EHS Alumna wins first prize at GETA meeting

EHS alumna Weihong Guo won first prize in the graduate student category of the poster session of the Genetic and Environmental Toxicology Association of Northern California Spring Symposium. The meeting addressed stem cell applications in pharmacology and toxicology and was held May 24, 2005 in Menlo Park, California.
 
Her poster entitled "Genotoxicity of the benzene metabolite hydroquinone in human blood stem and progenitor cells" demonstrated that the benzene metabolite hydroquinone can induce DNA and chromosome damage in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. This is significant because it may be a key event in benzene-induced hematotoxicity and leukemia.
 
Guo based her poster on research she conducted while a graduate student at EHS. She completed her M.S. degree in Environmental Health Sciences in 2004 and continues her research in Martyn Smith's Molecular Epidemiology and Toxicology Laboratory at EHS.

Tom McKone tests alternative way to assess environmental risk

Is 50 degree weather cold or mild? Is 45 years of age old or young? If you scored 85 on a test, did you do well, O.K., or poorly? If you agreed to meet at 11:00 a.m. and arrived at 11:15 a.m., was that acceptable or rude?
 
Your frame of reference can make a big difference, says COEH faculty member Tom McKone of UC Berkeley. Language can be imprecise, and perceptions vary. So when researchers and government officials attempt to assess environmental risks and set policy, they opened themselves dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity about what constitutes a situation that is "hazardous," "acceptable," or "safe."
 
Seeking a way to characterize more clearly the uncertainties involved in assessing environmental risks, McKone and colleague Ashok Deshpande, now retired from India's National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, have borrowed a methodology used in engineering that takes into account the extent to which something .ts into sets of de.ned categories.
 
For example, McKone says, many people would call a Fuji apple red. But it has yellow in it as well. How can we account for the fact that the apple can be categorized as red and, to some extent, not red (yellow)? Fuzzy logic, the name given the methodology by its inventor, Lot. Zadeh of UC Berkeley, provides a way to express the apple's "degree of membership" in both color categories.
 
Deshpande and his colleagues in India applied fuzzy logic to an assessment of water quality in the Ganges River. McKone worked with Deshpande to interpret the general applicability of this work to risk assessment. Tens of thousands of people bathe in the Ganges each day for religious reasons, yet the quality of the water in the river has deteriorated over the years as sewage and industrial wastes have been discharged into it. To help the government assess the effectiveness of measures it had introduced to control the effluent, the researchers used fuzzy logic methodology to study the water at two bathing places, Varanasi, where pollution has been severe, and Rishikesh. By considering both water quality measurements and expert opinions about what measurements are acceptable, they were able to characterize the water quality at Rishikesh as "acceptable" and to demonstrate an urgent need to intensify pollution control efforts at Varnasi, where the water quality was "not acceptable."
 
"But Are We Safe?"
"A lot of the things we do in public health or environmental decision-making really involve these fuzzy sets," McKone says. "We don't know what 'safe' is. You can't draw a straight line and say everything on this side is safe and everything on that side is dangerous. We like to have crisp lines, but that gives us a false sense of safety--'Oh, drink all you want, because your water is at .8 parts per million and the standard is 1.'"
 
The traditional numerical approach to risk assessment is hard for the public to understand, McKone says: "I've been to so many meetings where somebody gives a long presentation and concludes, '…and your risk is 10-3,' and everyone is scratching his head and asking, 'But are we safe?' I think it would be a very interesting experiment in risk communication if we came into a community and said, 'We looked at what makes water unsafe, what makes water acceptable, what makes water good and what makes water very good. Your water has a high degree of match with good but not with very good.' So people can think about what they want to do. People don't understand the numbers-all they hear is the word, risk. If you can keep the assessment process in the domain of lay-language and away from mathematical terminology, it may be easier for people to digest."
 
McKone says regulation is moving in that direction: "Many regulatory agencies are now putting a lot more narrative discussion into the risk assessment and are talking about margins of safety rather than risk. Our methodology provides yet another alternative. It allows us to articulate a range of uncertainties by putting them in categories."
 
In public health, McKone says, the way you communicate information can influence the decisions you get. He doesn't think fuzzy logic leads to radically different scientific outcomes, but he believes it can help scientists and regulators explain complex environmental challenges in a way that makes the uncertainties and the trade-offs more transparent.

