2022 Spring Undergraduate Research Conference Awardees

Undergraduate students in the School of Health Sciences were lauded at this years Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference being recognized with awards in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in both the talks and poster categories for the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Academic Unit Awards - Research Talks

  • 1st Place
    Chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-oxon exposure leads to the dysregulation of basal glutamate release in human induced pluripotent stem cell derived glutamatergic neurons by Adam Barmash Rubinchik
  • 2nd Place
    The influence of a developmental lead (Pb) exposure on genetic risk factors of Alzheimer's Disease: a focus on Sortilin-related Receptor 1 (SORL1) by Jenny Chen
  • 3rd Place
    Developmental exposure to active herbicide ingredients in Roundup Ready Xtend products, glyphosate and dicamba, results in hypoactivity in the zebrafish by Ryker Bond

Academic Unit Awards - Posters

  • 1st Place (tie)
    Hunting(ton) for the Correct Differentiation: The Validation of a Striatal GABAergic Differentiation Protocol by David Yi and Lunden Friberg
  • 2nd Place (tie)
    Martinsville Well Water Sampling by Jackson Pechin  & Neurobehavioral Assessment of Purdue-Martinsville PCE Study by Brandon Tso
  • 3rd Place (tie)
    Inhalation Toxicology in Male and Female Mice Following Cured-in-Place Pipe-Related Emissions Exposure by Katelyn Biggs
Updated 5/17/2022

Abstract Presentations at the ISMRM

Seven abstracts from Dr. Uzay Emir’s team were accepted to present at the upcoming 2022 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Conference. Thanks to our students and collaborators Deva Chan, Mark Chiew, Joseph Rispoli, Ulrike Dydak, Ali Ozen and Serhat Ilbey.

Posted 4/5/2022

Society of Toxicology - Executive Board

Dr. Anke Tukker, postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Aaron Bowman’s laboratory, has been elected to serve a two-year term as Vice Chair and then Chair of the Society of Toxicology Postdoctoral Assembly Executive Board, her term begins May 1, 2022.

Posted 3/22/2022

Service Learning Grant

An interdisciplinary team of undergraduate student, Jackson Pechin (OEHS) and graduate students Jung Hyun Lee (OEHS), Alaina Bryant (OEHS/ESE), and Seohyung Kim (Anthropology) won a $1500 Service-Learning grant for their project titled  “Working with a Local Community to Detect Water Contaminants.”  These students are all mentored by Dr. Sa Liu

Women's Health Research Pilot Grant

Jennifer Freeman, Ulrike Dydak and Doug Samuel (Psychological Sciences) (PI’s) received a Women’s Health Research Pilot Grant for $15,000 for her project titled “Sex differences in neurological outcomes associated with agrichemical exposure in rural populations: A feasibility study.”  This is jointly funded by the Women’s Global Health Institute (WGHI), Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience (PIIN), and College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS).

Posted 3/2/2022

National Science Foundation Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Lia Stanciu (PI) and Dr. Jae Hong Park (Co-PI) on being awarded $280,674 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project “Development of an Airborne Pathogen Capture and Detection System.”

BCSP Foundation 2021 student scholarships

Joshua Brown, MS student in OEHS and Abbi Williams, a junior with a double major in OCCH and ENVS, both received one of the BCSP Foundation 2021 student scholarships!  See the link for more details.

Posted 2/9/2022

High School Students Uncover New DNA Sequences

Joshua Middleton, a freshman in the Medical Laboratory Sciences program, on being published at the age of 18.  He and three other Hoosier high school students worked with Noblesville High School teacher, Caitlyn Foye, and brought cutting-edge research to her classroom.   The full article can be found here.

Posted 1/31/2022

Instructional Equipment Grant

Lisa Hilliard, PI (Health Sciences) and Scott Lawrance, Co-PI (Health & Kinesiology) have received an Instructional Equipment Grant ($100,000) for their proposal entitled: "Transforming Anatomy Education for Aspiring Clinical Practitioners.” This funding will allow them to purchase 3D medical visualization technology, Anatomage Table, “The World’s First and Only Virtual Dissection Table” that will bring to instructors and students alike, real-life scanned renderings of male and female cadavers. This equipment too allows for the import of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) files to customize and broaden the extent of teachable cases further enriching the student experience.   Congratulations Lisa and Scott!

Posted 12/2/2021


Ola Wasel (Freeman Lab) placed 2nd in the Graduate Student Poster Award at the 2021 Ohio Valley Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (OVSOT) Meeting https://www.toxicology.org/groups/rc/ovsot/awards.asp on November 5, 2021. Congratulations Ola!

