Author Archives: Elle Russell

PROTECT & CRECE Provide Community Support for Puerto Rico Following Devastation Caused by Hurricanes Irma & Maria

Since Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September, the PROTECT and CRECE Centers have been collaborating with outside groups to ensure the safety and welfare of team members, community health center partners, and members of the surrounding associated communities. The PROTECT and CRECE teams have research partnerships with four Federally Qualified Community […]

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Puerto Rico Works to Recover from Impact of Hurricanes Maria and Irma

On September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in Puerto Rico, nearly immediately rendering the island’s power grid, cellphone towers, and even its banking system inoperable. Puerto Rico’s director of safety and public protection, Héctor Pesquera, explained the situation, saying “Everything collapsed simultaneously.” The hurricane is reportedly the most powerful storm […]

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Cordero Receives APHA’s 2017 Sedgwick Memorial Medal

PROTECT is excited to report that Dr. José F. Cordero, PROTECT Co-Director, was selected by The American Public Health Association (APHA) to receive the 2017 Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health in recognition of his public health research and mentorship achievements as well as his lifelong effort to translate scientific findings to […]

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PROTECT Researchers Present at SRP-organized American Chemical Society Symposium

On August 23rd, PROTECT researchers Roger Giese, Yishan Lin, and Ljiljana Rajic, presented at the SRP-organized American Chemical Society symposium “Economic impact of environmental health research: A case study of the NIH/NIEHS Superfund Research Program.” The session featured case studies conducted by Superfund Research Program centers, thoughts on possibilities and challenges for the implementation of […]

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November Webinar: Chirag Patel, “Building a search engine to identify environmental exposures in disease and phenotypes”

On Monday, November 6th, PROTECT will host the first webinar of the 2017-2018 academic schedule. This webinar will feature Chirag Patel, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School, who will speak on “Building a search engine to identify environmental exposures in disease and phenotypes.” Read on to learn more about the upcoming webinar and Dr. Chirag’s impressive […]

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Brown featured in NIEHS “Grantee Highlights” Archive for work with PROTECT

A National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) post titled, “Understanding Community Awareness and Actions on Environmental Health Issues,” highlights the work of Dr. Phil Brown, director of the Research Translation Core (RTC) and co-director of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) for PROTECT and co-director of the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) of CRECE. The piece was […]

Posted in Enrichment Core B (Research Translation), Enrichment Core F (Community Engagement), Media Coverage of PROTECT, PROTECT Team | Comments closed

Brown Leads Conference on Exposure and Health Issues Raised by PFASs

On June 14th and 15th, 2017, Dr. Phil Brown, director of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) and the Research Translation Core (RTC) for PROTECT and co-director of the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) of CRECE, took part in leading a conference titled “Highly Fluorinated Compounds – Social and Scientific Discovery.” The goal of the […]

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Padilla, Project 4 Leader, Presents at the University of Rouen, France

From May 14th-27th, 2017, Dr. Ingrid Padilla, leader of PROTECT’s Project 4, was a visiting scholar at the University of Rouen located in Normandy, France. The objective of the visit was to establish collaborative work with leading hydrologists and microbiologists on karst and public health issues. Team members of the University of Rouen were particularly […]

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PROTECT Project 5 Researchers Visit West Virginia’s Karst Caves

From June 1st through 4th, 2017, PROTECT Project 5 team members Dr. Dorothy Vesper, Dr. Lily Rajic, Kimberly Hetrick, and Emily Bausher visited karst caves in Monroe County, West Virginia. For this trip, the team had goals of collecting and characterizing sediment samples as well as investigating the potential impacts of suspended sediments on electrochemical […]

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PROTECT Project 5 Researchers Attend EREM2017

On August 6-8, PROTECT Project 5 trainees and researchers attended the 15th International Symposium on Electrokinetic Remediation (EREM2017) organized by the Department of Building Civil and Environmental Engineering (BCEE) at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. PROTECT co-director and Project 5 leader Prof. Akram Alshawabkeh serves as a member of the scientific committee for EREM conferences, and […]

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PROTECT Trainee Nancy Cardona-Cordero Receives KC Donnelly Externship

Nancy Cardona-Cordero, PROTECT trainee at the University of Puerto Rico, has been honored with a K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplement, which provides funding to Superfund Research Program trainees to expand their research experience at another institution. Cardona-Cordero will spend her externship at the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program, where she will develop training programs for stakeholder’s […]

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Project 5 Researchers Mentor Students through Science Club for Girls

