UofL CIEHS Symposium Highlights Environmental Health Science Research

The Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences (CIEHS) at the University of Louisville recently hosted a symposium on October 30th to spotlight their cutting-edge research. CIEHS is funded by a prestigious P30 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), one of only 25 such centers in the nation.

CIEHS works to unravel the complex web of interactions between pollutants and structural determinants of health in human health and disease. The center achieves this through promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, translating research findings, recruiting new and established investigators to environmental health science research, and actively promoting community engagement and community-based research.

The symposium was attended by students and faculty from all three UofL campuses and visitors from other NIEHS P30 centers. The event featured a full day of seminars and poster sessions, with UofL CIEHS scientists presenting research on the impact of environmental exposures on health. Topics ranged from environmental factors and cancer in Kentucky to the effects of cadmium exposure on liver health. Researchers also explored diverse software platforms for air quality data collection and the connections between green spaces and cardiovascular disease prevalence in the United States.

Presentations covered a wide range of topics, from wastewater-based epidemiology to advanced imaging techniques for tracing copper distribution in response to cadmium exposure, and the effects of prenatal cigarette smoke exposure on postnatal motor development. Additionally, researchers explored the impact of metal exposure on prenatal brain development and epitranscriptome changes in response to diet and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposures in a mouse model of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD).

The symposium featured a diverse array of posters presented by faculty, students, post-docs, and research staff, covering various environmental and health-related topics. These included evaluating songbirds as sentinels for air pollution, the effects of arsenic exposure on alternative gene splicing, and the impact of sodium benzoate and a high-fat diet on kidneys, among others.

The event also highlighted community-engaged research on PFAS in Western Kentucky and the effects of chronic cadmium exposure on DNA damage response. These presentations emphasized the vast scope of research in the field. Notably, the symposium provided students and research staff with an opportunity to participate in a poster competition. Winners in each category received certificates and $500 travel award vouchers, fostering the development of future scientific leaders. Below you will find a list of awardees:

Medical Student Award
Jahnavi Sunkara

Masters Graduate Student and Pre-Candidacy Ph.D. Student Award
Oluwanifemi Esther Bolatimi

Ph.D. Candidate Award
Dakotah Cathey

Postdoctoral Fellow Award
Anand Ramalingam

Undergraduate Student Award
Romith Paily

Research Staff Award
Yiqun Mo

In summary, the CIEHS symposium was a remarkable display of cutting-edge research in the field of environmental health sciences. If you are interested in learning more about CIEHS, have an environmental concern or interest, idea for content or if you are interested in a partnership please fill out the following form HERE or contact Sarah Jump .