Today is Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2020

Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences

Center for Environmental Genetics

Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates:


News & Events

  • CEG News at a Glance, 2020 June\July: PDF
  • CEG News at a Glance, 2020 May\June: PDF


Eula Bingham and Gwen Collman PhD of NIEHS 2015 The CEG has lost a great friend upon the June 13 death of Emeritus member Eula Bingham, Ph.D.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family.  Dr. Bingham became one of the first female PhD faculty members in the UC College of Medicine Department of Environmental Health in 1961 and devoted a lifetime of advocacy to environmental health and worker safety. Dr. Bingham was appointed as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health from 1977 until 1981 under President Jimmy Carter and was the fourth director of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since its inception in 1970.  There she distinguished herself as a champion of environmental safety and workers’ right to know about potential environmental exposures and their immediate and long-term implications for human health.  In the video linked here, Dr. Bingham shares the story of her career and the deeply held principles that drove it. A perennial educator, Dr. Bingham constantly reached out to students and young investigators, and is seen in the above photograph with NIEHS program officer Gwen Collman, Ph.D., during our Department's 50th anniversary celebration of its founding

Navigating ASSIST for human subjects and clinical trials: The Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system is used to prepare and submit applications electronically to NIEHS and other NIH and Public Health Service agencies. It is also used to ensure PIs' compliance with timely reporting of Human Subjects Study inclusion enrollment data, etc. Delays and errors in Human Subjects reporting via ASSIST can delay or jeopardize individual and Center funding; hence, the content in this June 3 workshop led by NIEHS staff specialist Martha Barnes, M.S. is important for PIs and their staff. PPT slides accessible here (PDF). Webinar recording accessible here (mp4 file).

Transforming your laboratory productivity with nanoscale automation: On May 7 representatives of Fluidigm introduced Juno, Biomark and C1.  These systems, which the CEG has purchased, enable single cell capture and subsequent molecular processes, including reverse transcription, generation of cDNA libraries prior to sequencing, and performing multiplex qPCR in chip format. To help us answer any questions you might have about these resources, please complete this brief online questionnaire before July 9. Thank you!

Dr. Pheruza Tarapore, Ride Cincinnati grant award recipientCongratulations to CEG member and Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Dr. Pheruza Tarapore on becoming one of just 5 faculty members from the UC College of Medicine and James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy to receive a $50,000 Ride Cincinnati cancer grant.  The 2020 Marlene Harris-Ride Cincinnati Cancer Pilot Program, which is administered by the UC Cancer Center, issued the research award to Dr. Tarapore for her study, “Intraperitoneal Targeting of Metastatic Ovarian Cancer for RNA Aptamer Delivery.”

Dr. Alvaro PugaCongratulations to CEG Associate Director Alvaro Puga, Ph.D., Fellow AAAS, on receiving the 2020 George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Distinguished Scientific Research from the UC College of Medicine. Dr. Puga was to be presented with this prestigious award during the 2020 All-University Faculty Awards Celebration, originally scheduled for April 23 in the Great Hall at Tangeman University Center.  We regret that the CoVID pandemic has prevented large public celebration at this time, and we extend our heartiest congratulations and thanks for his outstanding achievements and work.

The CEG Internal Advisory Board has approved as of May 2020 the admission of three new CEG Associate members and New Investigator Awardees (NIAs): Drs. Angelico Mendy, Jun Wang, and Patrick Ray. As an NIA, each early career investigator will receive limited Jr faculty salary support and active mentoring in EHS research.

Dr. Engelico Mendy portraitAngelico Mendy, MD, MPH, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the UC Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences. Dr. Mendy completed a postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award in the Environmental Cardiopulmonary Disease Group at NIEHS. His research there covered the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on respiratory health and examined whether these effects might be mediated by epigenetic changes, recently reporting the association of bisphenols F and S used as bisphenol A (BPA) substitutes with asthma and allergic outcomes. His other interests include the identification of phenotypes of complex diseases and the effect modification by serum levels of antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E) on the relationship of ambient air pollutants and asthma outcomes. 

