USC Environmental Health Centers

Current news, events and research projects of the Environmental Health Centers based at USC

February 14, 2017

SCEHSC Announces 2017 Pilot Project Grantees

USC Environmental Health

The Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center (SCEHSC) announced the annual pilot awards for 2017 on Friday, Feb. 3rd.  Director Frank Gilliland, MD, PhD said that the applications covered a wide range of cutting edge environmental health issues.  Four pilots were funded a total of $123,525 for 2017:

Effects of particulate matter on neural stem cell-mediated proliferation and response to hypoxic injury. 
Principal Investigator:
Frank J. Attenello MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Role of butyrate producing gut microbiome in immune-regulation of Traffic Related Air Pollution (TRAP) related airway inflammation. 
Principal Investigator: 
Omid Akbari, Ph.D., Professor of Immunology, Keck School of Medicine, USC

Toxic Metals Exposure and Metabolomic Perturbation: Impacts on Children Living Near Battery Recycling Industry
Principal Investigators: Shohreh Farzan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Environmental Health Keck School of Medicine of USC and,
Jill Johnston, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director of Community Engagement, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Environmental Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Lipophilic environmental pollutants and adipose tissue metabolic profile at the time of bariatric surgery: A novel approach for exploring mechanisms
Principal Investigator:  Leda Chatzi, MD, PhD, Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, Greece and Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, USC

More information can be found here:

The Pilot Projects Program is an integral part of the SCEHSC's mission to more fully characterize environmental health hazards, understand the basis of personal vulnerability, and translate research into preventive action to reduce the burden of environmentally-related diseases. The Pilot Projects Program acts as a springboard for emerging environmental health sciences research questions, an incubator for junior investigators’ careers, and an opening for establishing new multidisciplinary collaborations in environmental health sciences research by funding one-year projects up to $50,000. The goal of the program is to provide investigators with an opportunity to collect preliminary data and/or validate the utility of specific methods or techniques to establish the feasibility of larger-scale research projects and ultimately seek external (especially NIEHS) funding.

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