On July 24th, 2017, Project 5 researchers Dr. Lily Rajic and PhD student Kimberly Hetrick began a weeklong mentoring service for the girls summer program “Young Leaders in STEM” organized by Science Club for Girls’ (SCFG). The program serves girls from grades 8-12 and was created to help young women to develop interests in science, […]

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Project 5 Hosts Local High School Students through Young Scholars Program

This summer, two local high school seniors, Teppei (Cody) Kotake of Newton North High School and Robert Rampanis of Norwell High School, participated in  PROTECT Project 5 research as part of the Young Scholars Program (YSP) organized by Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education.  The 6-week long program was created to provide opportunities for hands-on research to high […]

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Berroa, Gregor, and Elbakri–Former ROUTES Scholars–Publish with Project 5 of PROTECT Center

On June 12th, 2017, the International Journal of Electrochemical Science published a study by  former ROUTES Scholars David Berroa, Savannah Gregor, and Sarah Elbakri on  nitrate removal from aqueous solution via electrochemical processes as well as the feasibility of these processes to minimize the production of ammonia during the nitrate reduction. Nitrates are commonly found […]

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National Pre-Term Birth Rates Rising

In late June of 2016, the National Center for Health Statistics released provisional birth data showing that U.S. preterm birth rates rose 2 percent in 2016, from 9.63 to 9.84 percent of all pregnancies. This is the second year in a row that national preterm birth rates have increased—a worrying trend, given that preterm birth […]

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PROTECT and CRECE Team Members Present at Ibero-American Conference of Health-Promoting Universities in Spain

From June 26th to 30th, 2017, PROTECT and CRECE Team members Carmen Vélez-Vega, Hector Torres, and Colleen Murphy attended the 8th Ibero-American Conference of Health-Promoting Universities where they presented on four different posters. Covered in the team members’ presentations was research from PROTECT, CRECE, and The Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study. Carmen Vélez-Vega […]

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Vélez-Vega featured in NIEHS “Grantee Highlights” Archive for work with PROTECT

A National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) post titled, “Establishing Partnerships to Address Environmental Health Concerns for Pregnant Women and Children in Puerto Rico,” highlights the work of Carmen Vélez-Vega, Co-Leader of PROTECT’s Community Engagement Core (CEC) and CRECE’s Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC). The piece was posted on June 21st, 2017 in […]

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PROTECT Executive Committee Joins for a Retreat in Boston

On June 12th and 13th, 2017, PROTECT team leaders from around the U.S. and Puerto Rico came together for a mini-retreat on the Northeastern University campus in Boston to discuss progress, integration and plans. On the first day, each executive committee member presented on progress made with their team, particularly focusing on instances of successful […]

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PROTECT Team Improves Modeling of Regional Groundwater Flow in Puerto Rico Using Drainage Features

A recent publication by the PROTECT Team revealed interesting findings on how drainage features impact groundwater flow in karst aquifers in Northern Puerto Rico. In karst terrains, subsurface conduit networks with unknown characteristics, and surface features (such as springs, rivers, lagoons and wetlands) act as drains for the karst aquifers, thus impacting regional groundwater flow […]

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Project 2 Leader Loch-Caruso Cited in News Article Discussing EPA Review of 1,4-Dioxane and other Chemicals

On March 28, 2017, the University of Michigan hosted a panel of distinguished speakers who provided expert perspectives about changes made to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). They discussed the recent amendment to the law, The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (“Lautenberg Act”), which requires the Environmental Protection […]

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Northeast SRP Centers Meet at Northeastern University

On Tuesday, April 4th and Wednesday, April 5th, PROTECT hosted the annual Northeast Superfund Research Program (SRP) Meeting at Northeastern University. This event was co-sponsored by the Boston University SRP, the Brown University SRP, the Columbia University SRP, the Dartmouth Toxic Metals SRP, and the Penn Superfund Research and Training Program. The meeting began with […]

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NIEHS Director Joins PROTECT and CRECE in Puerto Rico for Community Environmental Health Forum

In late March of 2017, the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Dr. Linda Birnbaum, visited Puerto Rico to participate in a community forum on environmental health issues which was held in San Juan. On the evening before the forum, PROTECT and CRECE team members had the honor of meeting with Dr. Birnbaum […]

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April Webinar: Dr. Kelly Bakulski, “Environmental epigenetics in early life: The placenta and beyond”

On Monday, April 10th at 1:00pm EST, PROTECT hosted the fifth webinar of the 2016-2017 academic schedule. The webinar was presented by Dr. Kelly Bakulski, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Taubman Scientist at the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. The title of her […]

