Department Notes Archive – 2010

Department Notes – 2010

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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 – 12/22/10

I returned from Kuwait last Thursday just in time for the 13th James L. Whittenberger Symposium on Friday.  It was nice to have lunch with the Whittenberger family, Tom and Debbie from Wisconsin and Francine and her daughter Hannah as well as her granddaughter Ella from Weston, MA.  We were also happy to have four of Hannah’s environmental science classmates from Weston High join us for the Lecture.
Thanks to Dean Frenk for his introduction and to our speakers for excellent presentations, Adrienne Ettinger, “Influence of Perinatal Exposures on Early Childhood Growth and Sexual Maturation” and Jane Burns, “Serum Dioxins and PCB’s are Associate with Growth Among Russian Boys.”  Linda Birnbaum gave the Whittenberger Lecture and was wonderful.  Many of us have gotten to know Linda well.   We are lucky to have such a dynamic scholar in the critical role of Director of NIEHS.  Joe Brain sent me a note after the event and I think he said it best, “I knew Linda Birnbaum was good, but I did not realize how good she actually was.  I’m impressed with her ability to convey complex ideas in a simple and compelling way.  I can imagine that she is very effective on Capitol Hill.  It’s also clear that her knowledge of the underlying science is wide and deep.”  I hope you all had a chance to interact with Linda at the symposium or the reception that followed.
We continue to move forward with renovations of our physical space.  The last phase of major renovations (MIPS) will begin in earnest over the break.  At the same time we are renovating labs and modifying space to accommodate our evolving research needs.  Thank you to all involved for your understanding, cooperation and assistance.  Thanks especially to Marshall Katler for his oversight and leadership in “getting it done”!
Emeritus faculty Richard Monson shared a story he read with a mention of Don Hornig, Chair of the EH Department 1987-1990.  The story was about Harry Allen Wolfgang Smith(December 19, 1907—February 24, 1976) who was an American journalist and humorist whose books were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, selling millions of copies.  By the end of World War II, Smith’s fame as a humorist was such that he edited Desert Island Decameron (1945), a collection of essays and stories by such leading humorists as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and James Thurber. Histories of the Manhattan Project mention Desert Island Decameron because it’s the book Donald Hornig was reading when he was sitting in the Trinity Test tower babysitting the atomic bomb on July 15, 1945, the stormy night prior to the first nuclear explosion.  For more on Don and his career see:

I’m sorry my travel prevented me from attending the EER and MIPS parties but I heard they were great fun and the food was excellent.  As you begin to head out on the holiday break I want to again express my thanks for all you do to make us what we are.  I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and a restive and enjoyable break, you’ve earned it. ENJOY!


Notes – 12/3/10


Today is the 40th anniversary of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  HSPH cosponsored with the Harvard University Committee on the Environment a powerful celebration and review of accomplishments and the future to recognize the event.  Lisa Jackson the current EPA Administrator gave the keynote address and several current and former EPA administrators, including William Ruckelshaus the founding administrator, participated.  Panelists from HSPH were Joel Schwartz and Jim Hammitt.  It was an extraordinary event.

Looking forward to seeing the EOME folks tonight at their holiday party! Thanks for the invitation.

Happy Hanukkah!



Notes – 11/24/10

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a relaxing and wonderful time with family and friends over the holiday weekend!  Despite our daily challenges I think we all can agree that we have a great deal to be thankful for.  High on my list are the remarkable people who are the Department of Environmental Health.  Collectively our faculty, staff, and students are incredibly productive and impact the public health in many positive ways.  Our work touches the lives of many and I’m sure they are thankful for what we do and how well we do it.  As you leave today you should take great comfort and pride in your contributions to our success and my sincere thanks for a job well done!

Have a Great Holiday!



Notes – 11/19/10

Another week has flown by as we rapidly approach the Thanksgiving holiday. I see the MIPS and EOME holiday party invitations are out so be sure to RSVP so the planning can continue!

Jack Spengler speaks tonight at the inaugural FREETHINK@HARVARD global discussion.  His talk is “How Corporations are Retooling to Meet the Challenges of Sustainability.”  The event will take place at 6pm, 1 Story Street, Room 306 (third floor) in Cambridge.

The University of Basel is having a convocation on Nov 26 to celebrate the 550th anniversary of its founding. Each faculty is awarding an honorary doctoral degree in celebration, and Joel Schwartz will receive the degree from the Faculty of Medicine.  Congratulations Joel on this prestigious recognition!

Joe Nabhan is second author on a paper in PNAS being released this week.  It’s from work that he started at McGill before coming to HSPH.  The first author took over the project from Joe.  Here’s the url for the NY times article.  If you click on the word “study” in the 4th paragraph you’ll get the abstract. Congratulation Joe!

More info about Akira Tsuda’s research in the Technology Review at MIT.  It’s a very good article and explains things well.

Congratulations to Hortensia Moreno Macias who successfully defended her dissertation titled:
Effect modification of antioxidant diet on the association analysis between candidate genes and respiratory health of asthmatic children in Mexico City.  Well Done!

I neglected last week to acknowledge Steve Lewandowski for his service to our country.  Steve is he is a MS2 student, and an officer in the US Army.

Have a great weekend!


In my rush to get the Notes out on Friday afternoon I forgot a couple of notable achievements.

At the NIEHS Annual Superfund Grantee Meeting at Oregon State University last week, Birgit Claus Henn received an award for her poster “Effects of Early Childhood Manganese and Lead Co-exposure on Neurodevelopment.”  Joe Braun gave a plenary talk entitled “Pre- and postnatal urinary BPA concentrations and childhood neurodevelopment over the first 3 years of life.” It is great to see our fellows being recognized for their contributions to this important, core project for our department. Well done.

Also in recognizing the armed service members in our departments, I failed to thank the veterans among our faculty, researchers,  and staff.  Among them is James Stewart who served in the Army and was wounded in Vietnam.  Jim noted two of his kids served in Iraq at the same time.  Again thanks to Jim and our other veterans and their families for their service.



Notes – 11/12/10

As we celebrate Veterans Day this week I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to all who serve and have served our country in the armed services.  We are proud to have Capt. Jason Cromar (US Air Force), Lt. Col. Daniel Mirski (US Air Force), and William Mann (US Navy) as students and Lt. Anne McDonough (US Navy) as a fellow this year.  We also acknowledge our alumni currently in the armed services, and those in our department who have family currently serving.


Last week I mentioned the work being done by Akira Tsuda.  Click this link for the Boston Globe article this week.

