UTMB-CET: Executive Summary
The UTMB-CET exists as both a force to address today's disparate and compelling human concerns about environmental health problems and the intellectual framework that drives the research towards possible solutions. From its inception, the Center has been an integral component within a much larger UTMB program in the Environmental Health Sciences that include a toxicology training program and Centers of Excellence in environmental health and medicine, molecular medicine, structural biology, aging, cancer cell biology, and the Institute for Translational Sciences. Thus, the Center has become a staunch collaborator for university, community and government entities dedicated to environmental health science problems in Southeast Texas.
As a key component of the UTMB-CET, the Pilot Project program has served to assist faculty members in developing and testing innovative ideas of importance to environmental health sciences in order to become highly competitive for independent NIH funding. The goals of this Pilot Project program are to:
- Provide seed money, access to state-of-the-art Core facilities and intellectual support for novel research projects, especially those with translational emphasis and in areas where future Center development is desired.
- Stimulate and facilitate productive interactions and collaborations, particularly among basic and clinic scientists.
- Aid new investigators and PI's from other areas on campus with initial support to develop new lines of research and to apply their expertise to environmental health research.
- Help established investigators with support to explore new and innovative directions that represent a significant departure from their ongoing research.
- Develop educational tools that enhance Community Outreach and Education.
The success of the Program is measured primarily by the number of new grants awarded to Pilot Project recipients and the number of publications resulting from Pilot Project-funded research. Furthermore, success is also measured by the number of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees trained, and new interdisciplinary projects developed.
NIEHS Center Pilot Project Funding Available
Funds are available through the NIEHS Center at UTMB to support pilot studies designed to improve environmentally-linked human health through basic and translational research endeavors. Proposals are open to all UTMB investigators eligible for federal funding. Read more...
|Year||Last Name||Title||Direct Cost(s)|
|2010||Casola||Role of Nrf-ARE-dependent Antioxidant Pathway in Viral-induced Lung Inflammation||$50,000|
|2010||Midoro-Horuiti||Effects of Bisphenol A (BPA) on Asthma Pathogenesis||$50,000|
|2009||Ameredes Brooks||Role of SO₂ in Asthma Pathogenesis||$60,000|
|2009||Lemon McGivern||Investigation of the effects of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on cellular responses to chemical carcinogen exposures||$60,000|
The Environmental Health Sciences Seminar Series
During the last fifteen years, the Center has sponsored or jointly participated in a faculty seminar series that draws on both external and internal speakers. The Environmental Health Sciences Seminar Series is a co-production of the UTMB-CET and the SCEHM and is managed by the COEC Coordinator with direction from the Deputy Director (as described above). Seminars are intended to provide stimulus to the intellectual climate of the Center and enhance the scope and quality of individual center investigators' research. The UTMB-CET primarily sponsors seminars on its own, but has occasionally co-sponsored speakers of mutual interest with other Departments and Centers. The seminar calendar coincides with the Graduate School calendar and runs from September through May. In the fall of 2003, yearly presentations from the Service Core Directors were added to the calendar to keep investigators apprised of current and future directions in the Cores. The first seminar associated with the conferral of the Houston-Galveston Environmental Research Outreach (HERO) Award occurred in 2005 when Dina Cappiello, Environment Writer for the Houston Chronicle in Houston, TX presented "The story behind the story: How the Houston Chronicle uncovered toxic air pollution." The practice has since continued and the Center Director presents the HERO Award annually as part of the EHS Seminar Series.
In the current cycle, 162 seminars were sponsored by the EHS Seminar Series. Of those, 88 were external speakers, 74 were internal; including existing members or Core Directors, and 16 talks given by graduate students supported by the NIEHS Toxicology Training Grant to showcase their research projects and gain valuable speaking experience. In order to promote and stimulate new efforts in Community-Based Participatory Research, two seminars each year (one in the fall and spring academic semesters) are reserved for presenters related to the COEC or the Community-Based Research Facility of the IHSFC. The seminars of COEC or CBPR-themed presenters are typically incorporated into a larger event such as the IHSFC's Community Science Workshop or a COEC Encuentro.