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Visiting Scholar Wei Zhou Wins Second Place Prize for Poster Presented at MIT Water Night

On March 22nd, 2017, PROTECT Visiting Scholar Wei Zhou was awarded a second place prize for a poster he presented at MIT Water Night, an event hosted annually by MIT Water Club. Each year, this event brings together researchers and industry professionals in the Boston area and provides them with a platform to present their […]

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Alshawabkeh Co-Authors Op-ed Urging Legislators to Increase SRP Funding

On March 14th, 2017, The Hill, an American political journalism newspaper and website published in Washington, D.C., posted the Op-ed, “Reagan’s Superfund research must get back to Bush II funding levels” written by Akram Alshawabkeh, PROTECT Co-Director, along with Rebecca Fry and Elizabeth Glass Geltman. The piece argues for continued and increased support by Congress […]

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PROTECT Trainee Kimberly Hetrick Receives KWI Wilson Fellowship

Kimberly Hetrick of PROTECT’s Project 5 has been selected to receive this year’s William L. Wilson Fellowship from the Karst Waters Institute (KWI).  The award comes with a $1000 honorarium as well as a personalized plaque. The honorarium and plaque were presented on Saturday, March 4 at the KWI Board of Director’s meeting in San […]

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Trainee Elkin Presents on Award Winning Poster for NIEHS SRP Webinar

On March 27th, PROTECT Project 2 Trainee Elana Elkin  presented in a webinar hosted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program (SRP). The webinar was a part of an annual series which works to highlight the exceptional work of SRP trainee poster winners from their annual meetings. Elana Elkin’s poster, […]

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PROTECT and CRECE Centers Hold Joint Retreat in Puerto Rico

On February 17th and 18th, 2017, over 75 PROTECT and CRECE researchers, trainees, administrators, advisers, colleagues, and guests from across mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico gathered in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the PROTECT/CRECE Annual Retreat. The event was held at the Condado Plaza Hilton and featured presentations sharing team progress from the leaders of […]

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PROTECT and CRECE Honor Community Health Centers at Annual Retreat

As part of the 2017 Annual Retreat, PROTECT and CRECE held a ceremony to honor the Federally Qualified Community Health Centers and other community partners that have been instrumental in advancing both centers’ work in Puerto Rico. The ceremony, which was held on February 17th in San Juan, brought together community partners, researchers, scientific advisory […]

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February Webinar: Dr. Lisa Jacobson, “ECHO-wide Cohort Data – Perspectives from the Data Analysis Center”

On Monday, February 6th at 1:00pm EST, PROTECT hosted the fourth webinar of the 2016-2017 academic schedule. The webinar was presented by Dr. Lisa P. Jacobson, Professor of Epidemiology in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. The title of her presentation was “ECHO-wide Cohort Data – Perspectives from the Data Analysis […]

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2017 Check-In: PROTECT Continues Successful Community Engagement in Puerto Rico

Since the center’s inception in 2010, PROTECT has strived to establish partnerships in Puerto Rico with study participants, the community, and the March of Dimes – networks of connection forged in an effort to positively influence the health of the community. Highlighted in this article are some of the significant community engagement steps that the […]

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2017 Check-In: PROTECT Develops Deeper Understanding of Contaminant Transport in Karst Aquifers

PROTECT Project 4 has continued working to understand the ways in which contaminants move in karst aquifers, an effort that has taken the form of laboratory and field experiments as well as historical record evaluations. This year, laboratory models have shown that the transport of dissolved Trichloroethylene (TCE), a harmful chemical compound commonly used as […]

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2017 Check-In: PROTECT Continues Strong Participant Recruitment

As the new year kicks off, the PROTECT team continues strong participant recruitment of pregnant women in the karst region of Puerto Rico. The study recruitment and consecutive follow-up appointments work towards the goal of understanding environmental exposure and risk factors for preterm birth. Progress in this realm has increased drastically since 2015 thanks to […]

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Meeker Joins CDC’s NCEH/ATSDR Board of Scientific Counselors

PROTECT Project 1 Leader Prof. John Meeker of the University of Michigan has joined the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) for The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATDSR). These partner organizations function under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and worked together to […]

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Trainee Elkin Wins First Place Prize for Poster Presented at the Annual SRP Meeting

On December 5th, a poster session was held during the Superfund Research Program (SRP) Annual Grantee Meeting in Durham, North Carolina. The session featured a competition for exemplary trainee posters in the categories of “environmental sciences and engineering” and “health sciences.” PROTECT trainee, Elana Elkin of Project 2, won first place in the health sciences […]