EHS Fall 2004 Newsletter

With the new academic year going by quickly, many of us are wondering what is going on in the Environmental Health Sciences Division. Below is some news that we hope will give you a brief update regarding faculty, students, and staff in the EHS community.

1. New Students
2. Staff Changes
3. Birth Announcements
4. New Grants
5. Recent Ph.D. Graduates
6. News from Professor Kirk Smith's Research Group
7. News from Professor Nina Holland's Research Group
8. First Annual Student Camping Trip
9. Attention Students: Masters and Ph.D. Representative Nominations Due
10. EHS Whitewater Rafting Trip
11. EHS Happy Hour
12. Newsletter Contact Information

New Students

Cathy Tuglus, Ph.D., Robert Spear
Anielka Gonzales-Webb, M.S./HED, Kirk Smith
Ryan Johnson, M.S./HED, Kirk Smith
Rebecca Kehrer, M.S./HED, Kirk Smith
Limor Geisler, M.S., Robert Spear
Daniel Laks, M.S., Katharine Hammond
Gian Allen-Piccolo, M.P.H., Kirk Smith
Matthew Carlson, M.P.H., Tom McKone
Sara J. Janssen, M.P.H., John Balmes
Miram Rotkin-Ellman, M.P.H., Robert Spear
Rene Shiao, M.P.H., Martyn T. Smith
Helen Song, M.P.H., Mark Nicas
Josef Thundiyi,l M.P.H., John Balmes
Naomi Ufberg, M.P.H., Martyn T. Smith

Staff Changes

Staff changes after the Spring 2004 term.

Judy Bear, M.S.O for the Division left for retirement
Janice Crooks started as the new M.S.O for the EHS Division
Elisa Wakefield from Berkeley Center for Environmental Public Health Tracking, left for a benefits position in Los Angeles
Donna Dahrouge started as Assistant Director for Berkeley Center for Environmental Public Health Tracking, assisting John Balmes
Holly McGuire started as COEH Program Representative, assisting Suzanne Llewelyn
Alisa Jenny started as Research Manager with Kirk Smith
Zohir Chowdhury started as a Post-Doctoral student working on the following projects with Professor Kirk Smith:
?Development of a Low Cost Particle Monitoring Instrument
?Analysis of the Air Pollution Data from Guatemala
Song Liang started as an Assistant Researcher working with Professor Robert Spear, and his work is contributing towards the use of mathematical models for the design of village-based intervention strategies for the control of the parastic disease schistosomiasis in China.
Noe Galvan started as a Post-Doctoral Researcher working with Professor Martyn T. Smith, and his work will involve looking at changes induced in humans and cell cultures by chemical exposure.
Ji Zhiying started as a Post-Doctoral Researcher working with Professor Martyn T. Smith, and his work will involve the application of new technologies such as arrays, Comet-FISH and proteomics to the study of the effects of benzene and other aromatic hydrocarbons on the human blood and bone marrow.
Andrew Olaharski started as Post-Doctoral Researcher working with Professor Martyn T. Smith, and will be involved in the research on biomarkers of benzene exposure and causes of childhood leukemia.

Birth Announcements

Anielka Gonzales-Webb (1st year HED student) gave birth to a baby boy this month.

Zohir Chowdhury is the proud father of Oyon (baby boy) born in September:

Sharmin, Oyon, and Zohir

New Grants

The following grants were received after Spring 2004.

State Level Geocoding of SWITRS Data, David Ragland, 10/1/04-9/30/05
California Best Practices for Teen Traffic Safety, David Ragland, 10/1/04-9/30/05
Protecting Lithographic Printers from Chronic Health Damage: Promoting the Use of Safer Alternatives for Toxic Cleanup Solvents, Mark Nicas, 9/8/04-9/7/05
Health Protective Textiles: Bridging the Disposable/Reusable Divide, Mark Nicas, 9/15/04-8/31/09
Alcohol-Involved Collision/Victims Reduction Program, David Ragland, 6/1/04-9/30/05
Toxic Substances Program, Robert Spear, 7/1/04-6/30/057) Identifications of Biomarkers of Arsenic Exposure and Metabolism: Comparison of Urine Proteomic Patterns, Martyn Smith, 7/22/04-7/21/05
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Study (City of Emeryville), David Ragland, 8/10/04-11/9/04
Indoor Air Pollution Study, Kirk Smith, 9/1/04-2/28/05
A Pilot Study of Heat-Treatments to Denature HIV in Breast Milk, Barbara Abrams, 5/1/04-4/30/05, $164,600
Promotion of Rural Renewable Energy in Western China, Kirk Smith, 5/1/04-9/30/05
Biomarkers for Benzene Exposure and Genotoxicity, Martyn Smith, 5/1/04-3/31/08
Gender, Obesity, C-Reactive Protein and Oxidative Stress Study, Nina Holland, 4/15/04-2/28/05 (4/15/04-2/28/08)

Recent Ph.D. Graduates

Dissertations from Ph.D. students who filed in December 2003 or May 2004.

Song Liang, "A Spatio-Temporal Modeling of Schistosomiasis Transmission Dynamics and Control in Sichuan, China."

Rosemary Castorina, "Methods of Assessing Risk from Pesticide Exposure in Pregnant Women Living in an Agricultural Community Using Biomarkers and Benchmark Dose Modeling"

Neil Kleipeis, "Using Computer Simulation to Explore Multi-Compartment Effects and Mitigation Strategies for Residential Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke"

Morton Schei, "Asthma, Allergies, and Indoor Air Pollution in Nepal and India"

Kathleen Vork, "Development of an Occupational Air Contaminant Exposure Monitoring and Control Strategy with Application to Lead Exposure during Bridgework"

News from Professor Kirk Smith's Research Group

This past summer, EHS students conducted pilot studies in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Participants were recruited from those currently enrolled in the NIH-funded Guatemala Stove Intervention Study (Prof. Kirk R. Smith, PI). This main study is monitoring indoor air exposure and health outcomes such as pneumonia among over 500 infants from birth to 18 months of age, to determine whether children living in improved or "clean" stove households have a lower incidence of pneumonia as compared to children from homes that use open fires for cooking.

Jamesine Rogers, "Time Activity in children 3-7 years using the UCB Ultrasound Locator." In August 2004, I conducted a pilot study in San Lorenzo, Guatemala of a new technology developed by UCB and EME Systems, the UCB Personal Locator. The UCB Personal Locator consists of two parts: a transmitter which emits a signal when worn by the subject and a receiver which records signals upon detection. The purpose of my study was to assess the accuracy and appropriateness of the UCB Personal Locator under field conditions in identifying when a child is exposed to a major source of air pollution in the kitchen, or other space of interest. Data from direct observation and the UCB Personal Locator were compared to determine: (1) accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the device; (2) the placement of the transmitter on the subject which maximizes accuracy, and (3) the placement of the receiver in the kitchen which maximizes accuracy. Based on the results of this pilot study, the UCB Personal Locator provides an accurate measure of length of exposure to a source of indoor air pollution (accuracy: 95.0%, sensitivity: 89.0%, specificity: 71.1%) and thus will provide an improved method of exposure assessment among future studies in this population.

Shannon Coulter-Burke, "Household ventilation measurements: development of methods." Ventilation properties play a significant role in determining pollutant concentration levels in indoor environments. In August 2004, a study was conducted to determine if ventilation, measured as the rate of air exchange, could be adequately captured by taking a total of four measurements collected on two separate occasions. If the measurement methodology proves adequate, the measurements will provide rates of air exchange for the study households. Prior to the study, homes were visually inspected and assigned to one of three ventilation categories: open, partially-open, and closed. Two homes from each ventilation category were selected, and air exchange measurements were taken four times at each home. Using the central estimate for each home, analysis of variance by ventilation category showed a statistically significant difference at 95%. This suggests that the two-visit, four-experiment measurement methodology may be sufficient to capture reasonable estimates of air exchange rates in homes of this type.

Lisa Thompson, "Pilot testing of pulmonary function and allergies among children 5-8 years." Lisa Thompson, a family nurse practitioner and doctoral student in EHS at UCB, and Janet Diaz, a pulmonologist from UCSF conducted a pilot study of spirometry and allergy testing. Thirty children between the ages of 5 and 9 were recruited to participate in the pilot study. The pilot study found that spirometry and allergy testing are acceptable among this very young group of Guatemalan children. Fifty percent of the study sample was able to perform spirometry maneuvers that were acceptable on the first try, with older children doing better than younger ones. Eighty percent of children who could not perform spirometry on the first try were able to do it on a second try one week later. The prevalence of airway obstruction (as determined by reversibility testing with inhaled albuterol) consistent with a diagnosis of asthma was calculated at 14% among our sample. This rate is much higher than the symptoms-based prevalence of 3.3% reported in a similar but larger Guatemalan cohort study. Thirty-five percent of the children demonstrated an allergic response to common allergens such as cockroach, dust mite, and cat.

Spirometry and allergy skin testing are objective measures that allow us to go beyond self-reported symptom-based evaluation methods. Symptom-based methods are the typical approach for surveying populations lacking adequate health care and diagnostic tests. Longitudinal follow-up of the children currently enrolled in the stove intervention study offers a unique opportunity to determine the impact of early life exposure to biomass smoke on chronic respiratory health, including the development of asthma and allergies. To date, this is the only study of allergy or respiratory health of Mayan indigenous children in Guatemala.

 A mother in Guatemala trained in spirometry testing and her children. Photo by Lisa Thompson

A mother in Guatemala trained in spirometry testing and her children. Photo by Lisa Thompson

Funding for these research projects comes from the Brian and Jennifer Maxwell Edowed Chair in Public Health held by Professor Kirk Smith

News from Professor Nina Holland's Research Group

Nina T. Holland, adjunct professor of molecular and genetic epidemiology, received funding to study the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children and will support the seven center Pediatric IBD consortium as the project's Molecular and Laboratory core center. Dr. Holland also received funding to study the role of genetics in the inflammatory response to ozone exposure, in collaboration with Dr. John Balmes. Paurene Duramad, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Holland's lab, has recently published as first author an interesting paper entitled "Flow cytometric detection of intracellular Th1/Th2 cytokines using whole blood: Validation of immunologic biomarker for use in epidemiologic studies." This paper discusses the development and optimization of a novel biomarker that can help researchers study the effects of environmental toxicants on the human immune system. Paurene has received a student scholarship in recognition of her work and will present her findings at the Central & Eastern European Environmental Health Conference in Prague, Czech Republic on October 26, 2004. Another recent paper by the Holland lab, in collaboration with Dr. Brenda Eskenazi, Director of CHAMACOS cohort study, is entitled "Association of in utero organophosphate pesticide exposure and fetal growth and length of gestation in an agricultural population." This paper reports key findings on the effects of pesticide exposure on children's health and development.

First Annual Student Camping Trip

EHS is proud to announce the First Annual Camping trip for all current EHS students to welcome new incoming students and was held September 12-14. Many thanks to Rachael Jones, Lesliam Quiros, Cathy Tuglus, and Yu Kuwabara for organizing this event. Here are some quotes from two happy students that attended:

Helen Song, First year M.P.H. Student. "Nestled in the hills not too far from downtown Oakland, students and staff of EHS engaged in a weekend of nature, good company, and fine dining while overlooking a spectacular panoramic view of Lake Chabot. Students displayed their skills in tent making, bonfire building, and smore cooking. Some highlights: One of the student's gregarious chows pervaded the campsite with the aroma of its skunk-sprayed fur coat. Norma Firestone dropped in Saturday morning to cook chorizo, a savory Mexican breakfast of sausage and eggs. The trip ended as a well needed break for most and a quaint way to befriend fellow colleagues."

Kyra Naumoff, Current Ph.D. Student. "I really enjoyed the EHS camping trip as sitting around a campfire is such a great way to meet new folks entering the program. Work stories, cycling training schedules and travel adventures were exchanged...combined
with Rachel's banana cake, the event was a real hit!"

Attention Students: Masters and Ph.D. Representative Nominations Due

The Masters and Ph.D. Representative nominations will be in a couple of weeks. If you want to nominate an EHS student, or if you are interested in running for one of these positions, please contact Nyree Bekarian at nyree@berkeley.edu, or Miriam Rotkin-Elman at miriamre@berkeley.edu. The Working Group Committee still needs volunteers for Fall 2004-Spring 2005. If you are interested, contact Rachael Jones at rmjones@berkeley.edu.

EHS Whitewater Rafting Trip

On May 14, 2004, ten adventurous EHS professors, researchers and staff members ventured out to the American River for a day of whitewater rafting fun. Led by their fearless leader Justin Girard and aided by many cans of beer, they ran the South Fork of the American River and conquered class III rapids such as Satan's Cesspool, Dead Man's Drop, and Bouncing Rock. Despite some close calls (one raft ran into some rocks and propelled Kacy backwards into the river), all ten made it to the finish line.

 L to R: Suzanne Llewellyn, John (Alan's friend), Joe Eisenberg, Norma Firestone, Jim (Janny's friend), Janny Chiu, Elisa Wakefield, Alan Hubbard, Michael Murphy, Justin Girard, and Kacy Hone. For more pictures, visit the display window in the EHS lobby.   

L to R: Suzanne Llewellyn, John (Alan's friend), Joe Eisenberg, Norma Firestone, Jim (Janny's friend), Janny Chiu, Elisa Wakefield, Alan Hubbard, Michael Murphy, Justin Girard, and Kacy Hone. For more pictures, visit the display window in the EHS lobby.

 

EHS Happy Hour

EHS will have a Happy Hour event on October 21, 2004 at 4-6 PM in 759 University. Hall

News Letter Contact Information

If you have any suggestions for EHS activities or for other news to be included in this newsletter, please contact Norma Firestone at nstone@berkeley.edu.

Kirk R. Smith contributes to air pollution report

COEH faculty member Kirk R. Smith of UC Berkeley has contributed to a special report, Health Effects of Outdoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries of Asia: A Literature Review, produced by the Boston-based Health Effects Institute (HEI), an independent research organization that provides information "on the health effects of emissions from motor vehicles, fuels, and other environmental sources."
 
Supported jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry, HEI "has come to be one of the most respected organizations for air pollution research in the world today," Smith said.
 
The report summarizes the current and projected Asian situation with regard to urban population, economy, health, and air pollution. It then evaluates epidemiological evidence from studies of outdoor pollution in Asia, using meta-analytic techniques to examine published time-series studies that estimate the effect of short-term exposure to air pollution on death and hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory disease. It ends by identifying gaps in current knowledge that could be addressed with more research.
 
Smith is among those who influenced HEI to extend its research into Asia, and this report is the first that the institute has published addressing the health effects of air pollution there. Smith is a member of the International Scientific Oversight Committee of HEI's Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia (PAPA) program, which produced the report and is overseeing new epidemiological studies recently funded by HEI in Asian cities. COEH alumna, Sumi Mehta, is coordinating the South Asian studies at HEI.
 
Smith and other scientists urged HEI to create the PAPA program to address scientific and public health questions in Asia, where countries have severe air pollution problems that have a serious impact on human health. The nature of the problems and the health effects are of particular scientific importance as well, Smith said, because they are often different in size and character from those in the U.S. and Europe where most research has focused in the past.
 
HEI International Scientific Oversight Committee. Health Effects of Outdoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries of Asia: A Literature Review. Special Report 15 (Boston: Health Effects Institute, 2004) http://www.healtheffects.org

Kirk R. Smith links cooking with biomass to low birth weight

A study of babies born to mothers cooking with wood, dung, or straw has confirmed early reports of an association between household use of biomass cooking fuels and reduced birth weight.
 
COEH faculty member Kirk R. Smith, working with an international research team at the East-West Center in Honolulu, analyzed demographic, socioeconomic, and health information for a random sample of mothers in Zimbabwe who had given birth in the years 1993-98. Unlike babies born in most developing countries, those in Zimbabwe routinely have their weights measured at birth. In all, the researchers analyzed 3,559 births.
 
Results of the analysis showed that babies born to mothers cooking with biomass fuel weighed about six ounces (175 grams) less than babies whose mothers were using propane, natural gas, or electricity.
 
An earlier study of women and newborns in Guatemala had found that babies born to mothers using wood fuels weighed less than those whose mothers cooked with gas or electricity. Similar results have been found for mothers exposed to active and passive tobacco smoke.
 
The study in Zimbabwe, to be published in the Annals of Epidemiology, provides further evidence that cooking with unprocessed biomass fuels, which produces a large number of air pollutants that are hazardous to health, especially respiratory health, can also increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Low birth weight (below 2,500 grams or about 5.5 pounds) puts children at risk for childhood ill health and early death.
 
In light of these findings, the researchers called for more investigation to measure the relationship of indoor smoke exposure and birth weight more directly.
 
Smith's research group at UC Berkeley is piloting methods in their Guatemala research for doing such direct measurement. "If we know how much impact a certain level of indoor air pollution has on birthweight," Smith explained, "it will be possible, for example, to decide whether building a chimney will help, or whether that won't reduce levels enough to make a difference."
 
Mishra V, Dai Z, Smith KR, Mika L (2004) Maternal exposure to biomass smoke and reduced birth weight in Zimbabwe. Annals of Epidemiology, in press. Summary

Martyn T. Smith receives funding for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma study

Martyn T. Smith, Ph.D., professor of toxicology, received funding from the National Cancer Institute for "Genetic Susceptibility to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma" (NHL), to study the role of genetics in the etiology of lymphoma, which should also yield important clues to important environmental factors. The project will evaluate the role of genetic polymorphisms in two large case-control studies that form part of the International Consortium of Investigators Working on NHL epidemiologic Studies. Researchers will investigate the relationship between functional polymorphisms in key candidate genes/pathways and their effect on the risk of developing NHL. The analyses will constitute one of the largest NHL molecular epidemiology studies to date.

Katharine Hammond lecture in Ireland on eve of smoking ban

S. Katherine Hammond, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences, traveled to the Republic of Ireland on a lecture tour at the invitation of the country's Western Health Board and the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), to speak about passive smoking in anticipation of Ireland's workplace smoking ban. Included in her tour was a presentation at the Western Health Board's seminar, "Going Smoke Free: Preparing for the workplace smoking ban," and a well-attended public lecture, "Who's Blowing Smoke: The Health Benefits of Going Smoke Free," delivered at NUIG. While in Ireland, Hammond assisted in designing and implementing a study of secondhand smoke in pubs before and after the band.

Robert C. Spear honored with Jin Ding Award in Sichuan, China

This fall, Robert C. Spear, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences, will travel to China to be honored by the provincial government of Sichuan with its inaugural Jin Ding Award. The award will acknowledge Spear's decade-long commitment to understanding and controlling the incidence of schistosomiasis, a debilitating water-borne disease. According to the World Health Organization, schistosomiasis affects 200 million people worldwide and poses a threat to 600 million more in 76 countries.

 Robert Spear (left) visits the Ertan Dam in Sichuan, China, with a government official and Peng Gong of Berkeley's College of Natural Resources.

Robert Spear (left) visits the Ertan Dam in Sichuan, China, with a government official and Peng Gong of Berkeley's College of Natural Resources.

Spear's collaboration with the Sichuan Institute for Parasitic Disease involves the collection of data using new technologies, such as global positioning systems for managing epidemiological and ecological data in an integrated data model. The work is of increasing relevance in China because of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, which will create new waterway links between previously isolated areas of schistosomiasis infection.

Division News from the Chair

By Kirk Smith, EHS Division Chair
 
Welcome to everyone for the new academic year, especially to the new students and staff. I thought to update a number of things for your possible interest.
 
We will post division news like this one 2-3 times each term to keep everyone updated on division-related items.
 
New Students

Lesliam Quiros - Ph.D., Advisor: Mark Nicas
Martha Story - Ph.D., Advisor: David Rempel
Sarah Bates - M.S.-HED/Ph.D., Advisor: Bob Spear
Michael Clark - M.S./Ph.D., Advisor: Martyn Smith
Shannon Coulter-Burke - M.S./HED, Advisor: Kirk Smith
Jamesine Rogers - M.S./HED, Advisor: Kirk Smith
Nyree Bekarian - M.P.H., Advisor: Nina Holland
Ken Carrigan - M.P.H., Advisor: John Balmes
Yu Kuwabara - M.P.H., Advisor: Tom McKone
Elizabeth Laposata - M.P.H., Advisor: Kathie Hammond
Charles Laroche - M.P.H., Advisor: John Balmes
Sa Liu - M.P.H., Advisor: Kathie Hammond
Mark Powell - M.P.H., Advisor: Bob Spear
Shobba Sadasivaiah - M.P.H., Advisor: Nina Holland
A. Ryan Slakman - M.P.H., Advisor: Martyn Smith
Natalya Varshavkaya - M.P.H., Advisor: Mark Nicas
Jennie Walcek - M.P.H., Advisor: Bob Spear
Christina Wang - M.P.H., Advisor: John Balmes

Staff Changes Since Spring Term

Christine Erdmann left for a position at the University of Michigan
Matthew Forrest left for a research position at the Sangar Institute, Cambridge UK
David Pennise started as Research Associate with K. Smith's Guatemala Project
Zheng (Amanda) Yin started as a GSR with R Edwards on the China Stoves Project
Kacy Hone started as Payroll/Personnel Coordinator
Elisa Wakefield was promoted to Budget Assistant in A. Kyle's Environmental Public Health Tracking Center

Other News
 
Norma Firestone and Debbie Lowe are organizing an EHS social event on Sept 5 at 4-6 PM in 759 University Hall for everyone to come meet the new students. We look forward to seeing you there.
 
