorable mention included Carlo Bartoli, MIPS, for Mechanisms of particulate air pollution-induced arterial blood pressure changes, with Gregory Wellenius, Edgar Diaz, Joy Lawrence, Brent Coull, Ichiro Akiyama, Lani Lee, Tracy Katz, Kanzunori Okabe, Richard Verrier, and John Godleski

Postdoc authors receiving honorable mention included Yen-Tsung Huang, EOME, for Genome-wide survival analysis in early stage non-small cell lung cancer using GeneChip 250K Nsp array, with Zhaoxi Wang, Lucian Chirieac, Michael Wu, Xihong Lin, Wei Zhou, Matthew Kulke, Rebecca Heist, Li Su, Kofi Asomaning, and David Christiani

Many members of our Department are at the American Thoracic Society meeting in San Francisco.  I noted last week Alexey Federov and Robin Puett had their abstracts highlighted in the Final Program and received travel awards for this meeting.  In addition Shakira Franko Suglia received this same recognition for her abstract.  We also learned last week that Shakira received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to analyze data from a national birth cohort (Fragile Families and Child Well being Study) to look at stress in relation to children’s health.  Well done Shakira!

Stacey Ackerman-Alexeeff, a research assistant working with Dr. Joel Schwartz Stacey, was selected to receive a Gertrude Cox Scholarship Honorable Mention Award from the American Statistical Association.  Stacey will receive this award at the ASA meeting in July.

As I mentioned last week, I was in Washington, DC over the weekend for my son’s graduation from George Washington University.  I flew down on the same plane with our former Dean and Provost, Harvey Fineberg.   I was surprised and delighted to learn that he was receiving an honorary degree from George Washington on Sunday.

Have a great week as we all look forward to a long Memorial Day weekend!!


Notes – 5/14/2007

The end of the term is here as classes end this week. Students are finishing up final projects and preparing for final exams.   Students, faculty, and the teaching assistants are all looking forward to the end of the semester and having an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather outside.  Good luck to all as you put the finishing touches on a semester of hard work.

Speaking of finishing up, my son is doing just that as he graduates from college next weekend.  Due to his graduation I’ll miss the American Thoracic Society Meeting that starts at the end of the week in San Francisco.  Our Department always has good visibility at this meeting. I’ll have to depend on some of you who are attending to fill me in on the presentations by our faculty, fellows, and alumni.

However, we already know that Alexey Fedulov, Research Associate in Les Kobzik’s laboratory, has earned two distinctions for his abstract entitled “Allergen-Naive CD11c+ Dendritic Cells from Neonates of Asthmatic Mothers Transfer Increased Allergic Susceptibility.”  This paper provides new insights into the cellular mechanisms by which offspring of asthmatic mothers have greater susceptibility to asthma.

Alexey received a travel award based on the merit of the abstract from the Assembly on Allergy, Immunology and Inflammation. In addition the ATS International Conference Committee has highlighted his abstract in the Final Program as an example of the focus and quality of the original research presented at the conference. Congratulations Alexey!

Robin Puett, a Research Associate working with Francine Laden, has also earned a travel award and had her abstract “Particulates, mortality and cardiovascular disease in the Nurses Health Study” highlighted in the Final Program.  Her abstract focuses on the association of monthly PM10 with death from all causes and incident fatal MI in the Nurses’ Health Study.

This Wednesday at 12:30 at Landmark we will have a special guest lecture on “Children’s Health and the Environment: The Problem and the Solution” by Phil Landrigan. Phil is Chairman of the Department of Community & Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, but more importantly is Instructor in our Department. It is nice to have him back here briefly.

Enjoy the week!


Notes – 5/7/2007

On April 25th, Ann Backus testified on safety in the commercial fishing industry in Washington, D.C. before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation.  Based on her work with the New England fishing industry, Ann highlighted the generic lack of safety training for fisherman.  She also appealed for consistency in the regulatory safety equipment requirements for fishing vessels registered with the state and those registered with the federal government.  We appreciate, and the New England fishermen certainly appreciate Ann’s continuing concern and advocacy for safety in this dangerous industry.

The Department was well represented at the Poster Day on Friday.  I tried to get around to see all the EH posters, but ran out of time.  Thanks to all the students, post-docs and staff who presented their work.