Posted 11/18/2021

Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Research Grant

Jenny Chen (Freeman Lab) undergraduate researcher in the HSCI Honors Undergraduate Research Program, received  a fall 2021 Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Research Grant.  This grant supports undergraduate students in pursuit of their research, creative endeavors and scholarly activities (research).   Keep up the great work Jenny!

Posted 11/18/2021


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Congratulations to Jennifer Freeman on being selected to serve on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ad-hoc committee, to review the DOD’s approach to deriving an occupational exposure level (OEL) for trichloroethylene  (TCE),  including for workplace settings in which vapor intrusion is the pathway of exposure.  Additional details about this new NASEM committee can be found here.

Posted 10/6/2021

PHS-NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Science R25 Award

Congratulations to Ellen Wells on her R25 grant from the PHS-NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Science for her project titled “Distance Education and Training on Emerging Contaminants and Technologies (DETECT).  Purdue investigators who contributed expertise (development of short online module (s) include Drs. Jason Cannon, Jennifer Freeman, Jason Harris and Linda Nie.  Drs. Jae Hong Park, Jonathan Shannahan, Denny Yu and Sa Liu are helping with online laboratories, the summer research program, or both.   Dr. Wells’ project was featured in an article in the October 2021 Environmental Factor today (last paragraph). Further the project includes collaborative contributions from the University of Toledo, and the University of South Florida.  

Posted 10/6/2021

Toxicology Mentoring and Skills Development Training Program

Dr. Jason Cannon, Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences, is one of 25 volunteers donating his time, knowledge and expertise to the Toxicology Mentoring and Skills Development Training Program (ToxMSDT) by providing career advice and guidance to underrepresented undergraduate students in STEM. For example, he [http://www.toxmsdt.com/mentor-jason-c.html] is currently serving as mentor to Besan Khader [http://www.toxmsdt.com/mentee-besan-k.html]. 

ToxMSDT is a 5-year program funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) providing career development opportunities for STEM undergraduate students from diverse underrepresented backgrounds. The goal of the program is to build a pathway for students from underserved communities to enter graduate toxicology programs and eventually choose toxicology as a career.  We appreciate the service Dr. Cannon provides at this national scale, and look forward to getting updates about this program and the trainees future successes.

Posted 9/21/2021

Wellcome Collaborative Award

Congratulations to Dr. Uzay Emir for his part in a successful grant application for the Wellcome Collaborative Award.  For this project, led by Zoe Kourtzi (PI) at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Emir will bring expertise in MR physics, MR spectroscopy for applications in neuroscience to the project, “Inhibitory brain dynamics for adaptive behavior” advancing technique development for high and ultra high field UHF MRS-GABA imaging in humans and mice for cross-scale validation.  This 5-year project will begin January 2022. 

Posted 9/9/2021

HSCI Freeman and Cannon Labs Selected for Visiting Doctoral Fellowships

Congratulations to Fatema Mustafa Currim (Cannon Lab) and Karthikeyan Subbiaha Nadar Chelladurai (Freeman Lab) on being selected for India’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellowship Program (OVDF) at Purdue University.   The program aims to provide meaningful international research experiences for top PhD students enrolled in Indian institutions while fostering collaborations between research groups in order to strengthen institutional partnerships between Purdue and Indian higher education institutions.  Dr. Freeman hosted Dr. Arjun Pitchai in her lab from 2019-2020, and is currently working with Athira Sairanthry Suku through January 2022 for this prestigious research  program.   

We look forward to welcoming Fatema and Karthikeyan to campus in January, 2022.  

Posted 9/9/2021

Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health - 1R56DE029950-01A1

Dr. Jonathan Shannahan and Dr. Christa Watson Wright received an R56 award from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) for their project “African-American Susceptibility to Periodontal Disease due to Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Usage.”   The one year project begins Sept 3, 2021. Congratulations Jonathan and Christa.

Posted 9/8/2021

Dr. Shreesh Sammi Wins Prestigious NIH K Award

Dr. Shreesh Sammi, a post-doctoral research associate in Professor Jason Cannon’s lab, has been awarded the prestigious NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) program. 

The initial award (K99) provides one to two years of mentored, postdoctoral support while the second phase (R00) provides up to three years of independent research support and is activated when the awardee accepts a full time tenure track (or equivalent) faculty position. The value of this award is nearly $1 million and will support Shreesh’s  research entitled, “Elucidation of mitochondrial mechanisms critical to mediating PFAS neurotoxicity.” Additional information about this award, and Shreesh can be found here.   Congratulations Dr. Sammi! 

Posted 8/31/2021

HESI CITE Keynote at Eurotox 2021

Dr. Jason Cannon has been selected as a Keynote Speaker at the Virtual European Society of Toxicology (EuroTox) Annual Meeting https://www.eurotox2021.com/, which will be held on Friday October 1, 2021,  as part of the  Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Combining Interdisciplinary Translation and Expertise (CITE) Lecture series.  The title of his talk will be “Linking primary mechanisms of environmentally induced neurotoxicity to human neurological disease relevance”.  