After months of planning, on Wednesday we officially began the renovation of the MIPS offices and labs on the second floor of building two.  The MIPS staff and labs formerly in building two have relocated temporarily to the 5th floor of building one.  This project will complete the major renovations for the Department and we will be in good shape for the foreseeable future.  We do have some building one lab renovations in the pipeline as well but for the most part this is the last significant disruption.   Thanks to all who participated in the planning and execution of the move, particularly to those who came in on the holiday.  At the risk of leaving someone out – thanks to Marshal Katler and Sally Bedugnis for their leadership and can do attitude.  It was a huge undertaking that went remarkably well!

Invitations to the James L. Whittenberger Symposium went out today – please watch for yours and RSVP so we can plan accordingly.  Thanks to Barbara Zuckerman, Kristen Lessl, and Katie Taylor for their hard work.

Have a great weekend – it looks to be beautiful weather.



Notes – 11/5/10

I’ve been traveling for a couple weeks so I hope you forgive my tardiness with these notes.

I traveled to Rhodes, Greece to speak at Hellenic Thoracic Society Conference, hosted by Panagiotis Behrakis.

From Rhodes I moved on to Cyprus to teach at the Cyprus International Institute (CII).  We have a very talented class of 18 students this year. I was able to teach in the new classrooms there.  The progress and growth at CII and the benefits we are seeing from our association with the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) is impressive.  Thanks to all the faculty and staff at CII/CUT and particularly to Lenia Josephides, Suzana Achilleos, and Mohammad Alolayan who coordinated my visit and my teaching.

I managed to fit in a day trip to Cairo, Egypt to visit the pyramids.  A great trip and a humbling experience to be standing at the base of these inspiring and historical structures.

Thanks to Joe Brain and Melissa Curran who organized the inauguration of the Lown Scholars Program  and the Lown Visiting Professorship on Friday.  This program is dedicated to promoting teaching, research, and training with emphasis on the global prevention of cardiovascular disease.   The first Lown Visiting Professor, Dr. Srinath Reddy spoke of the transition from Medicine to Public Health and now to Sustainable Development.  Dr. Bernard Lown gave a truly inspiring talk describing his work here at the school, the development of the cardioverter defibrillator, and his founding of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

I hope everyone had an opportunity to hear Dean Frenk’s State of the School address.  It’s a great opportunity to hear from Dean Frenk the progress towards his vision for the school and also the challenges faced as we move forward on our agenda.  We frequently get mired in our own department world and it’s refreshing to be reminded of what the school is doing and see how we contribute to that greater scope.  We’re a large department with a broad scope and we remain a vital part of the overall school efforts.

Be sure to read the November issue of the American Thoracic Society (ATS).  Nice article on Jeff Fredberg and his interdisciplinary approach in the Who’s Who section of the journal.  Congratulations Jeff!

Hyunok Choi and Jack Spengler reported that household paints and cleaners increase the risks of asthma and allergies in children. There is a nice description of the study on the HSPH Home page.

Congratulations also to Akira Tsuda!  His work on the behavior of nanoparticles in the body after they are deposited in the lungs is reported online in Nature Biotechnology this week. The findings may have implications for future drug delivery, and in the study of air pollution and cancer development.  Look for an article in the Boston Globe early next week. Well done!

Congratulations to Mey Akashah who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on October 17th.

Nice to see Ted Courtney from Liberty Mutual who stopped by before teaching.

On December 3rd we are cosponsoring a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the EPA at the Law School.  Checkout this HUCE web site to see the outstanding program and to request a seat (limited).

Don’t forget to hold December 17th for the James L. Whittenberger Lecture.  Invitations will go out next week.

Have a great weekend!



Notes – 10/8/10

On Wednesday Dean Frenk hosted Yoshihito Okinaga, Teikyo University president and Dr. Eiji Yano, MPH’84.  The department has had a long standing relationship with Teikyo University and it was good to welcome Eiji back to HSPH and see President Okinaga again.  I had the pleasure of addressing the students and faculty of Teikyo University at their convocation ceremonies in Tokyo earlier this year.  Several years ago President Okinaga’s father made a generous donation that was used to renovate the former pilot plant space into the laboratories in use today.  There is a plaque outside Jim Shines lab, Room G33 commemorating the Okinaga generosity.

Welcome to Mark Long who has taken on new duties as our NIEHS Center Administrator. Many of you know Mark as a research assistant in John Godleski’s lab and he will continue in that position as well.   Mark will split his time between John’s lab and the 13th floor in room 1310.  Welcome to the team Mark, we all look forward to working with you.

Welcome as well to Rumana Rabbani who joins the department office administrative team on a temporary basis.  Rumana will fill the void left by Kelly Studebaker’s departure until we fill the position permanently.

The three day Harvard Lung Conference and CIMIT Inhalation Technology Workshop concluded today.  Congratulations and thanks to Les Kobzik for his contributions to organizing the Conference.  Les is off to teach in Cyprus next week.  Joe Brain just returned and tells Les to expect perfect weather!

Speaking of good weather – looks like a great long weekend.  Do something memorable on Sunday (10-10-10).




Notes – 10/1/10

Andrea Baccarelli joined us this week as the Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Epigenetics.   Andrea joins us from the University of Milan.  Many of you know Andrea as he has been an Adjunct faculty member, has taught the winter session Environmental Epigenetics course, and has collaborated with many of our faculty and researchers.  we are very excited to have him join our faculty.  Andrea will be based in the EER program, his office is Landmark 412F and his lab is Building 1 Rm B12.  Be sure to welcome him to the Department.

Congratulations to Alex Lu who this week received an NIH Shared Instrument Grant.  Alex says he is looking for a good deal on a used instrument.  Great work!

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Diane Gold’s father, Dr. H. Carl Gold, on Monday, September 27th. Gifts in his memory can be made to: the Brookline food pantry in St. Paul’s Church at 15 St. Paul Street; to support tuition assistance for island children who wish to attend College of the Atlantic’s Summer Field Studies, COA-Summer Field Studies, 105 Eden St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609; Mt. Desert Island Biological Labs in support of local island and Maine High schoolers learning to do scientific research; Partners in Health support of Haiti at or to the Bar Harbor Food Pantry at

Today is Kelly Studebaker’s last day.  As I mentioned last week she is leaving to pursue her education full time.  We wish her great success and will miss the able assistance she provided me and the rest of the department over the past two years.   Good Luck Kelly!!

Once we get past today’s rain it looks to be a great weekend – enjoy the foliage!



