Author Archives: lura

PROTECT Community Engagement Team Participates in Health Centers Week in Puerto Rico

On Thursday, August 12th, members of the PROTECT Community Engagement Core (CEC) presented educational materials at two of the center’s recruitment clinic sites, Camuy Health Services and Morovis Community Health Center. Both sites are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide healthcare services especially to people from disadvantaged communities, including those who do not have […]

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Current and Former PROTECT Postdocs Receive ECHO OIF Awards

This August, the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program announced the recipients of the most recent cycles of the Opportunities and Infrastructure Fund (OIF) grants. Two PROTECT researchers, Dr. Max Aung and Dr. Chieh Wu, each received two-year OIF grants to pursue research questions across multiple ECHO cohorts. Dr. Aung was a […]

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PROTECT Trainees Luisa Feliciano and Skarlet Velasquez Receive KC Donnelly Externship Awards

PROTECT is excited to announce that two of our trainees, Luisa Feliciano and Skarlet Velasquez, have received Superfund Research Program (SRP) 2021 KC Donnelly Externship Awards. The KC Donnelly Award funds SRP trainees in translational/transdisciplinary research at other SRP centers or government/tribal agencies conducting environmental health research. Luisa Feliciano is a PhD candidate at the […]

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PROTECT Researcher Dr. Nancy Cardona to Appear on Weekly Radio Show

As part of the Community Engagement Core’s social media campaign #ProtectResponde, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nancy Cardona will be making weekly appearances on the Puerto Rican radio show Radar Noticioso (News Radar). With host Professor Ramón Santana, Dr. Cardona will discuss environmental contamination and strategies for reducing exposure, every Tuesday at 9am through the end of […]

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PROTECT Community Engagement Core Launches Social Media Campaign #PROTECTResponde

Whether addressing Superfund contamination, chemical exposures, the Zika virus, a devastating hurricane, or a global pandemic, the PROTECT Community Engagement Core (CEC) is always ready to respond with education, supplies, and support for the cohort and the greater Puerto Rico community. Now, in response to a year of lockdowns and social distancing, the CEC has […]

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Glyphosate, Widely-Used Herbicide, is Linked with Increased Rate of Preterm Births

Para español, haga clic aquí. Glyphosate, the chemical used in Roundup and other popular weed killers, is the most-used herbicide in the world—and new PROTECT research suggests glyphosate exposure may contribute to higher rates of preterm birth. In a paper published in the May 2021 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, PROTECT researchers presented the results […]

Posted in Project 1 (Targeted Epidemiology), PROTECT Research | Comments closed

Project 4 Researchers Identify Optimal Conditions and Materials for Hydrogen Peroxide Generation in Flow-through Reactor

Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs), such as the electro-Fenton (EF) process, are widely used in wastewater treatment to remove environmental contaminants. AOPs eliminate contaminants via oxidation. In the electro-Fenton process, hydrogen peroxide is continuously produced at the cathode, then catalyzed into highly oxidative hydroxyl radicals. Chemical reactions involving these hydroxyl radicals result in oxidation of the […]

Posted in Project 4 (Green Remediation), PROTECT Research | Comments closed

Project 3 Leader Dr. Ingrid Padilla Presents at “Boricuas en el Karso – Puerto Ricans in the Karst”

On March 17th, Dr. Ingrid Padilla, lead investigator on PROTECT Project 3, gave a one hour virtual talk on “Contaminant Distribution and Potential Exposure of Contaminants in Karst Water.” The Facebook Live event, which was hosted by the University of Puerto Rico – Arecibo, was part of the monthly series “Boricuas en el Karso (Puerto […]

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PROTECT Trainee Elana Elkin Receives First Place Poster Award at SOT 2021

This March, PROTECT Project 2 trainee Dr. Elana Elkin received First Place for her poster at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2021 Annual Meeting. The Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section Student/Postdoc Award recognizes the top 3 poster presentations by graduate students and by postdoctoral fellows in the area of reproductive toxicology. Dr. Elkin’s poster […]

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PROTECT Researchers Identify Environmental Chemicals Targeting Miscarriage Genes

PROTECT studies the impacts of environmental contamination on birth outcomes by following a cohort of pregnant women in Puerto Rico, where contamination is extensive and adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth occur at high rates. Miscarriage, or early pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks gestation, is the most common pregnancy complication, but is challenging […]

Posted in Project 2 (Toxicology), PROTECT Research | Comments closed

PROTECT Researcher Dorothy Vesper Testifies Before West Virginia House Energy and Manufacturing Committee

Dr. Dorothy Vesper, co-investigator for PROTECT Project 3, recently provided expert testimony to the West Virginia House Energy and Manufacturing Committee, during discussion on a new bill that would provide additional exemptions to certain sites covered by the 2014 Aboveground Storage Tank Act. Currently, above-ground tanks containing water and oil byproducts are required to undergo […]

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PROTECT Study Finds Associations Between Metals Contamination, Poor Psychosocial Status, and Risk of Preterm Birth

Graphic depicting the process of using K means clustering to sort PROTECT cohort into "good" and "poor" psychosocial status, in order to compare the impacts of metals contamination on birth outcomes in each cluster

Research has previously shown that exposure to metals and a mother’s experience of psychosocial stress during pregnancy can both increase the odds of adverse birth outcomes, including preterm birth. But these studies looked at metals exposure and psychosocial stress independently. In a study recently published in Environment International, PROTECT Project 1 researchers conducted an analysis […]