Posted 8/27/2021

Interim Director for Purdue’s Center for the Environment

Jennifer Freeman, Professor of Toxicology, has assumed the role of Interim Director of Purdue’s Center for the Environment on August 1, 2021.

Prior to this role, Freeman served on the Center’s leadership team in her capacity as an inaugural member and convener of the Chemical Exposures signature research area. She is also a member of the PFAS research group that is developing programs and connections on state and national levels.  To read the official announcement, click here.   Congratulations Jennifer!

Posted 8/13/2021

National Science Foundation Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Shannahan (Co-investigator), Andrew Whelton (PI), on being awarded $330,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project “Towards an Improved Understanding of Plastic Pollutant Generation and Minimization Processes for Cured-in-Place-Pipe Manufacture.”

Posted 7/22/2021

IMnI Grant on Metal Mixtures Awarded

Congratulations to Drs. Ulrike Dydak, Jae Hong Park and their external collaborators on their new grant for over $45,566 from the International Manganese Institute to study the Exposure to Metal Mixtures in Welding Fumes. Great job everyone!

Posted 6/29/2021

Best Thesis in Toxicology Award

Screen shot of awards ceremony

Congratulations to Anke Tukker (Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Dr. Aaron Bowman’s Lab) for winning the Joep van den Bercken Award, best thesis in Toxicology 2020 in the Netherlands.  This  award is established to stimulate the research of a young toxicologists who has attended the annual meeting prior to the year awarded,  and defended their thesis.  Her thesis was entitled:  “Exciting Models:  Exploring the applicability of human neuronal cell models for in vitro neurotixicity screening and seizure liability assessment”.  (Pictured left, is a screen-shot of the awards ceremony). Great job Anke!

Posted 6/10/2021

2021 Showalter Trust Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. Carlos Perez Torres.   His proposal entitled; ""Protective effect of genetic inhibition of neuroinflammation in radiation‐induced brain injury," was selected by the external Showalter Trust Selection Committee to receive a 2021 Showalter Trust Research Award.   Carlos was awarded $75,000 in total costs for the project period of July 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022.

Posted 6/4/2021

Outstanding Senior

Congratulations to Frankie Yanko, 2021 Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Outstanding Senior in the School of Health Sciences at Purdue University.  Frankie is an undergraduate student working in the lab of Dr. Aaron Bowman.  He will be attending Medical School at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the Fall.  View all of the Outstanding Seniors: https://www.purdue.edu/.../underg.../outstanding-seniors.php.   Good luck to you, Frankie!
Posted 5/10/2021

Supplemental R21 Grant -  1R21ES031646-01A1

Congratulations to Jennifer Freeman on being awarded a supplement to her R21 grant from the Phs-Nih National Institute of Environment Health Sciences.  This award for $212,733 is from 4/14/2021 to 3/31/2022 for her project titled “Developmental Origins of Neurotoxicity of the Polyfluoroalkyl Substance (PFAS) GenX.”   Congratulations Dr. Freeman!

Posted 5/4/2021

Celebrating exceptional teaching and instructional support during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Congratulations to our faculty, staff and graduate students on being selected recipients of the Award for Exceptional Teaching and Instructional Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The pandemic has required extraordinary efforts by professors and instructors and the many people who support them. This award recognized creative teaching using multiple technologies, support and mentoring for new instructional adaptations, innovative teaching in special contexts, and safe and productive engagement and support of students during the pandemic.

INNOVATION: For innovative and particularly effective use of multiple technologies in online instruction

  • Wei Zheng

IN-PERSON LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: For creating safe, productive, and engaging in-person learning environments

  • Lisa Hilliard

GRADUATE STUDENTS: For TAs who are making exceptional efforts to support student learning through innovative and high-quality approaches to teaching

  • Whitney Diep Perez
  • Li Liao

Awardees from this first round are eligible to nominate themselves for a competitive Round 2 of the Award for Exceptional Teaching and Instructional Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here a subcommittee of the Teaching Academy will review all nomination forms and select 20-25 awardees from the pool for further recognition and a small honorarium.

To see the complete list of winners from the University, click here.

Posted 4/27/2021


Congratulations to our faculty on their recent promotions.  Their hard work and dedication to teaching and research makes us proud to have them as members of our School. 

