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Center for Environmental Health Sciences selects 2016 poster winners
MIT NEWS OFFICE, Center for Environmental Health Sciences selects 2016 poster winners, May 17, 2016

The Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) at MIT held its annual poster session on May 4 in the Walker Memorial Building. The session highlighted the work of the environmental health research communities of MIT and some peer institutions. Approximately 50 posters were presented from the science and engineering laboratories affiliated with CEHS.

The CEHS has an overall mission to study the biological effects of exposure to environmental agents in order to understand and predict how such exposures affect human health. Moreover, by uncovering the chemical, biochemical, and genetic bases for environmental disease, sometimes researchers are able to leverage that understanding to delay or even prevent the development of disease in human populations. To that end, the center brings together 39 MIT faculty members from a total of nine MIT departments in both the School of Science and the School of Engineering, plus one Harvard University faculty member from the Harvard School of Public Health.

This year’s CEHS cash prizes were awarded in two categories, graduate students and postdocs. For each category, the prize for first-place was $1,000; second-place was $500, and third-place was $200 plus CEHS memorabilia. The cash prizes were made possible by the Myriam Marcelle Znaty Research Fund, which was established over 30 years ago to support the research of young scientists at MIT. 

Graduate students, postdocs, and research staff presented the results of their research at MIT's Morss Hall.

Anthony R. Soltis from Professor Ernest Fraenkel’s lab won first place in the graduate student category. Soltis presented his work on the “Multi-Omic Data Collection and Integrative Modeling of High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity Reveals Features of Hepatic Insulin Resistance.” In second place was Joseph M. Azzarelli and Rong Zhu from Professor Timothy Swager’s lab, who presented their work on “Wireless Hazard Badges for Organophosphate Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors.” Finally, in third place was Chen Gu, from Professor Peter Dedon’s lab, presenting his work on “Phosphorylation of Human TRM9L Modulates its Functions in Oxidative Stress Management and Tumor Growth Suppression.”

In the postdoc category, first place went to Collin Edington and Xin Wang from professors Linda Griffith and Steven R. Tannenbaum labs (respectively), presenting on “Construction and Evaluation of the In Vitro Central Nervous System Models.” Second place went to Renan Escalante-Chong, from Professor Ernest Fraenkel's lab, who presented his work on “Integrative Approaches for Cell Signature Generation in ALS Patients at NeuroLINCS.” And Nikolaos Tsamandouras, from Professor Linda Griffith’s lab, took third place after presenting his work on “Assessment of Population Variability in Hepatic Drug Metabolism Using a Perfused 3-D human Liver Bioreactor Along with Modeling and Simulation Techniques.”