There was a well-deserved pre-“Cinco de Mayo’ celebration on Friday for Xavier Trepat, Jeff Fredberg, and their co-workers who had their paper “Universal physical responses to stretch in the living cell” accepted in Nature.  Congratulations.

The NIEHS Environmental Health received 17 pilot project applications last week, which might be a record.  It also might be an indication of the tough funding climate.  Nevertheless, we are happy to see so many creative ideas.  Thanks to Melissa Veno and Henry Terwedow who are working to get these applications processed and sent out to reviewers.

Note that the NIOSH-funded Harvard Education and Research Center (ERC) is also accepting pilot project proposals.  The deadline is May 30th. If you need a copy of the announcement, please contact Tatyana Varshavsky (

On Wednesday, Dr. Alexandra Shields, Director of the Harvard / MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations and Health Disparities will be speaking at the Gene-Environment breakfast, 8 AM in Kresge 110.   Her talk might be of interest to people outside of the normal participants in this working group.

In construction related activities, Phase III on the 13th floor of Building 1 is down to the final punch list items and Phase IV demolition began today.    On the third floor contractors ran into delays on Phase II that will result in occupancy being pushed back until June.  Thanks to Stephanie Shore for her continued patience and understanding!


Notes – 4/27/2007

There seems to be a general sigh of relief throughout the campus and a lot of empty champagne bottles around!  Congratulations to Jennifer Adibi, Lope Barrero,  Lisa Baxter, Jennifer Cavallari, Chen-Yu Liu, Robin Dobson, Karen Lachmayr, and Ami Zota who all successfully defended their doctoral research this week. Their final task is to get bound copies of their signed dissertations into the Registrar’s office by next Wednesday.  We are looking forward to adding these to the impressive collection we have outside the Conference rooms on the 13th floor.

A couple of IMPORTANT reminders: Tomorrow there will be an electrical power shutdown between 5:00 AM and 7:00 PM here at HSPH. You will not be allowed in any of the main campus buildings. Operations will supply emergency generator power to critical operations. If you are responsible for equipment that should not be shut down and you aren’t sure if Operations is aware of your need contact them directly at 2-1152. Everyone should shut down computers, monitors, printers, copiers and all other electrical equipment as a precaution at close of business today.

For those of you at Landmark, or planning to work at home, you should expect that all IT network services also will be down including email and Novell file access.

Secondly, all NIEHS Center Pilot Project applications need to be submitted to Henry Terwedow (FXB-101) by Tuesday, May 1st.

Hoping for another sweep of the Yankees.


Notes – 4/20/2007

All else pales this week in comparison with the events on the Virginia Tech campus.  Our hearts go out to the families of those senselessly murdered and our academic colleagues, students, faculty and administrators alike at VT.  Campuses across the country and the world have come together to express their outrage and offer condolences. Candlelight vigils, memorial services, letters of condolences, an unending list of expressions of heartfelt sympathy to those in pain continue.   I hope we all can find some solace in the good that inevitably comes from all tragedy.

Here we are finally seeing the first signs of spring.  Academically, we are seeing signs that the end of the academic year and graduation are approaching.  Next week we have nine of our doctoral students defending their theses.

Monday: Ami Zota, Lisa Baxter, Karen Lachmayr, and Chen-Yu Liu.
Tuesday: Jennifer Cavallari
Thursday: Robin Dobson, Lope Barrero, Patricia Fabian, and Jennifer Adibi

Congratulations to each of you on reaching this academic milestone, and good luck as you present and defend your work. I am sorry that I won’t be able to attend all of these presentations and ask questions.

I see on my calender that Wednesday is “Administrative Professionals Day”.  While the name is cumbersome, the concept is right on.  Let us remember to thank our administrative staff who work so hard to make the Department run.

We are thinning our library collection of text books and reference manuals.  Over the next couple weeks we will place books available to a good home on the counter top in Room 1306, just below the monitor.  Fell free to stop by and take what interests you.  We’ll be adding books as we empty out boxes so stop by often.  If you had a treasured book in the Library please let us know if you want it and we’ll set it aside.

Phase III renovations on the 13th floor are complete with a few remaining punch list items.  Thanks to all who moved this week and contributed to a smooth transition.  Phase IV demolition is scheduled to start in May. The third floor labs are scheduled for completion next week.  Allowing some time for punch list items they should be ready for occupancy by May 15.