Notes – 9/24/10

This was National Post Doc appreciation week.  A well-deserved recognition of a very talented and valuable group who play an vital role at HSPH and in the broader scientific community.  Congratulations and thanks to all of our post docs!

Welcome to Phil Landrigan who joins us as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health.  Phil is Chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Children’s Environmental center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  Phil went to Boston Latin School and Harvard Medical. Last year he gave the Whittenberger Lecture. We are glad to formally connect Phil to our faculty.

With mixed feelings I share the news that next Friday will be Kelly Studebaker’s last day.  Kelly has been a great asset to the department and she will be missed.  While I’m sad to lose her I’m also very happy as Kelly is leaving to pursue her education full time.  She had been attending classes part time and will now devote full time to finishing her bachelor’s degree.  Her three year plan includes continuing on for her masters degree as well.  Please join me in wishing Kelly success with her studies.

Congratulations to Leonard Zwack on the successful defense of his thesis, entitled “Characterizing Spatial Patterns of Traffic-related Pollutants in Complex Terrain.”

Congratulations also to Ed Nardell, Steve Rudnick and Mel First for the just announced Fogarty International Center grant under the ARRA Framework Programs for Global Health Signature Innovations Initiative.   This is a one year, intensive, multi disciplinary training effort and opportunity to push UV technology in the developing world to the next level.  Great news and good luck moving forward.

And Marc Weisskopf was awarded a new RO1 for a population based study of the environmental risk factors for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Have a great weekend!!



Jotes – 9/10/10

A busy week to start September!

On Tuesday we welcomed Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).  Linda was at HSPH for Olivier Humblet‘s thesis defense (see below) and was kind enough to agree to a series of meetings, including with Deans Frenk and Hunter, a number of our faculty and post-doctoral fellows.  It was great to connect with Linda and get an update on NIEHS.

We start the year with faculty transitions.  Jon Levy and Melissa Perry have accepted significant new positions.

Congratulations to Jon Levy who is now Professor of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health.  Jon started September 1, but still has work here so we’ll see him from time to time.

Congratulations also to Melissa Perry who has accepted a position as Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Professor in the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health, and Epidemiology, in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University in Washington DC.  Melissa will be starting her new position in January 2011.

Both Jon and Melissa have bright futures and it’s great to see them have these wonderful opportunities but they will be missed.  Please congratulate them as they begin the next phase of their careers.

Welcome to Elsie Sunderland, our new Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Aquatic Science. Dean Frenk nicely summarized her background in an email welcoming Elsie.

Andrea Baccarelli will be joining us in October so more on him at that time.

Also welcome to Sotiris Pratsinis who is beginning a sabbatical from ETH Zurich (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).  Sotiris is an expert in aerosol flow reactors particularly in utilizing flame synthesis to generate families of nanoparticles.  He will be collaborating with Joe Brain and Phil Demokritou and other EH faculty is studies of nanoparticles.

Two students successfully defended their thesis this week. Congratulations to Olivier Humblet: Dioxins, PCBs and Pubental Development Among Russian Boys: Lifestage and Genetic Susceptiblity and Christopher Ronk: A Cluster-Randomized Trial With General Construction Superintendents to Mitigate Stepladder-Related Fall Hazards

Monique Bertic who served the department for a number of years as our key development officer has accepted an offer to work with Greg Connolly in the newly-established Global Tobacco Control Center (see related note below) We’ll miss Monique but I know she is excited about the new opportunity which has direct relevance to her interests in public health policy.  She will also be a big help to Greg in a very important program.  She starts with Greg on October 1.  Congratulations and good luck to Monique!

On September 1, 2010, Greece, the nation with the world’s highest smoking rate, went smoke-free, with help from research from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health. At a video press conference held at HSPH on August 30, Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou, the Greek Minister of Health, thanked the School for its collaboration and help providing scientific evidence to support the nation in its decision.  See

The Harvard Gazette interviewed John Briscoe about his work in Pakistan and the Harvard Water Initiative.  See

Philippe Grandjean has an interesting commentary low level lead exposures coming out in the Lancet.  Thanks Philippe for your continued advocacy and leadership.

Have a great weekend!



Notes – 9/3/10

Just back from ISES-ISEE conference in Seoul.  It was a great meeting both in terms of the venue and the scientific program. Our Department was well represented on the program.  We were also well represented by graduates on the Meeting Steering Committee which was Co-Chaired by Kiyong Lee and Yub-Chui Hong, and included Tina Bahadori, President of ISES, and Francine Laden, Secretary-Treasurer of ISEE.

Jack Spengler gave a very comprehensive and thought-provoking opening plenary talk on environmental sustainability.

Frank Speizer received the John Goldsmith Award for outstanding contributions to environmental epidemiology. He spoke of his early career working with John Goldsmith on air pollution health effects in Los Angeles, and his work here at Harvard, and his vision for the future of the field.  Frank was introduced by Francine Laden, who spoke very movingly of the influence Frank has had as a researcher, advocate, and mentor.

Arden Pope, Majid Ezzati, and I received the award for the Best Environmental Epidemiology Paper (BEEP) of 2009 for our paper entitled “Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the United States” which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.  We are very proud of this recognition by our peers, and look forward to adding the BEEP award to our resumes.  The journal also receives an award, and I am sure Jeff Drazen is looking forward to receiving his BEEP certificate.

We had a dinner for Harvard affiliates, organized by Molly Kile and Ami Zota, and hosted by Kiyong Lee.  Over 50 of our current and former students, fellows, and faculty had to chance to enjoy Korean food and  drink, plus renew many friendships. Thanks for organizing this event.

We learned that Tim Sloate, the Director of Administration for our Department of Environmental Health for a number of years while Joe Brain was Chair, died in Washington, DC on August 24. He was a good friend, a conscientious and competent help to us as administrator, and a dedicated husband and father. Tim was the Director of Research at the University Professional & Continuing Education Association. He moved to the DC area so his wife Hilary could pursue her art career in mosaics. Ironically, he died of a massive heart attack while playing hockey – and after scoring 2 goals.

Classes started yesterday. The students and everyone should enjoy the Labor Day holiday.  Tuesday we will have a special visitor, Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health.

Hunker down until Earl passes.  Have a safe and restful weekend.