Dr. Maria Bastaki, in Nina Holland's lab, is organizing a once-a-week noontime EHS seminar series for the term, as you have probably seen from her emails. As these can be a valuable way to share information and learn what is happening elsewhere within the division, I trust everyone will make an effort to participate. Mondays at noon. Location TBA
 
There is a new listserver that taps EHS-related non-faculty, non-student researchers called "EHS_Researchers," containing names of people who have sometimes not been receiving notices in the past. This makes a total of 8 EHS-specific listservers now available:

ehs-students@berkeley.edu
ehs-doc-students@berkeley.edu
ehs-masters-students@berkeley.edu
ehs-mph-students@berkeley.edu
ehs-ms-students@berkeley.edu
ehs-faculty@berkeley.edu
ehs_researchers@berkeley.edu
ehs-staff@berkeley.edu

Two EHS faculty will be on sabbatical in the fall: Bob Spear and Cathy Koshland. Among closely affiliated faculty, Allan Smith will also be on sabbatical.
 
I will be stepping down as division chair in January 2004 and Bob Spear will be taking it on at that time.
 
Featured Student Publication
 
Recent EHS Ph.D. Rosemary Castorina and EHS alumna Tracey Woodruff,
“Assessment of Potential Risk Levels Associated with US EPA Reference Levels,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 111(10), August 2003, 1318-1325.
http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/members/2003/6185/6185.html
 
If you have any suggestions for division activities or for other news that should be covered in this newsletter, please contact Norma or me.
 
Kirk R. Smith
Division Chair
August 26, 2003

 
Annex: New grants received since Fall 2002 Through EHS Business Office
 
Balmes, John R
DHHS CDC Centers for Disease Control
Centers of Excellence for Environmental Public Health Tracking
30-Sep-2002 29-Sep-2005
 
Buffler, Patricia A
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
New Approaches to Integrating Environmental and Health Data
1-Oct-2002 31-Oct-2006
 
Eisenberg, Joseph N
Cal EPA Water Resources Control Board
Measure Human Viruses in Treated Wastewaters
14-Jun-2002 31-Mar-2004
 
Eisenberg, Joseph N
NIH National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Environmental Change and Diarrheal Disease
15-Jan-2003 31-Dec-2007
 
Eisenberg, Joseph N
National Kidney Foundation
Non-Pharmacological Approaches to Preventing E. Coli Urinary Tract Infections
1-Aug-2002 31-Jul-2004
 
Eisenberg, Joseph N
Universitywide Aids Research Program
Development and Application of an Enteric Pathogen Microarray for the Characterization of Fecal Carriage Rates
1-Dec-2002 30-Nov-2003
 
Hammond, S Katharine
NIH National Cancer Institute
Service to Determine the Etiology of Lung Cancer in Xuan Wei County, China
15-Sep-2002 14-Sep-2003
 
Nicas, Mark P
Association of Schools of Public Health
Risk Assessment for Airborne Bioterrorism Agents
1-May-2003 30-Apr-2004
 
Ragland, David
Cal Office of Traffic Safety
Latino Traffic Safety Project
15-Mar-2003 14-Mar-2004
 
Robinson, James C
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Corporate Finance and Consolidation in Health Care
1-Sep-2002 31-Aug-2004
 
Smith, Kirk R
Shell Oil Companies Foundation, Inc
Standard Monitoring Packages for HEH Field Projects
31-May-2003 30-Nov-2005
 
Smith, Kirk R.
World Health Organization
Database of Indoor Air Pollution Studies in Developing Countries
1-Jan03; 30June -03
 
Smith, Kirk R.
United Nations Development Programme
Review of World Energy Assessment
1-Jan-03: 30-April-03
 
Spear, Robert C.
DHHS CDC Centers for Disease Control
Occupational Safety and Health Training Grant-Northern California Education and Research Center
1-Jul-2002 30-Jun-2007
 
Spear, Robert C.
NIH National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Local Strategies for Schistosomiasis Control
1-Jun-2002 31-May-2007