Spring has finally arrived and along come the Yankees, have a great weekend!


Notes – 4/13/2007

With the home opener at Fenway this week and the Boston Marathon on Monday I was looking forward to a little warmer weather.  Not quite spring yet in Boston but hopefully soon!

Thursday we celebrated Tom Leamon’s work on injury prevention and support of our department.  We started with a symposium on the Global Buren of Injury with guest speakers Kavi Bhalla, David Kriebel and Helen Wellman addressing injury prevention in developing countries.  Jack Dennerlein did an excellent job summarizing the injury prevention work we do at Harvard and the great work done by our students and post docs.  Later that evening Joe Brain and I hosted a dinner for Tom and his family at the Faculty Club.  It was great fun to share memories with Tom and his family and underscore the importance of the work and gains in injury prevention over more than a decade of association with Tom.  Thanks to all who worked to make this a day a success.

On the construction front we are approaching home plate on Phase III on the 13th floor with expected completion within the next two weeks.  Completion includes bathroom facilities!!  Sometimes I think it’s easier to find a men’s room at Fenway than in Building One.

We’re also rounding third and heading home on the third floor with completion scheduled for the beginning of May.  Time for those involved to start thinking about the move to new space.  Phase IV on the 13th floor is on deck with plans and schedules are being drawn up.

I hope you have had a chance to look at our new web site (  Jaime Hart and Ken have done a lot to make it more timely and useful.  Jaime is working on having the upcoming events automatically linked to the school calendar.  In the meantime, if you want your events included in the Department events list, please just include Jaime Hart ( ) and Katondra Murphy ( ) in your e-mail list.

We are almost ready to go live with a web section we call “Working Groups”.   This is a site where the special interest groups can describe what they are doing, list meetings, and solicit new participants.  If you have a working group that you would like included, please contact Jaime.

Also, please note that NIEHS Environmental Health Center Pilot Project Proposals are due in a couple of weeks (May 1st).  Please submit proposals or send queries to Henry Terwedow ( ).

I am off to the HEI meeting in Chicago and will miss the Marathon.  Good luck to all the runners in the Department.  Please let me know if you are running. I am sure we would all like to root for you on the course or monitor your progress (and cheer you on) from our PC.


Notes – 4/6/2007

I am very happy to share the news of our most recent faculty hire.  On April 1, 2007, Dr. Marc Weisskopf joined us as the Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology.  Marc had a number of attractive options to consider and we are thrilled that he has decided to join our faculty and work with David Christiani in the EOME program.  Marc has a PhD in neurobiology and an ScD in epidemiology.  He is using this cross-disciplinary training to study how environmental factors affect neurocognitive function.  He is coupling his laboratory experience in studying the nervous system to epidemiologic studies of adults and children. He is using advanced physiologic measures of neurocognitive development in children and loss of cognitive function in adults to assess the life-course of cognitive development and decline, and the influences of environmental contaminants on that life course.  In addition, he is investigating how genetic characteristics influence our response to these environmental contaminants.  Dr. Weisskopf is shining light on the potential environmental causes of the epidemics of neurocognitive disorders in children and the elderly.  Please welcome Marc in his new role at HSPH.

Next Thursday, 4/12 we will host a  Symposium on the Global Burden of Injuries.    Join us 3:30-5:00 in FXB G-12.  More information is posted around the building or contact Katondra (2-1270)

There was an wonderful article in the Globe this week about the work of Philippe Grandjean.  We know how important Philippe’s work has been. It’s nice to see him being recognized outside the scientific community.

Speaking of the web site, we are happy to see the successful roll-out of the new school and department web site. We are adding more features to make it an informative resource. These notes are available on the web site and we will continue to improve the site now that the platform is operational.  For example, won’t it be nice to check availability and book conference rooms via the web – coming soon!  Thanks to Brad Emerson and Jaime Hart for the work they have put into this redesigned site.

Hope you have a great week-end.