Posted in Project 1 (Targeted Epidemiology), PROTECT Research | Comments closed

Trainee Spotlight: Yuwei Zhao

Yuwei Zhao is a senior PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University, where she works in Prof. Akram Alshawabkeh’s lab (Project 4). Since 2015, she has worked on the development of an in-situ groundwater remediation device, including pilot lab and field tests in the greater Boston area. Now, as the senior PhD […]

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PROTECT Participates in 2020 Annual SRP Meeting

More than 30 PROTECT researchers, trainees, and staff attended the 2020 Annual Superfund Research Program Meeting, which was held virtually on December 14th and 15th. The meeting was hosted by Texas A&M SRP Center, and embraced the themes “Addressing Hazardous Substance Exposures at the Community Level” and “Meeting the Challenges of Environmental Protection with 21st […]

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February 2021 Webinar: Dr. Paula Braveman, “Race or racism? The Black-White disparity in preterm birth”

On Monday, February 22nd, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST / 2:00pm to 3:00pm AST, PROTECT hosted its spring webinar of the 2020-2021 academic year.  This webinar, “Race or racism?  The Black-White disparity in preterm birth,” was presented by Dr. Paula Braveman, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Founding Director of the Center for Health […]

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PROTECT Researcher Dr. Carmen Vélez Vega Wins Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award

Dr. Carmen Vélez Vega, Leader of the PROTECT Community Engagement Core, is the 2019 recipient of the Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award, presented by the American Public Health Association (APHA). The award, which honors pediatrician and prior APHA president Helen Rodriguez-Trias, is presented annually to individuals with a strong track record of working for social […]

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PROTECT Team Members Present at ISEE 2019

Researchers and trainees from PROTECT attended and presented at the 31st annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE 2019). This year’s conference was held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from August 25th through 28th. A total of 12 participants from PROTECT attended the conference, which typically draws over 1,000 people annually and includes […]

Posted in Enrichment Core F (Community Engagement), Project 1 (Targeted Epidemiology), PROTECT Events and Presentations, PROTECT Team, Research Core C (Human Subjects & Sampling) | Comments closed

Data Core Leader Dave Kaeli Presents on PROTECT Database for EarthSoft Office Hours

On Thursday, January 24th, Data Management and Modeling Core Leader Dave Kaeli returned to EarthSoft’s Office Hours to present an update on PROTECT’s use of EarthSoft’s EQuIS software for database management. Since 2010, PROTECT and EarthSoft have collaborated on the development of the EQuIS software for PROTECT’s use, which facilitates data cleaning, sharing, and analyzing […]

Posted in PROTECT Events and Presentations, PROTECT Team, Research Core D (Data Management & Modeling) | Comments closed

PROTECT Team Participates in 2018 Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting

PROTECT researchers, trainees, and administrators traveled to Sacramento, CA, in late November to participate in the 2018 Annual Superfund Research Program meeting. The theme for this year’s meeting, which was held November 28-30th, was “The Next Generation of Superfund Training, Translation and Research.” Thirteen PROTECT trainees participated in the Trainee Program on November 28th, which […]

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PROTECT and University of Kentucky SRC Collaborative Study on Water Remediation

At the 2016 Annual Superfund Research Program Meeting, researchers from PROTECT and the University of Kentucky SRC discovered their respective research on water remediation overlapped in interesting and potentially significant ways. PROTECT’s Project 5 developed a technology that uses both palladium powder catalyst and electrolysis to remove contaminants from groundwater through a process called electro-Fenton. […]

Posted in Media Coverage of PROTECT, News on Environmental Health, Project 4 (Green Remediation), PROTECT Research | Comments closed

PROTECT and Silent Spring Institute Inaugurate a Mobile App to Provide PROTECT Participants their Research Results

On October 15, 2018, the PROTECT Human Subjects and Sampling Core (HSSC) and the Community Engagement Core (CEC) guided the first group of PROTECT participants in the process of accessing the results and information from their participation in the study. Dr. Carmen M. Vélez Vega and Dr. Phil Brown have led the CEC and HSSC […]

Posted in Enrichment Core F (Community Engagement), Media Coverage of PROTECT, PROTECT Team, Research Core C (Human Subjects & Sampling) | Comments closed

Elevated Levels of Triclocarban Associated with Soap Use in Puerto Rico

Recent analysis from the CRECE Center, which draws on the PROTECT cohort to study effects of in-utero exposure on child development, reveals strong correlations between the use of specific bar soap brands and urinary triclocarban levels. Triclocarban has historically been used in antibacterial soaps, but the chemical was banned by the Food & Drug Administration […]

Posted in Media Coverage of PROTECT, News on Premature Birth, Project 1 (Targeted Epidemiology), PROTECT Research | Comments closed

One Year Later, PROTECT and CRECE Researchers Investigate the Health Impacts of Hurricane Maria

One year ago, on September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane and proceeded cross the island from the southeast to the northwest, leaving devastation in its wake. In the weeks and months that followed, PROTECT and CRECE team members in Puerto Rico reached out to provide essential […]

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PROTECT Project 4 Leader Ingrid Padilla to Participate in International Karst Research Project

PROTECT Project 4 leader Dr. Ingrid Padilla is collaborating in a new international research project, financed by the German Science Foundation, to assess the effect of climate change and extreme events on infiltration, recharge, and availability of water resources in karst regions. The project “Global Assessment of Water Stress in Karst Regions in a Changing […]

Posted in Project 3 (Fate & Transport), PROTECT Team | Comments closed