Evidence of Success
In 2009, graduate students from UTMB courses in Environmental Toxicology and Global Health participated in a two-day Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) event presented in conjunction with the EHS Seminar Series. On the first day, a "toxic tour" introduced themes of environmental justice, health disparities and public health with an emphasis on people living with daily exposures from the petrochemical industry in Houston's fence line communities. Two environmental toxicologists (Jonathan Ward, Ph.D. and Edward E. Emmett, M.D., M.S.) were on hand to provide scientific background. The conversation continued the following day with an Environmental Health Sciences Seminar Series presentation, "The Little Hocking That Could; Empowering a Community through CBPR" by Edward E. Emmett, M.D., M.S., from the our NIEHS sister Center, the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. Following Dr. Emmett's presentation a moderated discussion on CBPR techniques and best practices with guest panelists from the UTMB-CET Community Stakeholder Advisory Board and new COEC member, Alexandra Nolen, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director of the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities and Associate Director of UTMB's Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Training in International Health.
Advisory Boards & Councils
Internal Advisory Board
The function of the Internal Advisory Board is to assist the Center Director with oversight of the longer term objectives outlined below:
Evaluate and ratify the creation of new Collaborative Research Teams (CRTs).
- Life-cycle management of the Collaborative Research Teams: evaluate CRT progress reports and provide guidance on continued CRT support, restructuring, or dissolution
- Annual monitoring of the junior faculty career development mentoring activities in the CRTs, and recommending changes if required
- Assessment of potential new Center recruitments and annual evaluation of existing memberships
- Recommendations on proposed equipment needs and acquisitions
- Ratification of annual Pilot Project program awards
- Assess Facility Core functions
- Advise the Deputy Director on speakers for the Seminar Series
|Cornelis Elferink, Ph.D.||Director||Pharmacology and Toxicology|
|Xiaodong Cheng Ph.D.||Deputy Director||Pharmacology and Toxicology|
|Randall M. Goldblum, M.D.||IHSFC Director||Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Sankar Mitra, Ph.D.||
|Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Allan R. Brasier, M.D.,||Senior Member, CTSA Director
|G.A. Shakeel Ansari, Ph.D.||Director, Exposure Assessment and Biomarker Development Facility (IHSFC)||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Roberto Garofalo, M.D.||Director, Translational Research Facility (IHSFC)||Pediatrics|
|Bruce Luxon, Ph.D., M.S.||Director, Bioinformatics Facility (IHSFC)||Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics Program|
|Hyunsu Ju, Ph.D.||Director, Biostatistics Facility (IHSFC)||Preventative Medicine and Community Health|
|Satish K. Srivastava, Ph.D.||Senior Member||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Sharon Petronella, MS., Ph.D.||Director, COEC, Community-Based Research Facility (IHSFC)||Pediatrics|
|Rolf Konig, Ph.D.||***CRT Coordinator||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Tom Wood, Ph.D.||MG Facility Core Director||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Richard Hodge, Ph.D.||SOC Facility Core Director||SCEHM|
|Alex Kurosky, Ph.D.||BRF Core Director||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Bill Ameredes, Ph.D.||T32 Training grant Director||Internal Medicine|
External Advisory Board
The External Advisory Board (EAB) members serve as advisors to the Director regarding the future direction of the Center. EAB members fulfill their roles by providing an impartial expert evaluation of the merit of the Center's research including the CRT mechanism, Facility Core structure, usage and management, and the Community Outreach and Education Core; and facilitating communication of the Center's accomplishments, concerns and needs to the UTMB Administration. The EAB is comprised of preeminent environmental health scientists whose research directly reflects that of the Center Investigators.
- Donald K. Milton, M.D., Dr.P.H., Chairman
- Dr. Milton is a Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and Director of Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Affiliate Faculty in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and in the Maryland Pathogen Research Institute.
- Paul Doetsch, Ph.D., Member
- Dr. Doetsch is Professor of Biochemistry and Radiation Oncology, Hematology & Oncology and is the Emory University School of Medicine Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research
- Ronald N. Hines, Ph.D., Member
- Dr. Hines is a Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology/Toxicology at Medical College of Wisconsin, and Associate Director, Children's Research Institute.
- David H. Sherr, Ph.D., Member
- Dr. Sherr is a Professor of Environmental Health; Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.