From my last note, you know I was in Cyprus last week. From there we went to Athens.  Daylight Savings Time started on Sunday in Greece.  Does that mean I have to fall back twice in the fall?  It seems we have been eating our way across Cyprus and Greece. I can attest that the Mediterranean diet is not in and of itself a weight loss plan. We met up with Jim Shine and Jack Spengler who were on their way to Cyprus to teach this week, and Joe Brain who is on his way to Israel. We did conduct an air pollution symposium in Athens, and Jim gave a talk on international water issues.  We were also able to connect with friends of the school and our department who have been major contributors. Hopefully this trip will lead to some additional support for our water program.

We arrived back late Wednesday night. In the morning we found that an air pollution monitoring station had been installed in our back-yard while we were gone.  Actually, I remember now that Lynn McClelland said it was coming.  Also found a flat tire on my car.  Arriving in the office, I found the conference rooms either torn up with reconstruction, or occupied as staging areas for furniture being installed on the 13th floor. Nevertheless, it looks like things did not collapse while I was away. Thanks Ken, Katondra, Frieda, and everyone else.

Conference room 1302 was improved with the installation of new white boards, this to address the “shadow” defect in the original installation.  This is the first of a complete replacement of all recently installed white boards by the manufacturer.  We also added flip up tables in 1302 to assist with food service.  This allows more flexibility with seating configurations when serving food.

The furniture arrived and was installed for the post doc offices on the 13th floor.  Our move in date for this space is the week of April 16th.  Consultants are finalizing plans for noise mitigation on the 3rd floor.  I hope to see (not hear!) a resolution soon.  The lab space on the 3rd floor is progressing nicely.  Move in scheduled for next month.  The temporary door will have to come down soon to allow for final work to be done.  I’ve been assured every effort will be made to minimize disruption.

The Red Sox opener is on Sunday. The Celtics and Bruins have collapsed.  Spring must be around the corner.  The Spring 2 session starts on Monday.  We are all getting ready for the final push towards graduation .

Note the school is launching its’ new web site on Sunday.  As part of this we hope you will also see a new EH Department web site .  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.



Greetings from Cyprus!

Jeanne and I are in Nicosia, Cyprus.  We are here to celebrate the success of the Harvard-Cyprus International Initiative (CII) .  This institute has been an amazing success.  In the two years since it’s inception, the institute has trained more than 3000 students from 70 countries in workshops, symposium, and classes.  There are currently 16 outstanding students enrolled in the CII master of science program.  We have six pre-docs and post-docs enrolled at HSPH, and two new pre-docs coming in the fall.

There is amazing activity here. Today CII sponsored a symposium on stopping smoking in youth. It was organized by Greg Connelly and Howard Koh, and attended by 375 educators and scientists from all over the middle east.  This afternoon I observed Steve Hannah teach his air pollution modeling course (in person). In addition, I observed  Jonathan Levy teach his risk assessment course live from Boston by teleconference. (Last week Don Milton was here teaching.)  On Thursday, the first paper coauthored by a CII faculty member, Costas Christophi, will appear in the New England Journal of Medicine. Stefanos Kales is first author of this paper describing heart disease mortality among firefighters.

This evening we went to a dinner at the Presidential Palace, where President Papadopoulus presented Dean Bloom with the Markarious Medal of Honor .  See the email from the Dean’s Office for more details.

The success of the CII is due to the vision and hard work of many of our colleagues, including Petros Koutrakis, Phil Demokritou, Joe Brain, Linda Fox, John Lichten, and Barry Bloom.  Many of our faculty have come to Cyprus to teach and initiate research.  Thanks to them and congratulations to us all on the success of this initiative.

I also am very happy to hear that the Superfund Grant application was mailed today.  This application is the result of many months of work by a team of investigators from our Department, Biostatistics, and faulty from the Dental School, the Medical School, and MIT.  Special thanks to Bob Wright for his leadership, vision and team building. He  pulled this team together and along, and Jean Economos did a superb job pulling budget, subcontracts, and all the essential supporting materials together.

Finally, please remember Jim Whittenberger who died on Saturday at age 93.  Let’s look forward to getting together to celebrate the life of this remarkable leader and mentor, to share personal memories of Jim and his many contributions to environmental health.  A private family ceremony was held this week and a public gathering is planned for sometime this summer.


I am sorry to report that Heather Nelson has now joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  She and her husband Toben will have faculty positions there.  Heather and her family are around for a few more days, but will soon be moving to Minneapolis-St. Paul.  We asked for the bitter cold this week to give her a foretaste of  what she will be experiencing. We will miss her but wish her continued academic success.

A warm welcome to HSPH goes out to long time friend of the Environmental Health Department, Tom Leamon.  Tom recently retired from the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and has joined us as a visiting professor.  Tom’s office is located in FXB Rm 101 (formerly home to Ken Olden who has moved to Building 1 Rm 1304).   Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in occupational health to the Department, be sure to take advantage of this wonderful resource.  Stop by and say hello.

In conjunction with Tom’s arrival we will be hosting a symposium  April  12, 2007 entitled  ” The Global Burden of Injury”.  More details to follow but save the date.

It’s been a typical busy week at HSPH.  Monday through Thursday there was a well attended job fair  in the cafeteria (which meant many fewer seats at lunch.  An impressive assortment of companies sought to speak with our equally impressive HSPH students.

Today was the start fo the BPH recruitment weekend.   There are about 22 prospective PhD students coming to look for opportunities, and to be interviewed. Thanks to Dan Tschumperlin and Stephanie Shore who have worked hard to find students and make them aware of  opportunities in Environmental Health.  I hope you were able to stop by the poster session today and speak with the potential students.  I had an opportunity to do so and was impressed with several of the candidates.

Our renovations continue to progress with no significant schedule delays.  The noise issue on the third floor is being addressed and the white boards will all be replaced due to a mysterious “ghosting” problem.  A different brand will be installed soon.  I’m sure this is known to those it matters but the mens room on the 13th floor is closed for renovations.  If you have male guests attending a meeting in the conference room you might want to direct them to the 12th floor.  Women have to trek upstairs to the 14th floor until renovations are complete.  The computer in the 13th floor “tea room” now operates as a kiosk similar to those around the school classroom areas.  Access to the web and HSPH sites is available to everyone without requiring a log in.

Have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to some warmer weather tomorrow and next week. Don’t forget the clock change!



It was noticed that I got the Department notes out on Friday evening last week. This week I have fallen back to being late. Sorry.

We continue to work on the Department web site.  Thanks to those who offered to contribute to the final push.  Ken will be contacting you shortly if he hasn’t already.  In addition we are preparing a newsletter to go out to all our alumni.  We would like to add some photos for both venues.  If you have some that you would like to share, please e-mail to me or Ken.

Also Tom Smith is looking for any photos from last-years Winter Party.  He is particularly interested in any record of the two of us singing “Satisfaction”.  If you have such photos, I would ask you to destroy.

It’s clear from all the closed doors around the office that a number of grants applications are in the final stages of preparation for submittal.  Thanks to all for their diligent work on these important efforts.  Your contributions and commitment to excellence don’t go unnoticed.

I have received a request from the Harvard Club of the Netherlands for one of our faculty or researchers to make a presentation on an environmental health topic at one of their regular meetings.  Many of us have active collaborations in the Netherlands.  Many more change planes in Amsterdam.  There is no money for travel, but if you are in the Netherlands and could make such a presentation, I am sure it will be worth your time and effort.  Plus I would be grateful.

Speaking of grateful, Molly Kile and I are looking for two additional teaching assistants for the Principles of Environmental Health class in spring 2.  Class is Monday and Wednesday 10:30 to 12:20.  About 50 students have signed up.  Interesting speakers, stimulating discussion, and gratitude of your department chair.

We’ll be updating the HSPH catalog over the next couple of weeks and will be looking to profile at least one of our students.  If you have an interesting candidate that you’d like to see profiled please let your Program Administrator know.

Our renovation work continues on schedule and we continue to make progress on our punch lists.  Two particularly challenging items receiving attention are reducing the noise levels on the third floor and resolving problems with the white boards.  A manufacturer’s representative will be onsite to review the white board issue this week and the architect and construction team are reviewing designs for noise reduction.  Now if we can just do something about the circular saw and drill on the other side of my wall….



Our Financial Administrators are hard at work preparing the FY08 budget for submittal next week.  Thanks for their efforts and everyone’s cooperation on this important planning process.

We’ve all kept our fingers crossed with the  beginning of online grant submissions via this month.  Reminded me of the 1/1/00 computer scare.  I’ve heard no horror stories yet so thanks to all our committed grants administrators for staying on top of this change and helping us faculty folks look good!