Notes – 8/27/10

This week we welcomed our new students to orientation and hosted them yesterday for a department introduction and luncheon.  The incoming class includes 34 degree candidates including 10 Doctor of Science, 12 Master of Science, five Master of Public Health, three Medicine Residents, two PhD/DBS and two Special Students.  They hail from the US, China, Mexico,Taiwan, Nigeria, France, Israel, India, and Finland.  We currently have 114 students in department degree programs representing 25 nations.  It was great to see and speak with everyone and I look forward to the start of classes next week.  A warm welcome to:

Doctor of Science

Hillel Alpert,  US  EOME
Raphael Arku,  Ghana  EER
Iny Jhun,  US  EER
John Ji,   China  EOME
Don Kriens,  US  EER
Shu-Yi Liao,  Taiwan  EOME
Yu-Kai Lin,  Taiwan  EOME
Sandra Pirela, Venezuela MIPS
Yongmei Shen,  China  EER
Jannah Tauheed, US  EOME


Master of Science

Sarah Alsamarai, US  EOME
Jose Cedeno Laurent, Mexico   EER
Maria Harris,  US  EER
Lynn Onyebeke, US  EER
Cheng Peng,  China  EER
Mariah Rich,  US  EER
Devankush Saha, US  EER
Melissa Seaton,  US  EER
Chia Tang,  Taiwan  EER
Matthew Tumpney, US  EER
Eleanor Wade,  US  EER
Chengyan Zhang, China  EER

Master of Public Health

Akeem Adebogun, Nigeria  EOME
Jason Cromar,  US  EOME
Daniel Mirski,  US  EOME
Ziv Paz,   Israel  EOME
Peter Umukoro,  Nigeria  EOME

Medical Residents

Anne McDonough, US  EOME
Stasia Muhlner,  US  EOME
Yolanta Petrofsky, US  EOME


Sri Kalyanaraman, India   DBS
Peter Wagner,   Finland    DBS

Special Students

Marie-Christine David, US  EOME
Albert Rielly,  US  EOME

I’m off to Seoul, Korea for the 2010 Joint Conference of the International Society of Exposure Science and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.  More on that when I return next week.   Have a great weekend!



Notes – 8/20/10

I enjoyed a couple days of R&R earlier this week and can report the fish in the Cape Cod Canal were very cooperative.  While the weather remains very nice signs of a waning summer are upon us.   The days get shorter and the buzz of student activity is beginning to be heard.  Orientation for incoming students is next Thursday and we are looking forward to meeting and working with a very talented incoming class.  I’ll share some details of the class in my next notes.  I hope everyone takes advantage of the remaining summer days as it looks to be a busy academic year ahead.

Congratulations to Karen Hopcia who successfully defended her dissertation this week!  I was unable to attend but hear Karen was very impressive, presenting her work and responding to questions with great skill and grace.  Well done to Karen and her committee, Jack Dennerlein, Dean Hashimoto and Glorian Sorenson.

Congratulations to Alex Lu on receipt of a new NIH/NIEHS RO1 entitled “DNA methylation and endocrine disrupting chemical exposure in children.”  Great to see hard work pay off in a tough funding environment.

Pat McGaffigan joins the department next week as the new EOME Associate Director of Administration and Finance.  Pat joins us from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

If you are on the 14th floor stop by and welcome Pat to the team.

Have a great weekend!



Notes – 7/31/10

I’m writing from London on my return from Cyprus where I attended the Cyprus International Institute (CII) graduation.  This was the fourth graduation of Master of Science students from the CII, but the first graduation of the Cyprus University of Technology.  It was a wonderful and enjoyable ceremony.  Dean Frenk gave a fabulous keynote describing his personal vision of Globalization and Health, and his commitment to HSPH/CII/CUT collaboration.  Class valedictorian Feiby Laban Nassan from Egypt gave a very moving, very personal speech.  Elpida Keravnou, Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) strongly supported the mission of CII and the partnership with HSPH in her remarks.

His Excellency Demetrius Christofias, the President of Cyprus and his wife attended. He spoke very highly of the collaboration and pledged future support.  Despite the heat, he stayed for the entire ceremony and then greeted and had his picture taken with each of the students. Christoe Patsalides, the Minister of Health and Andreas Dimitriou, Minister of Education and Culture also attended.

All in all a terrific event.  Congratulations to the CII faculty (Costas Christophi, Konstantinos Makris, Ilias Vrezas, and Panayiotis Yiallouros) plus the HSPH who taught at CII, the CII administrative staff (Lenia Josephides, Demetra Valtas) and researchers (Ourania Kolokotroni, Suzanna Achilleos) for another successful year.

Most of all, congratulations to the graduates!

Yara Abu Awad (Cyprus/Jordan), Rozita Behmaneshnia (Iran), Shwapon Kumar Biswas (Bangladesh), Eleni Chrysostomou (Cyprus),  Amana Jemal Kedir (Ethiopia), Silva Kerkezian (Lebanon), Nicolas Koullapis (Cyprus), Solon Louka (Cyprus), Fjodor Melnikov (Russia), Feiby Laban Nassan (Egypt), Rodos Rodosthenous (Cyprus), Dimitris Sazos (Cyprus), and Eirini Zachariou (Cyprus).

Thanks to all in the department who are part of our Cyprus initiative.  A special thanks to John Evans and Petros Koutrakis for their dedication and perseverance over the last year to keep CII and the Harvard Cyprus Program (HCP) a continuing success. The results of everyone’s efforts were on display yesterday and it was impressive.  Well done!

Have a great weekend!



Notes – 6/18/10

On the road again….
First stop Munich where I was able to connect with Annette Peters and her colleagues.  Then on to Cyprus to teach and reconnect with our colleagues there.  Had the chance to see Andreas Nephytou and Behrooz Behbod and also broke free for a quick fishing trip with John Evans.   I write this from Utrecht, the Netherlands where I am attending the 10th anniversary celebration for the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences. Saw Bert Brunekreef, Gerard Hoek, Nicole Jansen, and many of our other colleagues.  It’s been a very productive trip but I’m looking forward to my return to the Cape for the weekend.

I’m happy to announce that Elsie Sunderland has accepted our offer to join the faculty as the Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Aquatic Science.  Elsie will be a great addition to the department and I look forward to working with her.  She’ll join the EER program in mid-July.  Congratulations and welcome to Dr. Sunderland!

Congratulations to Jon Levy and his wife Lisa on the birth of David Isaiah Levy, born on June 7 at 2:29 pm, weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 3/4 inches long.  Great news, I look forward to meeting David!

Congratulations as well to Seung-Sup, a doctoral student in the Department on the June 5th birth of her daughter, Hae-In.  In Korean, Hae-In means “Ocean of Kindness.”

We were sorry to hear of the passing of Dean Barry Bloom’s wife, Dr Irene Tilenius Bloom.  A memorial service is being planned for the fall at Columbia University, where Irene was a faculty member.

Enjoy the weekend, I hear the weather is summer like!



Notes – 6/4/10

Petros Koutrakis received great news this week when he learned that we will be one of the four EPA Clean Air Centers. This five year award is the result of a great deal of work by many so congratulations to Petros and the Center team on a great proposal and a job well done.  The team includes: Antonella Zanobetti, Brent Coull, Choong Min Kang, Diane Gold, Edgar Diaz, Elissa Wilker, Francesca Dominici, Frank Speizer, Jeff Tatro, Joy Lawrence, Kathleen Brown, Murray Mittleman, Stephen Ferguson, Susan Cohn-Child, Susan Korrick, Tracy Mark, and Vasileios Papapostolou.

I received news of another big award this week.  A high achieving team from our MIPS program has won this year’s HSPH Take The Stairs contest. By eschewing the elevators when traveling between the thirteenth floor and labs, they were not only the first team to make the target of climbing the equivalent of Mt McKinley, but also had the largest total at the end of the competition – 4358 flights of stairs, more than three times the target. Team members were Muzo Wu, Otto Manneberg, Enhua Zhou and David Gregory.  Congratulations!

Nice to have a holiday week after all the commencement activities.  The week seemed to fly by and the weather felt like summer.  Have a good weekend!



Notes – 6/1/10

What a wonderful Commencement Day, again my congratulations to all.  I particularly enjoyed meeting with our students and their families at our department open house.  You and your families have a great deal to be proud of!  Thank you and best wishes from all of us in the department.   Be sure to join our Facebook alumni page


Congratulations to Jim Shine who received a faculty award for excellence in mentoring students.  During the Commencement Eve Celebration Dean Hunter recognized Jim for his outstanding work with students.  Mentoring is so important and to be recognized by student vote to receive one of these awards is quite a compliment!

Jim was also interviewed by NECN News about the chemical dispersant used in the Gulf for the oil spill. See last nights broadcast at:

Congratulations as well to Behrooz Behbod who was recognized for his excellence as a teaching assistant.  Behrooz received a Teaching Assistant Award.

Congratulations to Julia Roos and Tawan Udtamakilok, and Hua Chen, who won ‘best student poster awards’ at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, the annual IH conference that was attended by almost 10,000 professionals in the IH or related fields.

I’ve mentioned our two March graduates in the past but as members of the class of 2010 I should congratulate them now as well!

Santosh Verma, SD, EOME, Risk Factors for Slipping in U.S. Limited-Service Restaurant Workers

Zhao Dong, SD, EER, Development and Application of a Tool to Determine Metal Bioavailability in Aquatic Ecosystems.

Lastly, we had a Commencement baby yesterday! Congratulations to Jean Economos and husband Jim Davis on the birth of a baby boy yesterday: Nathan, 7 lbs 3 oz.  Everyone is doing well.

Have a great long weekend!



Notes – 5/27/10

Happy Commencement Day!!  I just returned from Seattle last night. I had heard the reports of  record high temperatures in Boston yesterday, but it sure looks perfect now for the ceremonies!

This will be my 25th Harvard Commencement – 2 as a student, 23 as a faculty member, and 5 as Department Chair.  It is something I never get tired of.  As a teacher I take great pride in seeing my students receive their degrees.  As your department Chair I am humbled to represent all that we collectively do to prepare our students for this milestone.   Our students are well prepared to put their skills and expertise to work and to make meaningful contributions to society around the globe. The knowledge translation will continue and will bear fruit as this latest class moves on to future challenges.  My gratitude to our faculty for your tireless efforts in teaching, mentoring, and guiding our students.  My thanks also to everyone in the department for your contributions to the training and success of our students.  You should think of today as your special day and proof that all you do is meaningful and successful.   Enjoy today and share in the proof and satisfaction of a job well done.

Above all Congratulations to the Environmental Health Class of 2010, and to their friends and their families!


Doctor of Public Health in Environmental Health, concentrating in Occupational Health

Jae Young Kim, Dissertation: Longitudinal Associations Between Traumatic Injuries and Depression.


Doctor of Science in Environmental Health, concentrating in Environmental Science & Engineering

Chu-Yun Huang, Dissertation: Effects of Body Composition on Uptake and Metabolism of 1,3-Butadiene.


Doctors of Science in Environmental Health, concentrating in Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk

Teresa Chahine, Dissertation: Modeling Variability in Environmental Exposures and Health Risks for Community-Based Risk Assessment.


Yueh-Hsiu Chiu, Dissertation: Secondhand Smoke, Occupational Exposures, and Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease in Trucking Industry Workers.

Birgit Claus Henn, Dissertation: Manganese Metabolism and Neurodevelopment.

Melanie Dove, Dissertation: Smoke-free Air Laws, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Health in Children and Adults.

Stalo Karageorgi, Dissertation: Reproductive, Environmental and Genetic Determinants of Endometrial Cancer Risk.


Doctor of Science in Environmental Health, concentrating in Occupational Health

Wisanti Laohaudomchok, Dissertation: Novel Exposure Assessment and Early Neurotoxic Effects of Manganese in Exposed Workers.


Doctor of Science in Environmental Health and Health Policy and Management, concentrating in Environmental Science and Risk Management

Susan Wason, Dissertation: Evaluating Heterogeneity in Pesticide Exposure and Risk for Children in an Urban Low-Income Environment

Masters of Science in Environmental Health, concentrating in Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk

Hua Chen

Sun Hwa Chung

Martin Forde

Matthew Grespin

Yu Lee

Danya Machnes

Lauren Madden

Julia Roos

Yongmei Shen

Kuo-Pei Tsai

Christopher Zuidema


Masters of Science in Environmental Health, concentrating in Occupational Health

Richard Adusa-Poku

Tawan Udtamadilok


Masters of Science in Environmental Health, concentrating in Industrial Hygiene

Ariel Piedmont

Dustin Walker


Masters of Public Health in Occupational and Environmental Health

Genevieve Bergeron

Yu-Kai Lin

Anne Renee McDonough

Kayode Abdulwaseel Odutayo

Craig Richard Kai Pack

Yolanta Virginia Petrofsky

Hiroshi Tsuji


Notes – 5/26/10

Although I was not able to attend the American Thoracic Society (ATS) meeting in New Orleans last week, our department was well represented.  Indeed, many stood out.