 Dr. Jennifer Freeman - promoted to Full Professor





 Dr. Linda Nie - promoted to Full Professor





See the complete list of promotions approved by the Board of Trustees in the link here:   https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2021/Q2/faculty-promotions-at-purdue-approved-by-board.html

Posted 4/13/2021



R01 on Neuroimaging of Manganese Toxicity - ES032478-01     

Congratulations to Ulrike Dydak on being awarded an R01 from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  This award for $2,796,677  is for her project on Neuroimaging of Manganese Toxicity.”  Dr. Dydak will work to define the spatial-temporal toxicokinetics of manganese (Mn) in the human brain exposed to welding fumes, and dose-dependent relationships of brain Mn to oxidative stress markers and neurological outcomes.  Well done, Dr. Dydak!

Posted 4/9/2021

Supplemental R21 Grant -  AG068787-01S1

Congratulations to Jason Cannon on being awarded a supplement to his R21 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institute of Health.   This award for $308,499 is for his project titled “PFOS-Induced Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration Across Nematode, Amphibian, and Rodent Models.”  Great job, Dr. Cannon!   

Posted 4/7/2021

2021 INA Election Results

The International Neurotoxicology Association (INA) has recently announced their 2021 Election Results.   Dr. Aaron Bowman is the President-Elect and Dr. Jason Cannon, newly elected Councilor.   Also, congratulations to Boilermaker Alum Mamta Behl who is continuing in her elected position as Secretary. Go Boilermakers! 

Posted 3/4/2021

2021 Purdue Engagement & Service-Learning Summit

Congratulations to Dr. Sa Liu and her lab group (Arteen Rasti,  Araba Aikins, Marwan Alajlouni, Josh Brown, Sankalp Katta, Jung Hyun Lee,  Brandon Tso, Sujana Vemuru and Eileen Yan) on being awarded first place for their Digital Story submission at  the 2021 Purdue Engagement & Service-Learning  Summit Student Showcase held on March 4, 2021.  This event brings together faculty, staff, students, and community partners to discuss best practices in engagement and service-learning, highlight accomplishments, and increase collaboration opportunities.  Great job everyone!

Posted 3/3/2021

Graduate Student Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Best Publication Award

Congratulations to Saeed Alqahtani (Jonathan Shannahan’s lab) on his second-place win for the Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Specialty Section Best Publication Award, for his article, “Exacerbation of Nanoparticle-Induced Acute Pulmonary Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Metabolic Syndrome,” published in Frontiers in Immunology, May, 2020.  

Posted 2/17/2021


Graduate Student Best Publication Award

Congratulations to Saeed Alqahtani (Jonathan Shannahan’s lab) on his first-place win of the Arab Toxicologists Association Special Interest Group’s Graduate Student Best Publication Award, for his article, “Exacerbation of Nanoparticle-Induced Acute Pulmonary Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Metabolic Syndrome,” published in Frontiers in Immunology, May, 2020.  He will receive a certificate as a recognition of the outstanding and contribution to the toxicological science that embodies the ATA-SIG mission.  The award will be given on March 23 at 9am during the ATA meeting.  Saeed will also give a short 3 minute presentation of his research.  Great job Saeed!

Posted 2/10/2021

Scialog Fellow

Uzay Emir, assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences, has been accepted as a Scialog Fellow for the Scialog: Advancing BioImaging initiative. This competitive program is intended for early career scholars interested in pursuing collaborative, high-risk, and impactful discovery research on untested ideas in imaging technology and applications. Dr. Emir is one of only 50 chosen in the area. 

Congratulations, Uzay!

Posted 2/8/2021

Alumnus Appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor for OSHA

Congratulations to Health Sciences alumnus, Jim Frederick, (a 1990 graduate of the Schools Industrial Hygiene program), on being appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor for OSHA by President Biden.  To read the article in its entirety in Safety and Health click here:  https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/20771-biden-taps-jim-frederick-as-acting-head-of-osha-deputy-assistant-secretary

Updated 2/1/2021


Students Research Project Mentioned by President Daniels'

Student mentioned in President Daniels’ Annual Open Letter to the People of Purdue is a senior and double major in Occupational Health Sciences and Environmental Health Sciences within the School of Health Sciences.  This student’s observation is part of independent research project in Dr. Wells’ lab to compare the frequency of mask usage frequency in different conditions (including indoors).  Challenges in encouraging proper PPE use in the workplace has been an issue in occupational health sciences for decades, so they were curious about how those issues would play out on our campus.  In parallel, a different student from Dr. Wells’ lab just completed data collection from an online survey about student opinions/perceptions of face masks and other safety guidelines (and received hundreds of responses).  Results for both will be presented at the spring undergraduate research conference.  


2021 Society of Toxicology Education Award Recipient

Wei Zheng

Congratulations to Wei Zheng on being selected as the 2021 SOT Education Award recipient.  This award recognizes an individual who is distinguished by the teaching and training of toxicologists and who has made significant contributions to education in the broad field of toxicology.  Dr. