USC - Environmental Health Sciences
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Departmental News & Research Highlights:

    • Rothenberg awarded NIH grant
      ENHS’ Sarah Rothenberg has won $386,741 from the NIEHS to investigate methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion, gut microbes and offspring development.
    • Students named Breakthrough Graduate Scholars
      Keith Brazendale (EXSC), Diptadip Dattaroy (ENHS), Justin Hardee (EXSC) and Danielle Schoffman (HPEB) earn 2016 Breakthrough Graduate Scholar awards from the Office of the VP for Research.
    • Beets and Chatterjee named Breakthrough Stars
      EXSC Associate Professor Michael Beets and ENHS Assistant Professor Saurabh Chatterjee receive 2016 Breakthrough Star awards in recognition of early career research and scholarship achievements.
    • ENHS lab wins national award
      The "Chatterjee Lab" has again earned national recognition - this time at a premier liver research meeting-marking another milestone in the lab's rise to the forefront of both toxicology and liver research.
    • McNeal serves as student rep
      ENHS doctoral student Samantha McNeal has joined the officers of the Society of Toxicology’s Toxicologists of African Origin Special Interest Group as their Graduate Student Representative.
    • Lead edits new journal
      Jamie Lead, ENHS professor and director of the SmartState Center for NanoScience & Risk, will serve as a co-editor-in-chief for the new scientific journal, NanoImpact, published by Elsevier.
    • Gabe Kenne: I Am Public Health
      ENHS doctoral candidate impacts public health by combining his interests in natural toxins and food safety.
    • Scott invited to present at Metcalf Lecture
      ENHS Chair and Clinical Professor Geoff Scott presented at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting's annual public lecture series, Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across.
    • Baalousha and Lead edit book
      CENR and ENHS Assistant Professor Mohammed Baalousha and Professor/CENR Director Jamie Lead edit new book on the characterization of nanomaterials.
    • Combining climate change and community service
      ENHS Assistant Professor Sarah Rothenberg uses a K-12 community service project at the S.C. State Museum to fuel USC students’ passion for learning about climate change.
    • CENR and ENHS receive funding
      Environmental Health Sciences’ Mohammed Baalousha and Geoff Scott receive funding from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium to research nonpoint source contaminants in stormwater pond systems.
    • Chatterjee receives prestigious award
      Saurabh Chatterjee, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, receives Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Society of Toxicology for exceptional contributions to the study of immunotoxicology.
    • Spreading the science of healthy soil
      Buz Kloot, environmental health sciences, uses storytelling and videography to disseminate emerging agricultural practices with two YouTube series: Soil Stories and Under Cover Farmers.
    • Baalousha mentors future researcher
      Student Science names high school student Jack Runge as a semifinalist for research project conducted in Mohammed Baalousha's lab at the Center for Environmental Nanoscience and Risk (CENR).
    • CENR invents new method for oil clean up
      Jamie Lead (ENHS) and Center for Environmental NanoScience & Risk researchers develop new way to remedy contamination as a result of major oil spills: faster, cheaper, cleaner.
    • James Evans: I am Public Health
      ENHS practicum student facilitates major change in methods for determining seafood safety.
    • UofSC highlights postdoctoral fellow Jessica Leet
      Jessica Leet exemplifies how to build a scientific career in this UofSC Today feature. Trace the steps she took that led her to conduct toxicology research with zebrafish in Dave Volz's lab.
    • Vernberg Lecture honors student research
      The 2014 Fall Program of the Winona B. Vernberg Distinguished Lecture Series featured the first scientific poster session and competition for students. Read more about the winner.
    • Dr. Jamie Lead: I am Public Health
      Dr. Lead is bringing "the world" of nanoscience to USC and the Arnold School.
    • Most "Highly Cited"
      Two researchers from the Arnold School have been selected as the most Highly Cited Researchers 2014 in a new listing. Read more to find out "who's who" among top scientists!
    • In a rare honor, a Dr. Saurabh Chatterjee-designed study that was published in the August issue of Toxicological Sciences, 2013 has been awarded the Society of Toxicology Board of Publications "Honorable Mention" Award for 2014-2015. The published article which is among the 3 awarded, was selected from among 300 publications. Dr. Chatterjee is the only recipient of this honor as a senior author, in an Assistant Professor role in the last 10 years.
    • Dr. Saurabh Chatterjee was invited to speak at the first ever NIH sponsored environmental liver symposium at University of Louisville school of Medicine. The full version of the talk for download is available at the following link:

      More information can be obtained from the U of Louisville at the following link:
    • Environmental carcinogens will be the focus of the fall program of the Winona B. Vernberg Distinguished Lecture Series, scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, October 16, at the University of South Carolina’s Russell House Theater, located on Greene Street.

      Cancer epidemiologist Dr. Paolo Boffetta, who joined the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2010, will be the featured speaker for the lecture, titled "Environmental Carcinogens: What are the Risks?"
    • Prof Alan Decho recently gave an ‘invited lecture’ at the International Water Association Meeting Special Conference on Biofilms, held in Duisburg Germany.

