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2009 ONES Awardees Named

By Eddy Ball
October 2009

Jesus Araujo, M.D., Ph.D.
Cardiologist Jesus Araujo, M.D., Ph.D. ( Exit NIEHS, is an assistant professor of Medicine and the director of Environmental Cardiology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on the effects of particulate air pollution on high-density lipoproteins and atherosclerosis. (Photo courtesy of Jesus Araujo))

Michelle Block, Ph.D.
Michelle Block, Ph.D. ( Exit NIEHS, is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Virginia Commonwealth University and a former NIEHS Postdoctoral Fellow. She will explore the role of protein radicals in microglia in the environmental mechanisms of chronic neurotoxicity. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Block)

Yu Chen, Ph.D.
Epidemiologist Yu Chen, Ph.D. ( Exit NIEHS, is an assistant professor in the Departments of Environmental Medicine and Medicine in the Langone Medical Center at New York University. She intends to continue her investigation into the interactions between arsenic exposure from drinking water and genetic susceptibility related to inflammation and oxidative stress in cardiovascular disease. (Photo courtesy of Yu Chen)

Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D.
Geneticist Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D. ( Exit NIEHS, is an assistant professor in Environmental Health Sciences in the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she also holds the Searle Assistant Professorship in Public Health. She will be investigating effects on the fetal epigenome of in utero exposure to bisphenol A. (Photo courtesy of Dana Dolinoy)

NIEHS announced the selection of six early-stage tenure-track investigators as 2009 Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) awardees. The highly competitive, five-year ONES grants will total $3.6 million for the first year, and the awardees, like their predecessors in the four-year-old program, will visit NIEHS to present talks about their research projects.

The new awardees are Jesus Araujo, M.D., Ph,D., Michelle Block, Ph.D., Yu Chen, Ph.D., Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D., James Luyendyk, Ph.D., and Scott McCulloch, Ph.D.

The 2009 group of ONES awardees will make their presentations at a meeting in the NIEHS Rodbell Auditorium in January, date and time to be announced. Videos of their talks will be posted afterwards on the Grant Program Events archive online.

Established in 2006, the ONES program identifies outstanding scientists who are in the early, formative stages of their careers and who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in the mission areas of the NIEHS. The program assists them in launching an innovative research program focusing on problems of environmental exposures and human biology, human pathophysiology and human disease.

"This grant is designed to serve as the foundation of a successful research career," said NIEHS Training and Career Programs Health Science Administrator Carol Shreffler, Ph.D. "The program strives to build a long-term relationship between the awardees and NIEHS."

"We indeed have made this a very competitive process," Shreffler noted, "and we look forward to having these awardees make some very seminal contributions to the future of our Institute."

Applications for the 2010 ONES Awards (RO1) ( Exit NIEHS will be accepted beginning October 4 and be due November 3, 2009.

Stories about previous ONES recipients appeared in the November 2006, December 2007 ( and January 2009 ( issues of the Environmental Factor.

James Luyendyk, Ph.D.
James Luyendyk, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His research goal is to understand the mechanisms of xenobiotic-induced biliary inflammation and fibrosis. (Photo courtesy of James Luyendyk)

Scott McCulloch, Ph.D.
Toxicologist Scott McCulloch, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the North Carolina State University Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology. He plans to continue his investigations into the role of human DNA polymerase eta (pol η) in the mutagenic response to oxidative stress. (Photo courtesy of Scott McCulloch)

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