Congratulations to David Kasahara, Norah Verbout, and Alison Williams, all fellows in Stephanie Shore’s lab. Each received travel awards from the ATS Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly to attend the meeting.  The awards were presented at the EOH Assembly meeting which took place in New Orleans.  They received three of the ten awards. A nice coup for each of them, and also for Stephanie Shore and the caliber of the fellows who seek to work with her.  Well done!

Congratulations to David Christiani and Rihong Zhai who had the distinction of having two highlighted presentations as highlights at ATS.  Out of the thousands of presentations, only 24 were highlighted.

We are particularly proud of Jeff Fredberg who was awarded the Walter B. Cannon Award from The American Physiological Society at the annual meeting held April 24-28, 2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

A story about endocrine-disrupting chemicals in consumer plastics and household products aired Sunday, May 23rd on CBS News 60 Minutes.   Although Russ Hauser did not appear on camera, he was a resource for this program. See the story at  Also, a New Yorker article on same topic came out on Monday …A weekend of endocrine disruptor stories!

Attendees at the recent Linda Fox wedding have wonderful stories of a beautiful ceremony and great fun at the reception.  Steve Rudnick, Tracy Mark, Renee Costa, Sheila Stewart, Rose West and Petros Koutrakis were among the attendees.   I’m searching for a picture of Petros and Linda on the dance floor?

Looking forward to commencement tomorrow!



Notes – 5/7/10

Another busy week as we rapidly approach commencement.  Good luck to all our students as the academic year draws to a close.

Congratulations to Jack Spengler who received the EPA Environmental Merit Award for Lifetime Achievement (along with George Buckley) at the EPA Region 1, 40th year celebration of Earth Day that was held in Boston on April 22, 2010.  See the attached for information on Jack recognizing his lifelong dedication to the environment.

Stefanos Kales just returned from American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine’s (ACOEM) annual meeting in Orlando.  Five current HSPH residents also attended. Two, Gerardo Durand and Eric Amster, each gave excellent oral presentations and received national resident research awards. HSPH took 2 of 8 this year to continue our excellent track record ( Two other recent HSPH residency graduates, Sachin Kapoor (2005) and Abe Timmons (2004), were among 18 physicians elevated to fellowship by the college.  Elpis Soteriades (2002 ) led a well-received conference session and about 25 residents, alumni and faculty gathered at an HSPH reception Monday night. A number of other alums like Jim Tacci, corporate medical director at Xerox and Bengt Arnetz, Professor and Division Director at Wayne State University were also very active at the meeting. In sum, HSPH was very well-represented.

I hear the 2010 Cambridge Science Festival was a great success.  Thanks to Ann Backus, Jim Butler, Jalal Ghaemghami (visiting scholar), and Chanida Thammachart.  Also thanks to the college students working with Ann Backus, Haley McBride from Simmons and Adrianna Boulin from Emmanuel College.

Jim Butler and Jalal talked with 400 people and helped them use the microscopes to see dust mites and deer ticks, and to understand lung and trachea anatomy using models;  Adrianna and Ann did peak expiratory flows for 200 people, and Chanida and Haley worked with over 150 people aging them with April (TM) Age software.

Marshall Katler who leads our science outreach to the neighborhood Boston Schools represented the department at the Dedication Ceremony of the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers at Northeastern University. The Academy is a college preparatory high school for Boston students exploring careers in health.  I receive very positive feedback on Marshall’s work in the Boston schools and encourage anyone interested to talk to him about how you can help.

It’s Mother’s Day weekend, thanks to all the mothers in the department who somehow manage to balance a career with the overwhelming demands of raising a family.  My thanks and hats off to all of you!!

Have a great weekend!



Notes – 4/26/10

Congratulations to Bob Wright and his co-investigators on the recent renewal of the Superfund Basic Research Project (SBRP) grant.  An essential component of our research and training activities since 1992, SBPR will continue to play a prominent role in our future.  The Department leverages the SBRP with Department support to build and maintain essential Core resources that serve to enhance the research and teaching done by the Department. Over time this mutually beneficial synergy has become critical to the success of both the SBRP and the Department.

Congratulations to Susan Chemerynski Wason,  Teresa Chahine, Birgit Claus Henn, and Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda Chiu who all successfully defended their theses on Friday or Monday.

The New York Times sought Jack Dennerlein out for comments related to a story on all the sitting we do at our desks.  See  but stand up and stretch first!

Congratulations to David Christiani and Peter James who received Green Carpet Awards on Friday.  The awards are given to individuals and teams who have worked on inspiring creative and impactful environmental projects at the University.  Jack Spengler was one of the award presenters. Jack continues to play a lead role in environmental issues at the University.  If anyone has a picture of Jack in his presenter outfit I’d really like to see it!

Hope everyone was able to recognize Earth Week in some way, the weather certainly cooperated.  Speaking of weather, it was a beautiful weekend on the Cape and the fish were biting.  Caught a baby striper to kick off the season.  Have a good week,



Notes – 4/16/10

It’s great to be back in the office for a full week after almost a month of travel!  Arrived home just in time to celebrate my ….. 39th birthday!

My return from Japan completes my travels for a while; had airlines schedules cooperated I would have circumnavigated the globe.  While a large commitment of time it was very productive and is evidence of the global reach and impact of the department.  I want to thank everyone in the department for the hard work that reaches so far around the world – I wish all could see first-hand the global evidence of the work we do.

While in Tokyo I spoke at the convocation of Teikyo University.  Teikyo has been a long time partner and it was good to see our Teikyo colleague Eiji Yano again.  The convocation was two sessions, each held in a large sports arena with attendance of roughly 15,000 each time.  Easily the largest audience I’ve ever spoken to.  The Japanese people are exceedingly polite and welcoming as evidenced by the positive response I received when I spoke briefly in Japanese.  After the convocation and meetings with the president of Teikyo and Eiji, my wife Jeanne and I enjoyed a tour of Tokyo hosted by a group of Teikyo students. Tokyo was beautiful with the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

My arrival in Japan made the newspapers but not because of me! Here is a picture from Aviation Times showing smoke from brakes/tires as we landed at Narita. You can almost make out my face in the window in front of the wing.  A little too much excitement after a 12 hour flight but all ended well.

Good to see Costas Christophi who was here for meetings this week.  Costas is on the CII faculty in Cyprus and combining work with a US vacation with his wife, Demetra Christophi, an administrator at CII.

Congratulations to Jaeyoung Kim, Wisanti Laohaudomchok, and Melanie Dove who successfully defended their theses this week.  As Melanie’s advisor I share her excitement at reaching this important milestone.  Well done!

