November 2023 Notes from the Director

J. Christopher States, Ph.D.

Much has happened since the last Notes: Research!Louisville, EHS Center Directors Meeting, External Advisory Committee Review, Community Engagement activities, and Raise some L to name a few.

The annual Health Science Center Research!Louisville conference is back up to full activity. CIEHS pilot project and voucher awardees presented on the research funded by these awards in a symposium. If you missed the presentations, please contact for the recordings. This year, the NIEHS Director, Dr. Rick Woychick, was the keynote speaker. He presented on research directions at the NIEHS and spent some time meeting with CIEHS and Superfund Research Center leadership. The CIEHS Community Engagement Core brought in high school students working on PFAS detection in ground water in Henderson to present and to meet with Dr. Woychik. He was quite impressed with the students.

The EHS Center Directors Meeting was held in Houston in mid-October. CIEHS member and RIG leader Dr. Carolyn Klinge was chosen by the program committee to present her research on epitranscriptomic changes in mouse liver induced by PCB exposure. Her presentation was well received. Dr. Woychik provided some insight on future funding. Unfortunately, the NIEHS payline is expected to go to 7%ile. However, Dr. Woychik emphasized that there was a large ‘gray zone’ in which grants that did not meet that threshold could be funded – especially if they are from ESI’s. He also stressed that if one is directing an application that is environmentally relevant to another institute, to please designate NIEHS as secondary. This action will put the grant on their radar and there is a possibility of co-funding.

The CIEHS External Advisory Committee visited at the end of October. CIEHS held a symposium the first day of the visit. There were oral presentations in the morning and a poster session in the afternoon. Travel awards were given to best posters in six categories. Congratulations to the winners! Special thanks to Dr. Petra Haberzettl for organizing the symposium and to Colleen Quinter, Sarah Jump and Luis Salazar Guzman for making all the arrangements. Thank you to all who participated. The EAC was impressed with the turnout. The morning of the second day was an interactive session with the EAC. They provided important feedback helping us to prepare the P30 renewal application. Overall, they were very positive regarding CIEHS’ accomplishments and provided good advice.

The annual ‘Raise Some L’ day generated a number of donations to the CIEHS Trainee Travel Fund. All donations will be matched by CIEHS to provide travel awards to our trainees to assist them when presenting at national meetings. Thank you to all who donated! You can donate at any time by clicking the link on the CIEHS website. Thus, far CIEHS has made 31 travel awards.

Several CIEHS faculty were recognized at the 2023 School of Medicine Faculty Excellence reception and received awards, or had their promotion or endowed chair appointment announced. Congratulations to our outstanding faculty! Likewise many of our trainees and/or junior faculty received awards for their research presentations at Research!Louisville. Congratulations to all!

Congratulations also to Drs. Banrida Wahlang and Ted Smith who along with me are now KY Colonels! The newsletter contains many more items calling attention to the accomplishments of our members. Congratulations to all the outstanding CIEHS faculty and trainees.

We are in the midst of the holiday season and Winter break will soon be upon us. Enjoy the holidays!