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PROTECT Participates in NIEHS 50th Anniversary Conference

PROTECT team members from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico attended the NIEHS FEST  held from December 5th through 8th, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. The FEST was hosted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to commemorate the institute’s 50th year of working “to reduce the burden of human illness and disability […]

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PROTECT Project 3 Featured in December NIEHS SRP Research Brief

On December 7th, 2016, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) released their Superfund Research Program (SRP) Research Brief, a monthly newsletter which shares “innovative research outcomes from projects supported by the NIEHS SRP.” The brief was titled “The Porous Extraction Paddle – A Non-Targeted Sampling Device to Detect Contaminants in Urine,” and described […]

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Dr. Caroline Rouse Presents on Puerto Rico Preterm Birth for PROTECT Webinar Series

On Monday, November 28th, PROTECT hosted the second webinar of the 2016-2017 academic year. This webinar, “Preterm Birth in Puerto Rico – A Changing Landscape,” was presented by Dr. Caroline Rouse, board certified OB/GYN and fellow in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The presentation was based on research Rouse has done with Dr. Thomas McElrath, […]

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December Webinar: Brenda Rivera, “Zika Virus Emerging Disease in Puerto Rico: What Public Health Officers Need to Know”

On Monday, December 12th at 1:00pm EST, PROTECT hosted the third webinar of the 2016-2017 academic schedule. This webinar was presented by Dr. Brenda Rivera-García, the State Epidemiologist for Puerto Rico in the Puerto Rico Department of Health. The title of her presentation was “Zika Virus Emerging Disease in Puerto Rico: What Public Health Officers Need to […]

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Seminar by Former PROTECT Trainee Kelly Ferguson Highlighted by NIEHS

PROTECT Project 1 collaborator and former trainee, Kelly Ferguson, Ph.D., was featured in Environmental Factor published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) for a seminar she gave in early October at Duke University. During this seminar, Ferguson discussed some of her research which has revealed that exposure to phthalates, a group of […]

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PROTECT Partner EarthSoft Hosts Office Hours with Data Core Leader Kaeli

On Thursday, December 1st, 2016, EarthSoft, an organization that collaborates with PROTECT and develops innovative environmental database management, hosted Office Hours with Data Management and Modeling Core Leader Dave Kaeli. During his presentation, Professor Kaeli discussed the ways in which Northeastern University has been using EQuIS for the PROTECT Program. Utilizing the software involves significant interaction and sharing […]

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November Webinar: Tom McElrath and Caroline Rouse, “Preterm Birth in Puerto Rico – A Changing Landscape”

On Monday, November 28th at 1:00pm EST, PROTECT will host the second webinar of 2016-2017 academic schedule. This webinar will be presented by Dr. Thomas McElrath, Associate Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School and Dr. Caroline Rouse, OB/GYN at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  […]

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Vélez Vega and Cordero Present at American Public Health Association’s Annual Conference

Several leaders of PROTECT and CRECE presented at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado on the 1st and 2nd of November, 2016. The theme of this five day conference was, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health,” and it brought together more than 12,000 public health professionals from around […]

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March of Dimes 2016 Report Card Shows Preterm Birth Increasing Nationally while Decreasing in Puerto Rico

On November 1st, the March of Dimes kicked off Prematurity Awareness Month by releasing their eighth annual Premature Birth Report Card  for the US and Puerto Rico. The report brought promising news for Puerto Rico, awarding the region a grade improvement for the first time in the report card’s history. Puerto Rico’s preterm birth rate […]

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PROTECT Trainees Vilda Rivera and Norma Torres Present at IAH Conference in Montpellier, France

On September 27th, 2016, PROTECT Project 4 trainees Vilda Rivera and Norma Torres presented at the 43rd International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Congress in Montpellier, France. The talk by Rivera and Torres, “Monitoring and Assessment of Anthropogenic Contaminant Distributions in Karst Systems” was a part of the Karst Aquifers Session being held at the conference. […]

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PROTECT Team Members Publish on Phenol, Paraben Relation to Hormonal Changes in Pregnant Women

A November publication released by Environmental Research and authored by Project 1 trainee Amira Aker and multiple researchers revealed interesting findings on the relation contaminants such as phenols and parabens have on hormone changes during pregnancy. Researchers twice measured phenol/paraben biomarkers of 106 child-bearing participants during their pregnancies. Exposures to certain contaminants were found to be associated […]

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Geary Schindel Presents on Karst for Fall PROTECT Webinar Series

