Latest Notes

Notes – 4/11/2014

April is always a busy month, and this year is certainly no exception. We once again have lots of good news to report.

First, we welcome Joseph Allen to our department’s faculty.  Joe joins us as Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science.  Joe’s latest work involves studying flame retardants used in furniture.  Joe joins our EER program.  Please join me in welcoming Joe to our faculty.

Next, the Stockholm International Water Institute announced that John Briscoe will receive the Stockholm Water Prize, which is known informally as the “Nobel Prize of Water.”  John was featured in an HSPH featured article here, which has a link to the official announcement.  Congratulations John for receiving this major award in recognition of your work involving local and global water management issues, which has literally benefitted millions of people.

Congratulations to Glenn Deloid, Joel Cohen, and colleagues for their article entitled “Estimating the effective density of engineered nanomaterials for in vitro dosimetry” in Nature Communications. HSPH featured the article on its website here, and the article itself can be found here.

Sam Myers published an important paper in PNAS entitled “Human health impacts of ecosystem alteration.” The abstract can be found here. Well done Sam!

Spring is a time when our doctoral students defend their dissertations and, in the process, show the fruits of what their long hours of work over the past several years have produced. It is a major milestone in their academic careers, and we congratulate them for successfully persevering. We have a number of successful dissertation defenses to announce – congratulations to all!!

Yongmei Shen: “Improving the assessment of bioaccessibility of heavy metals in soils.”

Marcela Tamayo y Ortiz: “Prenatal exposure to lead and stress, the developing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and infant neurodevelopment.”

Oscar Arias: “The Physical Demands Across Three Different Jobs: Healthcare, Commercial Construction and Mining.”

Catlin Powers: successfully defended her dissertation, “Health and lifestyle impacts of improved cookstoves among pastoralists in Qinghai, China.” (By the way, check out the HSPH website feature on Catlin’s work here).

Thuy Lam: successfully defended her dissertation “Prepubertal serum organochlorine pesticide concentrations and pubertal development in a cohort of Russian boys.”

Christine Dobson: “Cadmium exposure biomarkers, fetal growth indices, and placental leptin expression in a Bangladesh birth cohort.”

Ruoxi Hu: “Exploring the role of microRNAs in airway smooth muscle biology and asthma therapy.”

Congratulations to Marie-Abèle Bind who has been selected as a HUCE Environmental Fellow. She will be working with Donald Rubin in the FAS Department of Statistics.  Her research will explore how temperature increases due to climate change will impact cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, especially in susceptible populations. She will also examine epigenomics data with the goal of identifying new biological mechanisms involved in producing adverse health effects from higher temperatures.

This week I had the good fortune to interview Lois Gibbs, Executive Director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, as part of HSPH’s Decision Making:  Voices from the Field series. Lois spearheaded the famous Love Canal Homeowners Association which ultimately changed the way local, state and federal policies dealt with the health effects caused by polluted land and water. They should be posting the video soon at; it’s well worth a look.

Before closing I have to mention what an extraordinary job our students have done this year by creating the EH Student Advisory Committee (SAC). They have planned several upcoming events that I expect will help their fellow students explore the multiple options that they may want to consider in the future. The committee consists of Chi-Hsuan Chang, Chrisy Chantarasopak, Frank Chu, Emily Eshleman, Kelvin Fong, Shangzhi Gao, Yichen Guo, Rui Hu, Xindi Hu, Jina Kim, Hannah Laue, Mallory LeBlanc, Linyan Li, Pi-I (Debby) Lin, Feiby Nassan, Amelia Valberg, Ana Sandoval, Katie Taylor, Yinyin Xu, Yi Zhang. If you would like more information about the EH SAC or joining, please contact Emily Eshleman at  Thanks to all of them for contributing to the vibrancy of our department.

Upcoming SAC events include:

Friday, April 11, 2014:  Academic Careers Panel
Petros Koutrakis, PhD, Zhao Dong, ScD, Jaime Hart, ScD
12:30 – 1:20 pm, Kresge 204.  Lunch provided.
Contact Hannah Laue ( for more information

Monday, April 14, 2014  Consulting Careers Panel
12:30 – 1:20 pm, HSPH, Building 1, Room 1302.  Lunch provided.
Contact Hannah Laue ( for more information

Thursday, April 17, 2014  SM to ScD: Transitioning to the EH Doctoral Program
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, HSPH, Building 1, Room 1302.  Dessert provided.
Contact Katie Taylor ( for more information

Wednesday, April 23, 2014  Industrial/Occupational Hygiene Careers Panel
12:30 pm – 1:20 pm, FXB G11.  Lunch provided
Contact Hannah Laue ( for more information

Thursday, May 1, 2014  NGO Careers Panel and Reception
Panel: 5:00 – 6:00 pm, Reception: 6:00 – 8:00 pm HSPH, Building 1, Room 1302
Contact Hannah Laue ( for more information

Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 1st Annual School’s Out for Summer Potluck
4:00 pm, HSPH Building 1, 13th Floor.  Email Invitation Will be Sent to student’s HSPH Email.
Contact: Chrisy Chantarasopak ( for further information.

As you can tell from these notes, the department is humming along on all cylinders as we come into the home stretch of the academic year.