Weather not so good this weekend so those of you who still need to file your taxes this may be the opportunity!  (Or maybe curl up with a good book, journal, or movie).  Don’t miss the Boston marathon on Monday.



Notes – 4/12/10

Time to catch up after three weeks of travel!  I was joined by Ken Wenger and Monique Bertic on a two week trip to Greece, Cyprus and Kuwait.  It was a hectic but very productive trip filled with meetings with donors, alumni, students, faculty and government officials.  The highlight of the Greece portion was the signing on a Memorandum of Understanding on Tobacco Control with the Greek Ministers of Health and Education as well as the Hellenic Cancer Society.  Dean Frenk will travel to Greece this July to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to move forward an aggressive program of tobacco control in Greece.  This will be the culmination of an incredible amount of work spearheaded by HSPH faculty Greg Connelly and Dr. Panagiotis Berakis.  Congratulations to both on this important milestone.

We also attended an event hosted by Harvard alumni and friends and it was great to see all the Harvard alumni and hear about their work in Greece.

In Cyprus we met with John Evans and the faculty at the Cyprus International Institute (CII), Konstantinous Makris, Ilias Vregas, Panayiotis Yiallouros, and Costas Christophi.  CII has made significant progress over the past year, including relocating to Limassol and partnering with the Cyprus University of Technology.  John has done a great job building on the initial success of Phil Demokritou in Cyprus.  The new facilities are impressive and Dean Frenk will speak at the July graduation of this years class of 13 students.  I enjoyed meeting those students, Yara Abu Awad, Rozita Behmaneshnia, Shwapan Kumar Biswas, Elena Chrysostomou, Amana Jemail Kedir, Silva Kerkezian, Nicolas Koullapis, Solon Louka, Fjodor Melnikov, Feiby Ladan Nassan, Rodos Rodosthenous, Demetris Sazos and Eirini Zachariou. We also had a chance to see the students in action when we sat in on a class taught by Jim Shine.  Special thanks to Lenia Josephides and Demetra Valtas for making all the arrangements and being wonderful hosts.

Speaking of CII students, congratulations to Stalo Karageorgi, a member of the first CII class who continued in the doctoral program here at HSPH.  Stalo successfully defended her thesis last Thursday!

We finished the trip in Kuwait where we visited the Dasman Center for Research and Treatment of Diabetes and Dr. Kazam Behbahani.  Kazam is a longtime colleague and it was good to see him and discuss future work in Kuwait. We also joined John Evans in meeting with and submitting a project proposal to Professor Abdulla Behbehani, Vice President, Health Sciences Center, Kuwait University.

A long but very productive trip followed almost immediately by a trip to Japan, but more on that next week.  Great to be back. Thanks to Kelly Studebaker, Barbara Zuckerman and Amy Cohen for holding down the fort in our absence!



Notes – 3/5/10

Congratulations to Andrea Baccarelli who received the Rivera Drago Award from the Lombardia Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Milan, Italy.  This is a prestigious award that is given annually to a young scientist.   Andrea was recognized for outstanding research with high impact on Environmental Sciences and Environmental Protection (the word by word translation would be “for relevant investigations on environmental pollution and health protection”). The award has quite a history, having been presented in the past to Alessandro Volta (the physicist who built the first battery. He is why we measure electricity in Volts).  Also Camillo Golgi (the physician and Nobel Prize recipient who discovered a cell component, the Golgi apparatus, which contributes to protein synthesis).

Molly Kile was awarded an NIEHS K01.  “Epigenetic Effects of Prenatal Arsenic Exposure and Fetal Growth.”  Congratulations, well done!   More congratulations, this time to Rama Kristnan who was awarded the Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Research for 2010-2013, a very prestigious and competitive award!   Rama’s research topic is titled, “Physical forces and regulation of pulmonary endothelial monolayer integrity.”  The fellowship supports the development of outstanding investigators who plan careers in pulmonary and critical care medicine.  The grant also coincides with Rama’s promotion to a research scientist!  Please join me in congratulating Rama on these two significant milestones in his career!     The above are significant accomplishments that I enjoy sharing with the entire department.  With such a productive department I do so at the risk of leaving someone out!  Please be sure to send notice of awards, publications, major presentations, etc. to Barbara Zuckerman ( so I can give the appropriate shout out and include it on the department website

Last week Dean Frenk recognized the 2010 Environmental Health Honoree’s for their long service at the annual Celebration of the Stars event.  Congratulations to all of our dedicated staff!

 5 Years:

Kofi Asomaning
Michael S. Bank
Melissa A. Curran
Mary Elizabeth Davis
Adrienne S. Ettinger
Holly A. Jones
Choong-Min Kang
Sharon Karnit Sagiv
Laurel A. Schaider

10 Years:       

Jack T. Dennerlein
Scott A. Forsberg
Heike Gibson
Stephanos N. Kales
Patricia Morey
Salvatore V. Mucci
Andrea Shafer
Antonella Zanobetti

15 Years:    

Russ B. Hauser
Robert B. Herrick
Joy E. Lawrence
Ramon M. Molina
Joel David Schwartz
Carla Santos Silva
Alix Smullin
Jose A. Vallarino
John Y.C. Yong

20 Years:

Rick A. Rogers

25 Years:

Janna Maria Frelich
Petros Koutrakis
Thomas J. Smith

35 Years:

Stephen N. Rudnick
Jack Mikhail Wolfson

On a more somber note, Bob Weker, a chemist who worked in our labs, passed away last Saturday afternoon.   Bob retired from HSPH in 2006 after 38 years of service. As a Lab Manager Bob was a valuable resource for many and I know many students appreciated the amount of time he spent working with them in the lab.  In addition to being one of the “go to” people in the labs, Bob was a real nature lover. Working with the Appalachian Mountain Club of Boston he led nature hikes all over the area. There is a Memorial Service this afternoon (4:00) at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard. Our condolences to Bob’s friends and family.

Good luck with mid-terms to all our students, spring break is just around the corner!  Enjoy the weekend.



Notes – 2/12/10

Congratulations to Steve Hanna who received the Helmut E. Landsberg award at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society.  Steve is an adjunct associate professor and a specialist in atmospheric turbulence and dispersion, in the analysis of meteorological and air quality data, and in the development, evaluation, and application of air quality models.  He was recognized for “significant novel and insightful contributions in applied meteorology and urban studies, including field work, data interpretation, model development and model evaluation.”  (Note: Helmut Lansberg was my mentor at the University of Maryland who go me interested in meteorology and ultimately air pollution.)

