2019 Awardees

John Goldsmith Award

Annette Peters, PhD
Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health, Germany

Annette Peters directs the Institute of Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health and is full Professor of Epidemiology at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, Germany. She studied biology and mathematics in Germany and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA. She pioneered work identifying the link between ambient particulate matter and cardiovascular disease. Today, she heads the populationbased KORA cohort initiated in the mid-eighties in Augsburg, Germany and is a principal investigator of the German National Cohort, responsible for building its central biorepository. Since October 2018, she chairs the board of directors of the German National Cohort, which investigates prospectively 200,000 men and women. Her research interests are age-related and chronic diseases. Specifically, she strives to improve the understanding of disease development by integrating lifestyle and environmental factors, molecular and imaging markers to assess their relative impact on health. She is a member of the ISEE policy committee and chairs the Tony McMichael award committee. From 2012 to 2013, she was president of the ISEE. She has served on numerous scientific panels including the group drafting the global guidelines on air pollution published in 2005 by the World Health Organization, a panel advising the International Olympic Committee during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and she chaired a grant panel of the European Research Council.

Tony McMichael Award

Greg Wellenius, ScD
Brown University, USA

Dr. Gregory Wellenius is Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health and Director of Brown’s Center for Environmental Health and Technology. His research is focused on quantifying the health impacts of continued climate change and supporting the development of optimal strategies for local adaptation. For example, research by Dr. Wellenius and colleagues documenting the adverse health impacts of extreme heat lead the US National Weather Service changing the guideline criteria for issuing heat advisories across New England. Recognizing the importance of translating research into action, Dr. Wellenius recently served as co-author of the 4th National Climate Assessment recently published by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and as a member of the Rhode Island Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) Advisory Board. He also developed and teaches a popular class at Brown on climate and health. Dr. Wellenius is a long-time and engaged member of ISEE, including serving as an elected Councilor, as chair of the ISEE Communications Committee, and as liaison between the Society and its affiliated journals.

Rebecca James Baker Award

Kyi Mar Wai, PhD
Hirosaki University, Japan

Dr. Kyi Mar Wai is a promising young researcher in the field of environmental health. She obtained her PhD in health science from the University of Tokyo with full scholarship (TODAI fellowship) in 2018. Before her postgraduate studies in Japan, she got her MBBS degree in Myanmar. Her research interest is on the effects of exposure to environmental contaminants on human health and its ongoing health risks. Her doctoral dissertation project is about the impact of prenatal heavy metal exposure on birth outcomes and newborn leucocytes telomere length among a Myanmar population, which was a collaborative work between Myanmar and Japan. She conducted the field work in Myanmar and performed the experimental analysis at the University of Tokyo, Japan. She was previously affiliated as a post-doctoral project researcher at the Department of Human Ecology, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo.

At present, she is working as an assistant professor at the Department of Social Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki University. She is also in charge of the Mibyo Science Department which was established in December 2018 at Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki University. She is currently engaging in the health promotion projects under Mibyo Science Department in collaboration with Hirosaki Center of Innovation (COI), and her focus is on the role of environmental contaminants in telomere length maintenance in association with noncommunicable disease risks.

Research Integrity Award

Ruth A. Etzel, MD, PhD
Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, USA

Ruth A. Etzel is an environmental epidemiologist, pediatrician, and preventive medicine specialist. She received her MD from the University of Wisconsin and her PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She performed the first epidemiologic study to document that children with secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke had measurable exposure to nicotine and cotinine. Her pioneering work led to US efforts to reduce indoor exposure to tobacco, including the ban on smoking in US airliners. She also produced the first research to show that exposure to toxigenic molds in the home was associated with pulmonary hemorrhage in very young babies; her work led to warnings that infants should not live in moldy homes. She received the 2007 Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding leadership in protecting children from environmental health risks. From 2009-2012 she led the World Health Organization’s activities to protect children from environmental hazards. She is the editor of Pediatric Environmental Health an influential book that has helped to train thousands of doctors about how to recognize, diagnose, treat and prevent adverse outcomes from environmental exposures; a 4th edition was published in 2019.

Kurt Straif, MD, PhD, MPH
International Agency for Research on Cancer, WHO, France, retired

Kurt Straif was Head of the Section of Evidence Synthesis and Classification at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, WHO, Lyon, France, where he directed the programs of the IARC Monographs, the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention and the WHO Classification of Tumours. Major achievements with global impact include the series of IARC Monographs on tobacco which prepared the way for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the IARC Monographs on air pollution. He has co-initiated several large international pooling projects (including AGRICOH with US NCI; SYNERGY, with IRAS and DGUV) to investigate environmental risk factors of cancer. He serves on many national and international committees on primary and secondary prevention of cancer. He has a long record of teaching medicine and epidemiology and served as the Scientific Director of the IARC International Summer School on Cancer Epidemiology since 2010.

He received the Champion of Environmental Health Research Award of the US NIEHS (2016) and the Distinguished Lecture in Occupational and Environmental Cancer of the U.S. NCI (2018). Since 2007 he is a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific papers and was Editor and Associate editor of several books (including The World Cancer Report; Air pollution and Cancer; Social Inequalities in Cancer).

He studied Medicine and Philosophy (Theory of science) at the Universities of Liège (Belgium), Heidelberg and Bonn (Germany). He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine (University of Bonn) and in Occupational, Environmental and Social Medicine (University of Giessen). He received his MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles (USA).

Best Environmental Epidemiology Paper (BEEP) Award

Empirical Evidence of Mental Health Risks Posed by Climate Change
Nick Obradovich, Robyn Migliorini, Martin P. Paulus, Iyad Rahwan

PNAS, October 23, 2018; Vol. 115, Issue 43

BEEP Award Runner Up

Association Between Ambient Temperature and Mortality Risk and Burden: Time Series Study in 272 Main Chinese Cities
Renjie Chen, Peng Yin, Lijun Wang, Cong Liu, Yue Niu, Weidong Wang, Yixuan Jiang, Yunning Liu, Jiangmei Liu, Jinlei Qi, Jinling You, Haidong Kan, Maigeng Zhou

BMJ, Vol. 363, October 31, 2018

BEEP Award Runner Up

Prenatal Exposure to DDT and Pyrethroids for Malaria Control and Child Neurodevelopment: The VHEMBE Cohort, South Africa
Brenda Eskenazi, Sookee An, Stephen A. Rauch, Eric S. Coker, Angelina Maphula, Muvhulawa Obida, Madelein Crause, Katherine R. Kogut, Riana Bornman, Jonathan Chevrier

Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 126, April 6, 2018

Abstract Winners

Student Researchers

Afua Asabea Amoabeng Nti     effya76@gmail.com
Garam Byun  garam0110@gmail.com
Maya Sadeh  Maya.sadeh@gmail.com
Olivia Chilian-Herrera  olivia.lingdao@gmail.com
Matthew Bozigar  bozigar@musc.edu


Early Career Researchers

Ahua Kouao      kouaorene@hotmail.fr
Shinhee Ye  shinheeye88@gmail.com
Rawan Araj  raraj@globalhealthdev.org
Rachel Sippy  rsippy@ufl.edu
Youssef Oulhote  youlhote@umass.edu
Heresh Amini  heresh@hsph.harvard.edu

ISEE 2020 Virtual Conference

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