- Cheryl Walker, Ph.D., Member
- Dr. Walker is the Ruth and Walter Sterling Professor of Carcinogenesis, Department of Carcinogenesis, Science Park Research Division, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX.
The purpose of the Executive Committee is to align and coordinate the various resources of the UTMB-CET to meet the needs of its members. The Executive Committee assists the Director in overseeing short-term and more immediate Center functions to ensure normal operation associated with integration of the Center's components and activities within the entire UTMB community. The Executive Committee is made up of Directors of the component Cores, and administrative leadership within the UTMB Administrative Service Group attached to the Center.
|Cornelis Elferink, Ph.D.||UTMB-CET Director||Pharmacology and Toxicology|
|Xiaodong Cheng Ph.D.||Deputy Director||Pharmacology and Toxicology|
|Randall M. Goldblum, M.D.||IHSFC Director||Pediatrics, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Sharon Petronella, MS., Ph.D.||COEC Director||Pediatrics|
|Rolf Konig||CRT Coordinator||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Judy DiMarco||Administrator||ASG 5|
Gulf Coast Environment Stakeholders Advisory Board (SAB)
The Stakeholders Advisory Board represents a partnership between UTMB-CET leadership and community organizations representing disease-based groups, social service agencies, faith-based organizations, environmental justice advocates, environmental educational groups, and representatives from the school district, public health, city and county government, and the local media. The SAB meets annually to address environmental issues germane to the communities living in the Gulf Coast area with an eye towards community outreach and education as well as community-based participatory research.
|Members||Title||City & State|
|Cornelis Elferink, Ph.D.||Director, UTMB-CET||Galveston, TX|
|Randall Goldblum, MD||Director, IHSFC||Galveston, TX|
|Jonathan Ward, Ph.D.||Professor & PMCH, Div. of Environmental Toxicology, UTMB||Galveston, TX|
|Karla Klay||Executive Director, Artist Boat||Galveston, TX|
|Joe Compian||Board Member, The Jesse Tree & Gulf Coast Interfaith||Galveston, TX|
|Matthew Tejada, PhD||Director, Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention||Houston, TX|
|Fred Newhouse||Public Affairs Director, Valero Refining||Texas City, TX|
|Mary Lee Orr||Director, Louisiana Environmental Action Network||Baton Rouge, LA|
|Juan Parras||Director, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services||Houston, TX|
|Sarah Black||Galveston Independent School District||Galveston, TX|
|Courtney Pellegrin||Director, Bayou Grace/ Terrebonne Parish||Chauvin, LA|
|Bryan Parras||Project Manager, Nuestra Palabras||Houston, TX|
|Brenda Reyes, MD, MPH||City of Houston Bureau Chief, Childhood Lead Prevention Program||Hoouston, TX|
|Anne Rolfes||Co-founder, Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade||New Orleans, LA|
|Rochelle Ste. Marie||Director, Inner Visions/ Lafourche Parish||Lockport, LA|
|Hilton Kelley||CEO, Community In-power Development Association, Inc.||Port Arthur, TX|
|Dana Beckham||County Epidemiologist, Galveston County Health District||La Marque, TX|
|Ronald Schultz||Galveston County Health District||La Marque, TX|
|Alicia Cahill||Public Information Officer, City of Galveston||Galveston, TX|
|Rev. Michale Jackson||St. Vincent's House||Galveston, TX|
|Tina Garcia||Director, de Madres a Madres||Houston, TX|
|Jacqueline Battise||Producer, KPFT - Houston||Houston, TX|
|Kristopher Benson||Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, NOAA||Galveston, TX|
|Susie Canales||Director, Citizens League for Environmental Action Now||Houston, TX|
|Peter Davis||Captain, Galveston County Beach Patrol||Galveston, TX|
|Ted Eubanks||Director, Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council||Galveston, TX|
|Wilma Subra||President, Subra Company, Inc.||New Iberia, LA|
|Rosalia Guerrero-Luera||Executive Director, Mothers for Clean Air||Houston, TX|
Collaborative and Supportive Programs at UTMB
Administrative Core Contact Information
Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core:
- Randall M. Goldblum, M.D.
- (409) 772-1750
- Administrative Director:
- Tracie Allbritton
- (409) 772-5609
- Senior Administrative Secretary:
- Shelly K. Lewis
- (409) 772-5610
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