On Feb. 4, the Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) at MIT held its annual poster session at Morss Hall in Walker Memorial, which highlighted the work of 20 of the center’s affiliated labs from seven MIT departments. More than 60 posters — the highest number the Center has ever had — were presented at the event.
CEHS has as its overall mission the study of biological effects and processes of exposure to environmental agents in order to understand and predict how such exposures affect human health. To that end, the center brings together 28 MIT faculty members from eight MIT departments (in both the School of Science and the School of Engineering) plus three Harvard faculty members, a faculty member from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and two faculty members from the Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals (Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital).
This year’s CEHS cash prizes were split into two categories, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. For each category, the prize for first-place was $500, second-place prize was $100, and the third-place prize is a CEHS T-shirt, mug, pen and lanyard. The cash prizes were made possible by the Myriam Marcelle Znaty Research Fund, which was established nearly 30 years ago to support the research of young scientists at MIT.
David Weingeist, of Professor Bevin Engelward’s lab, won first place in the graduate student category. David presented his work on “Single Cell Trapping for High-Throughput DNA Repair Measurements in Environmental Health Sciences and Medicine.” Second place went to Christine Birch, of Professor Jacquin Niles’ lab, who presented her work on “RNA Aptamers for Studying Malaria Sequestration.” Third place went to Chandni Valiathan, of Professor Leona Samson’s lab, who presented her work on “Gene Expression Signatures Characteristic of Cell Sensitivity to DNA Damaging Agents.”
In the postdoctoral scholar category, Eben Cross, of Professor Jesse H. Kroll’s lab, captured first place for his work on “Real-Time Characterization of Particle and Gas Phase Diesel Emissions-Understanding the Influence of a Diesel Particulate Filter.” Second place went to Orsolya Kiraly, of Professor Bevin Engelward’s lab, who presented her work on “Cell Proliferation Potentiates Alkylation-induced Homologous Recombination in the Mouse Pancreas.” A three-way tie for third place went to Daniel Ferullo, of Professor Graham Walker's lab, for “Eukaryotic TLS Polymerases and DNA Damage Tolerance;” Shmulik Motola, of Ernest Fraenkel's lab, for “Retinoid X Receptor Alpha has Distinct Roles in the Liver of Calorie Restricted and Insulin Resistant Mice;" and Wenjie Ye, of Steven R. Tannenbaum’s lab, for her work on “Toxicity of 3, 5-Dimethylaminophenol and Its Chemical Reaction Mechanisms.”