2016 Pilot Project Awards

Qi Zhang, PhD - Department of Environmental Toxicology

September 29, 2016

  Investigating the links between chemical exposures and toxicological responses for air pollutants using a novel aerosol mass spectrometry method Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) is an important air pollutant associated with cardiovascular disease and other adverse health outcomes. PM can be composed of complex chemical compounds which vary by region and time of year. The connection between the chemical properties of PM and negative health outcomes is still poorly understood.

Swee Teh, PhD - Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology

September 29, 2016
Impact of California Drought on Water Quality and Community Health Climate change is likely to have a number of consequences for water quality, for example, increased nitrate levels, toxic algal blooms, concentrations of pollutants (pesticides, pharmaceutical and personal care products), and complex mixtures of these chemicals, that affect human health.

Ameer Taha, PhD - Department of Food Science and Technology

September 29, 2016
Streamlining pesticide analysis in human breast milk Pesticides pose a risk to human health, particularly during development, as evidenced by the established correlations between some pesticides and autism spectrum disorder and other developmental anomalies. Although breast milk provides optimum nutrition for infants, it represents a route of exposure to pesticides.

Scott Simon, PhD - Department of Biomedical Engineering

September 29, 2016
Innate immune response to ozone insult and Streptococcus pneumoniae Air pollution is a major health concern, especially for those that live in densely populated urban areas. Breathing in high levels of contaminants increases the likelihood of acquiring serious medical conditions, such as asthma and bacterial pneumonia, and long-term exposure can lead to more serious complications, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ozone is a particularly hazardous chemical that is one of the more common air contaminants.

Birgit Puschner, DVM, PhD - Department of Molecular Biosciences

September 29, 2016
One-shot analysis to determine the concentrations of environmental toxins in low-volume breast milk samples from California women The contribution of the pesticide DDT and its metabolite DDE to breast cancer risk is controversial, where a recent report by the World Health Organization noted the importance of early-life exposure to DDT remains unresolved.

Charles Lesher, PhD - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

September 29, 2016
Trace metals in dried blood spots: Method development for biomarkers in case-control studies by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry The major drawback for epidemiologic case-control studies, the most feasible design for rare diseases, is the difficulty in reconstructing accurate exposure levels retrospectively.