      Decho will next visit the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland WA., to conduct research using 3-dimensional cryo-TEM tomography to investigate entrance of nanoparticles into bacterial cells.
    • Chatterjee lab receives NIH funding for a project entitled " Sparstolonin B as a TLR antagonist in suppression of liver inflammation through Epigenetic mechanisms" (Project#4) as part of the newly funded NIH center grant --CAM Center for Epigenetic Regulation in Inflammation (PI: Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti). Dr. Daping Fan and Dr. Saurabh Chatterjee are the Co-Principal Investigators for the project. The Chatterjee lab receives $865000 of total costs for a period of 5 years from 2014-2019
    • Mr. Diptadip Dattaroy, Ph.D. student, Chatterjee Lab is among the top 50 applicants who are selected from among 2670 applicants internationally for an oral presentation in this years American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) annual meeting in Boston (Nov 2014). Mr. Dattaroy has already submitted his first manuscript for publication in just 9 months in the department.
    • Volz Lab awarded a two-year, $408K grant from the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to investigate the mechanisms of developmental toxicity for two high-production volume organophosphate-based flame retardants (OPFRs) commonly detected within indoor environments. This award builds on the research of a former PhD student (Sean McGee) in the Volz Lab as well as an ongoing collaboration with Heather Stapleton's group at Duke University.
    • Dr. Saurabh Chatterjee recieved COBRE PILOT funding from NIGMS (Part of the COBRE USC, Directed by Drs. Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti). The project entitled " Resveratrol Modulation of environmental Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis" where Dr. Chatterjee is a PI recieved a total cost of $206,000 for 2 years.
    • Dr. Saurabh Chatterjee was awarded the ASPIRE I award (Role: Principal Investigator) for his proposal entitled “Epigenetic signaling of the transient receptor potential channel (TRPV4) in environment-linked nonalcoholic steatohepatitis”. With this award, Dr. Chatterjee has received two consecutive ASPIRE I awards in 2013 and 2014 respectively as a Principal Investigator. Dr. Dwayne Porter and Dr. Anindya Chanda were also part of proposals that were funded through ASPIRE II (Both as Co-PIs). The proposal entitled “A Multi-Disciplinary Data Sharing Center Prototype Using A New Numeric-Metadata (NM) Standard for Big Data”where Dr. Porter is a co-PI recieved $100,000 (PI Johnson et al – USC). Dr. Chanda is a Co-PI on a proposal entitled "Uncertainty quantification driven multi-scale model development for aflatoxin prediction" which also recieved a funding to the amount of $100,000 (PI: Dr. Terijanu et al.). ASPIRE awards are given to USC faculty for Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence."
    • Dr. Alan Decho is one of only six invited speakers at the International Biofilm6 Meeting in Vienna, Austria in May. Dr. Decho’s is was asked to present an overview lecture on ‘Microbial biofilms: merging the environment and health”.
    • Decho Lab publishes a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) on the development of metallopolymers that enhance the effectiveness of commonly-used antibiotics against MRSA and other pathogens. The work was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Chuanbing Tang (Dept. Chem. Biochem) at USC.
    • Dr. Saurabh Chatterjee was invited to speak at a special symposium session entitled “Does this chemical make my liver look fat” at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology held at the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix AZ on 25th March 2014. He spoke along with Dr. Xie, Dr. Angela Slitt and Dr. Bruce Bloomberg, experts in the effects of the environmental toxins in development of metabolic syndrome and obesity. Suvarthi Das, graduate student of Chatterjee Lab, presented a poster at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology on 25th March 2014.
      Chatterjee and Suvarthi
    • Suvarthi Das, graduate student of Chatterjee lab has won a travel award from the prestigious American Association for Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) Basic Research Single Topic Conference to be held at Miami from March 8-9, 2014. The award from AASLD is given to selcted graduate students whose work has been deemed to be cutting edge in the area of non coding RNAs in liver disease. Suvarthi will present a poster entitled "HEPATIC VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL DYSUNCTION IN ENVIRONMENTAL TOXIN-INDUCED NONALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS IS REGULATED BY TLR4-miR21-GRHL3 AXIS".
    • Volz Lab publishes a paper in Environmental Science & Technology describing the development and optimization of a high-content screening assay for identification of chemicals impacting spontaneous activity in zebrafish embryos. Check it out at:
    • Charlotte Eckmann and Greg Isales — both undergraduate research assistants from the USC Honors College — awarded one-year $2500 Magellan Scholar Grants from the USC Office of Undergraduate Research. Charlotte will be investigating anthropogenically-influenced evolution of the human pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus, within the Norman Lab, while Greg will be investigating mechanisms of flame retardant-induced cardiac looping impairments within the Volz Lab. Congratulations Charlotte and Greg!
    • Norman Lab publishes a paper in Marine Pollution Bulletin describing the possible use of microbial integron gene distribution as a biomarker of urban impact on antibiotic resistance gene flow and ecosystem health. Check it out at
    • Suvarthi Das (Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. student, Chatterjee Lab) has a first author paper: “Purinergic receptor X7 is a key modulator of metabolic oxidative stress – mediated autophagy and inflammation in experimental nonalcoholic steatohepatitis”, accepted in American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.
    • Dr. Ratanesh Seth (Post-doctoral Fellow, Chatterjee Lab) has a first author paper: CYP2E1-Dependent and Leptin-Mediated Hepatic CD57 Expression on CD8+ve T Cells aid Progression of Environment-Linked Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis”, accepted in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.
    • Dr. Ratanesh Seth (Postdoctoral fellow, Chatterjee Lab) presented his and Suvarthi Das’s poster at the prestigious AASLD Liver Meeting, held in Washington D.C. between November 2 and November 5 2013.
    • Chatterjee lab has five publications in less than thirteen months in the field of environment-linked nonalcoholic steatohepatitis/metabolic syndrome.
    • Volz Lab publishes a paper in Environmental Science & Technology describing the development and optimization of a high-content screening assay for identification of chemicals impacting cardiovascular function in zebrafish embryos. Check it out at:

Departmental News Archives:

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