This week I had a department executive committee meeting, a lunch with junior faculty and a dinner meeting of the senior faculty.  I find these meetings to be immensely helpful and engaging.  I appreciate and value the efforts by all to contribute to our collective success as a department.

Deadline for submission for the Harvard-NIEHS Center for Environmental Health 2010 Pilot Project Round 1 is COB Monday. If you are not a Center member, you can either apply for membership or submit with a PI that is a member.  Up to $25,000 funded, and priority is given to new investigators.  Call or email Kelly Studebaker with any questions, second round submission deadline will be August 15, 2010.

Faculty Activity reports are due today!

I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend.  It will be particularly special for me and Jeanne as our daughter Anna is marrying Artie Georgacopoulos on Sunday! Big Greek wedding. Anyone have any Windex I can borrow?  Happy Valentine’s Day!!



Notes – 2/5/10

Our Annual Winter Party last night was a lot of fun.  Our theme this year celebrated the global character of our Department.  We had a big map where everyone could put pins for their home and where they are doing research.  The map is now on the 13th floor.  Stop by to see the wide range of countries represented, and to add your own pins if you were not able to last night.

Tom Quinn, Patty Gregory, Laurie Torf and the entire staff at Sebastian’s did a terrific job with the food, creating four stations with delicious offerings representing the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  Everyone was able to find something they really enjoyed.  Well done.

One of the highlights of the party is seeing the children. We had more than 40 children attending this year. It is a rare opportunity for the larger Environmental Health family to get together.  It is such a treat to see the new additions like little Kenya Fuller, Christina Hemphill’s daughter, as well as to see the others growing up, like Heike Luttman-Gibson’s children Anna and Oliver.  The hand puppets and Rami Salami, the balloon artist, were a great hit among the kids as well as many of the students and fellows.

Tom Smith tried his hand at puppetry.  While Tom has many talents, ventriloquism is not among them.  Fortunately he has a tenured position as Professor, and also as Department Jester.  Thanks Tom for being such a good sport.

Thanks to Kelly Studebaker, Barbara Zuckerman, and Ken Wenger for organizing this event, and to the students in our office,  Kristen Lessl, Katie Taylor, and Cristabel Kwabi for helping them execute these plans.

Guests at the party included nine new students from Brazil.  John Godleski is hosting these students from the Universidade de São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP). Thanks to an ongoing research collaboration between John and Paulo Saldiva, Professor of Pulmonary Pathology and Chair of the Department of Pathology at FMUSP, students have the unique opportunity to conduct laboratory research on the cardiopulmonary effects of air pollution and to learn through a combination of didactic activities and lab work in the Harvard Medical Area. This talented group was selected for a one-year experience at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in 2010.  Please welcome Helena Bonadia Buonfigilo, Juliana Hiraoka Catani, Felipe Boschini Franco, Vicente Mazzaro Filho, Ana Letícia Melquíades dos S. Nery, Álvaro G. Mendes Neto, José Roberto Mendes Pegler, Caio de Assis Moura Tavares, and Paulo Sng Man Yoo.

We were also pleased to see Dr. Heirachiro Arito who was a fellow in the Physiology Program in the mid-1990’s at the party.  Dr. Arito was leading a delegation of scientists from the Japan Bioassay Research Center who are working on the toxicology of nano-particles.  They had very productive meetings over the past two days comparing approaches with the team of our investigators who only the week before had submitted a proposal for a new center on the health effects of nano-materials.  Thanks to Joe Brain, Jim Butler, and Melissa Curran for organizing this exchange.

Dean Frenk hosted a Town Hall Meeting yesterday kicking off the Pilot Phase of the Research Transformation Project (RTP). This Project is promises to provide world-class research administration infrastructure at the School. Plans were presented for pilots to evaluate two alternative models for this transformation. One of these pilots, the One Stop Shop Model, is being led by our Amy Cohen (nee Gerson). This model provides a centralized team approach, which cuts across departments.  Amy has been assigned to lead this team over the next four months.  Thanks to Jonathan Levy and Ken Wenger who have worked hard representing us on the RTP Working Group.  Hopefully this work will really lead to a superior research administration structure.

While the Patriots are not in the SuperBowl this weekend, I think we all have our favorites. Many of us remember fondly the students from the Tulane School of Public Health who spent the spring semester with us in 2006 after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.  I don’t have a favorite team, but I would like to see our Tulane friends celebrating Sunday night.



Notes – 1/11/10

Happy New Year and welcome back!  I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday break.  It certainly appears the batteries have been recharged based on the high energy level I saw around the department last week.

Congratulations to Jeff Fredberg on his selection to give The Walter B. Cannon Award Lecture at the coming annual Experimental Biology meeting, which will be held in April.  Jeff’s talk is  “A Hard Day in the Life of a Soft Cell: Physical Laws Governing Cytoskeletal Deformation, Contraction, and Remodeling.”  This is noteworthy for two reasons.  First, it’s one of only two lectures that spans all of physiology.  Secondly, it’s named after Walter B. Cannon, who was at Harvard and is much appreciated by all physiologists.  In fact, he coined the term homeostasis and wrote a classic book called “The Wisdom of the Body.”  A great recognition of Jeff’s recent accomplishments.

Welcome again to our friend and colleague Andrea Bacarelli who joined us for two weeks to teach  EH 298 Environmental Epidemiology.  I have been sitting in on his class.  It is a challenge to be a student again, but Andrea is a great teacher and a leader in epigenetic research.

In other winter session courses, we have 14 of our HSPH student currently in Cyprus taking the Environmental Genetics class along with 13 students from the Cyprus International Institute.  Adrienne Ettinger is directing the course with help from Stalo Karageorgi.  I see the temperature reached 68 degrees in Larnaca today.

Congratulations to Raisa Stolyar on her retirement.  Raisa was a highly skilled laboratory chemist who was a valued contributor in a laboratory that consistently performed at the highest levels. Best wishes from all of us in your well-deserved retirement.

Be sure to mark your calendars for our Department Winter Celebration.  The date is February 4, 2010 and this year we celebrate our global presence and impact. Our international theme recognizes the various countries we come from as well as the countries where we do our research.  Share your flag and your culture as we seek to highlight the international scope of our department!

Speaking of Celebrations, hope you can join us at the Deans reception today to kick off the New Year.  Kresge Cafeteria, 4:00-5:30 pm.  Dean Frenk will speak briefly at 4:30

Condolences to Patriots fans but take heart, Red Sox spring training starts next month!  Have a great week.