Portrait of Jun Wang, CIH, PhDJun Wang, PhD, PE, CIH, CSP, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Environmental and Industrial Hygiene, where he oversees the Workplace Aerosol and Gaseous Lab (WANG Lab) in the UC Center for Health-Related Aerosol Studies (CHRAS).  His research interests measuring emission of airborne toxins from notable environmental sources; developing methodologies to quantify cytotoxicity, oxidative potential, and respiratory deposition of ultrafine aerosols and nanoparticles; and designing next-generation sensory detection and engineering control to reduce inhalation exposure. Dr. Wang has proposed as part of his commitment to the mission of the CEG a multi-faceted study aiming to understand how metal exposures (manganese, lead, mercury, etc.) introduce neuroinflammation through magnolia activation and cytokines overproduction, and how learning, memory, and other developmental markers in youth are affected by environmental exposure to metals.

Portrait of Patrick Alexander Ray, PhD, UC CEASDr. Patrick Ray, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering in the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science.  Dr. Ray completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Massachusetts: B.Sc., University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2001. M.Sc., Tufts University, 2006 (Civil & Environmental Engineering, Water Resources). Ph.D., Tufts 2010 (Water Resources Engineering). Postdoc, UMass-Amherst, 2014 (Water Systems Modeling under Uncertainty). He has served as Principal Investigator on awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Ohio Water Development Authority (Multi-dimensional risk assessment on riverine Contamination: Case study of Cincinnati) and World Bank (Group Climate Change Risk Assessment of Expanded Upper Arun Hydropower Facility, Nepal).  In 2015 Dr. Ray received the World Bank Knowbel Prize Team Award.

The CEG Internal Advisory Board approved in 2019 the admission of five new CEG Associate members Ashley Merianos, Ph.D.; Katherine Vest, Ph.D.; Sakthivel Sadayappan, Ph.D., M.B.A.; Wen-Hai Shao, Ph.D. and Maobing Tu, Ph.D.

AshleyMerianosPhDDr. Ashley Merianos is an Assistant Professor of Health Education and Promotion. Her primary research and teaching interests include substance use prevention and control, health services research, social and behavioral epidemiology, and program evaluation. She holds a K01 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2017-2022) for a study on Reducing Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Pediatric Patients in the Emergency Department Setting, and is a co-investigator with CEG member Melinda Mahabee-Gittens, M.D., Ph.D., on a study of the Prevalence and Clinical Correlates of Thirdhand Smoke Exposure in a Pediatric Patient Population (NIEHS R01 ES030743; 08/15/2019 – 07/31/202.

KatherineVestDr. Ketherine Vest is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics in the UC College of Medicine. The Vest lab is currently investigating how RNA binding proteins regulate expression of genes important for mitochondrial metabolism and MuSC function.She was an Ohio Eminent Scholar (2018) and from 2016 through 2019 studied myogenesis and RNA biogenesis in a mouse model of OPMD with a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32 award) from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

WenHai ShaoDr. Weh-Hai Shao is an Assistant Professor in the UC College of Medicine and its Division of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology.  He currently holds a nearly three-quarters of a million dollars R01 award from NIDDK for his study of AXL Receptor Tyrosine Kinase, a Potential Therapeutic Target in Glomerulonenephritis (R01 DK116789, 04/1/19 – 03/31/22). He has received repeated travel awards to the International Congress of Immunology, where he was a recent invited speaker (Beijing, 2019) and is an editor of the Journal of Molecular Epidemiology.

Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, MBADr. Sakthivel Sadayappan is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Director of Heart Branch of the Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute.  Goals of the Sadayappan lab include (1) elucidating the causes of muscle-specific diseases at the molecular level, and (2) identifying therapeutic targets that will lead to the development of effective cures. In October 2019 Dr. Sadayappan was among the faculty members, staff and trainees honored by the UC College of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Disease and the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute  for distinguished contributions toward understanding, diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease and stroke.  At the event, called "Celebration of the Heart," Dr. Sadayappan was recognized for receiving a pre-doctoral Institutional Research award from the American Heart Association.

Maobing Tu, PhDDr. Maobing Tu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, UC College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His research interests include chemical & environmental engineering, bioprocess engineering, yeast and bacterial metabolomics, microbiome analysis, and biodegradation.In 2018 her received a UC CEAS Master Educator Award and was named a UC Trans-disciplinary Research Leadership Program Scholar.  He serves as a reviewer for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, the Journal of Biotechnology, Green Chemistry, and numerous other journals.

Congratulations and welcome to our new members!