Phase 2 renovations on the third floor continue on schedule for a May completion/move in. Phase 1 punch list items are being address and resolved, some linger a little longer than I’d like but I know the effort to get it right is being made.  That goes for the 13 floor as well.  Phase 3 furniture will be delivered the beginning of April with completion later that month of the post-doc space.  The architect (Steve Hurley) will begin interviews of those involved in phase 4 sometime in the next week or so.

The Department needs someone with web site skills and interests to help update the Department web site.  Duties are primarily loading and updating content.  Good opportunity for a student with the right skills to pick up a little extra money.  Also looking for someone with Microsoft Access experience to assist with a project.  See Ken Wenger if interested.

Enjoy the long weekend!


I had a great time last Thursday night at our Winter Celebration, and think everyone else who attended did also.  It’s always nice to get together after hours and let our hair down (ok, in my dreams) in a relaxed environment and share good food and conversation about our “other lives”.  Thanks to Tom Smith for another of his wonderfully entertaining performances, he’s truly a fun gi!  (Good thing he has tenure!)  Thanks to Ken, Katondra, Frieda, Susan, Gail, and all the Department planners for a job well done!

I particularly enjoy having the children join us.  I know how challenging it is to strike that work/life balance and it’s nice to have the opportunity for the children to join us and enjoy themselves.

Our new conference rooms were busy with activity this week with faculty meetings, project meetings, training and the Superfund External Advisory Board meeting.  I was pleased with how well the facilities worked.

Speaking of the 13th floor, we welcomed Ken Olden to a new office in Rm 1304 this week. I’m happy to now have Ken closer to the pulse of our activities and encourage all to take advantage of this opportunity to get to know and learn from our distinguished colleague.

I checked renovation progress on Friday and was surprised to see substantial progress made on the thirteenth floor despite the number of times we shut down work so that meetings would not be disturbed.  I’m told the 3rd floor is progressing as well, I didn’t check personally as the Asbestos warning sign was enough to keep me away.   April remains the target for completion.

Congratulations to Matt Jones who we understand will receive a Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Research.  Matt was a postdoctoral fellow and is now a research associate in Jay Mizgerd’s laboratory.  The award will support Matt’s research into the mechanisms by which a protein called Zcchc11 dictates the expression of cytokines and related inflammatory mediators crucial to defending the lung against infectious and other environmental challenges.


P.S. This morning I realized I had prepared these notes last Friday, but forgot to pull the trigger to send them out.  Nobody said anything.


Happy Ground Hogs Day.  Looking out the winter of my new office, I only see clouds and no sunshine.  I think that means 16 more weeks of classes.

Students are back from their Winter Term studies in Cyprus and Taiwan. I have heard the educational experience was terrific, and the weather was better than in Boston.  Maybe we can see some pictures (or maybe there are things we don’t want to know).

It was an honor to participate in Annual Appreciation Event on Wednesday.  I was surprised at how many long-service Honorees we had.

We note in particular the Top Service Honorees:
Top Staff Service – Frieda Marsh (34.1 years)
Top Academic Appointment – Mike Wolfson (32.1 years)
Top Faculty – Frank Speizer (44.9 years)

5 Years of Service:
Andrew Blicharz
Tony Gomez
Tracy Katz
Milos Kojic
Steve Melly
Anna Teresa Trisini
Marc Weiskopf
Zhiping Yang

10 Years of Service:
Jean Economos
Raisa Stolyar
Xin Xu

15 Years of Service:
Ed Dixon
Beatiz Gonzales Flecha

20 Years of Service:
David Christiani
Amy Colby
Stephanie Shore

25 Years of Service:
Martha Fay
Steve Ferguson
Susan Pollak
Rebecca Stearns

30 Years of Service:
Patrice Ayers
Jim Butler
Marcia Chertok
Douglas Dockery (who?)
Marshall Katler
Sheila Stewart

40 Years of Service:
Joe Brain

Also thanks to Ken Wenger, one of the newest members of the Department, who was drafted into being a presenter, and to Frieda for being such a good sport.

Don’t forget the Department Colloquium on Thursday in 1302 from 3:30.  Petros Koutrakis will be talking about his research on Measuring Air Pollution Exposures.

After that you can walk over to our Mid-Winter party at the Conference Center on Avenue Louis Pasteur.  If you have not responded to Katondra, this is your last chance!