On Monday, October 31st, Geary Schindel presented a talk titled “Karst Aquifers – Water Quality, Vulnerability, and Public Health in a Complex Groundwater System” for the PROTECT webinar series. The annual string of presentations aims to educate the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program (SRP) community about broader topics relevant to […]

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Brown and Brody Serve as Guest Editors for Special Issue of New Solutions Journal

In late October, New Solutions, a journal known for its focus on Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, published a special issue on “Social Science-Environmental Health Collaborations.” Professor and PROTECT researcher Dr. Phil Brown and Silent Spring Institute Executive Director Dr. Julia Brody served as guest editors of this November installment which explores collaborations between environmental […]

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PROTECT Researchers Loch-Caruso and Cordero Present at NIEHS SRP Webinar

On October 17th, 2016, PROTECT researchers Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso and Dr. José Cordero each presented during the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program Webinar The Interplay between Environmental Exposures and Infectious Agents: Session I – Introduction to Infectious Agents and Their Interactions with Environmental Exposures.  The webinar seminar series works “to […]

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PROTECT and CRECE to Take Part in National Study on Children’s Health

PROTECT and CRECE will be taking part in a new national study led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which aims to investigate the ways in which early exposure to a range of environmental factors influence the short- and long-term health of children. The study is part of the NIH’s new Environmental Influences on […]

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PROTECT Kicks off Academic Year with 2016 Trainee Orientation

On Monday, September 19th, The PROTECT team kicked off the 2016-2017 academic year with the annual Trainee Orientation. This multi-institutional meeting hosted by the Training Core is held every fall as a means of introducing new student trainees to PROTECT. The event also serves as an update for all attendees on the progress the PROTECT […]

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PROTECT and CRECE Members Conduct Training and Survey at Environmental Health Symposium for Speech-Language Pathologists

On Saturday, September 24th, PROTECT and CRECE leaders Dr. Emily Zimmerman and Dr. Phil Brown presented at the Early Intervention Speech-Language Pathologist Continuing Education Symposium. The event was held at Northeastern University and was attended by more than fifty speech-language pathologists and students. At this symposium, Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Brown also surveyed those in […]

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PROTECT and CRECE members attend ISEE Conference in Rome, Italy

In early September, PROTECT and CRECE members attended the 28th Annual Conference for the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) held in Rome, Italy. The main theme of the conference was “Old and new risks: challenges for environmental epidemiology.” ISEE is a global organization with members located in more than 60 countries. The society’s conference […]

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PROTECT Trainee Reneé Wurth Receives KC Donnelly Externship

Reneé Wurth, PROTECT trainee at Northeastern, has been honored with a K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplement, which provides funding to Superfund Research Program trainees to expand their research experience at another institution. Wurth will spend her externship at the University of California, Berkeley SRP Center, where she will develop new skills in water quality analysis, […]

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Karst Conference Mentioned in September Issue of Eos

Featured in the September 1st issue of Eos: Earth and Space Science News was the PROTECT-sponsored conference “Karst, Groundwater Contamination, & Public Health: Moving Beyond Case Studies,” an event held in late January in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In addition to being sponsored by PROTECT, the conference was supported by the non-profit organization Karst Waters […]

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Dr. Huerta-Montañez Presents at Children’s Environmental U.S.-MX Border Symposium

On Thursday, August 25th, Dr. Gredia Huerta-Montañez (CEC, CRECE) spoke at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas for the 2016 Children’s Environmental U.S.-MX Border Symposium, an event organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This year’s theme for the forum was “Children’s Environmental Health on the Border: Protecting Children Where They Live, […]

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Puerto Rico Is Challenged by the Zika Epidemic

In late March of this year, PROTECT posted an article describing some of the steps that were being taken in Puerto Rico to prepare for the inevitable spread of the Zika virus on the island. Five months later, Zika transmission in Puerto Rico is no longer an emerging threat, but an ongoing reality. The island is […]

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Members of PROTECT and CRECE meet with Caribbean EPA Director

On Wednesday, August 24th, PROTECT and CRECE team members in Puerto Rico met with Carmen Guerrero Pérez, the Director of the EPA’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division–a department covering all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition to the Director, the meeting was attended by Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega (Community Engagement Core Leader […]

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PROTECT Hosts Local High School Students through Young Scholars Program

This summer, PROTECT Principal Investigator and co-Director Akram Alshawabkeh hosted two local high school seniors as part of the Young Scholars Program (YSP) organized by Northeastern University’s Center for STEM Education.  The program was created to provide opportunities for hands-on research to high school juniors and seniors in the Boston area. Alshawabkeh’s hosted scholars, Amrita […]

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