Last week several of our MIPS colleagues moved into their new office and lab space on the third floor.  As I mentioned in my last notes, moving into new offices and new lab space is a challenging endeavor.  Only with careful coordination and communication is it possible to move successfully.  We had that, plus incredible cooperation from faculty and staff.   The result was a move that went about as smoothly as could be expected. We’ll be working on punch list items for a few weeks but Jay Mizgerd tells me his lab is operational and all the office occupants are hard at work. My compliments and thanks to all involved.   A long time coming but well worth the wait.  Phase II demolition work has begun and in a few more months the entire third floor will be complete.

Demolition  began today on Phase III up on the 13th floor.  We have a good deal of work left to do on 13 but it should move along quickly once the demolition is done.  Phase III should be done by May.  We returned the small conference room tables and replaced them with a size that allows for better use of the space.  We await some chairs but we’re almost done with the punch list.  The glass doors…..they’ve been up, down, right side, wrong side, down…… enough said about them.

Brush off that dust from all the renovations, it’s time for our  Department Winter Celebration on February 8, 2007!  Invitations have been emailed, if you haven’t received one consider yourself invited.  Katondra anxiously awaits your RSVP’s by the end of this week.  Please join us for a relaxing and fun evening with friends, family and colleagues.



Wednesday to Sunday of this week I was in San Francisco with David Christiani and Majid Ezatti at an NIEHS strategic planning meeting on Global Environmental Health. (For those that think these meetings are fun, I was away for six days, and over that time I had only one meal that was not in the hotel or the airport.)  I also took off Sunday to watch the Pat’s game. This is not to complain, but rather to let you know why I missed sending out any Notes last week (although no one has complained).

Yesterday I gave a talk on Boston Air Pollution at the HSPH Community Forum.  I was surprised (and flattered) by the number of people who came to hear me speak (or was it the free lunch?).  For those of you who were not able to make it into the room (or for some other reason could not attend), the highlight of event was seeing me try to speak without slides when the projector went out midway through my talk.  Media Services told me later that this was a new projector and the projector lamp overheated and exploded.  Amazingly Media Services unmounted the broken projector from the ceiling and switched in another in less than 10 minutes. Fortunately, I had shown my best graphics (including animated movies) before the burn-out, and able to show some beautiful graphics display of asthma in East Boston by Steve Miley and Jane Clougherty once the projector was replaced.  Thanks to Media Services for a nice recovery, and to everyone who helped me with slides and material for this talk.  I have already been asked to reprise this talk in the summer Hot Topics.

Next week is a busy week on the third floor as we move into renovated offices and labs.  Finishing touches are being applied this weekend and all systems are go for the move on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Moving offices is always a challenge but moving labs and associated equipment is an entirely different equation.  All this while preserving ongoing work is not easily done and requires careful coordination and cooperation among many involved parties.  My thanks to all contributing to the effort.  It is a beautiful work area with state of the art lab space, well worth the wait.

Up on the 13th floor we’re moving staff to make way for the next phase of work on that floor.  Demolition will begin this month.

Have a great weekend!  Go Pats!


It may not look like winter outside but that’s no reason not to celebrate.  We’re planning our annual EH Winter Celebration for February 8 this year.  Mark your calendars for an evening of fun and festivities.  Given the convenience and popularity of last years location we will again make use of the Conference Center at Harvard Medical.  Thanks to our volunteer party planners who are hard at work.  We could use a few more volunteers to help select the menu and entertainment.  Let Katondra know if you want to help out.

We’re working through the punch list for our new space on the 13th floor and anxiously await the arrival of our glass doors.  While I support and encourage the open concept it’s a little extreme without any type of door!  Relocations have begun to make way for Phase 3 demolition scheduled for this month.  Phase 3 (of 7) is scheduled for completion in March.  Ken  has drawings of the remaining 13 th floor construction.  Stop by and he’d be happy to share them.

On the third floor of Building 1 we continue to have a move in date of January 22 for the Phase I area.  Preparations are underway for the move with Marshall Katler coordinating activities.  Phase II demolition will begin January 25 with completion in the spring.

Once again thanks to everyone for their continuing cooperation with this major project.  Having just moved into my new office I can say that it was worth the wait!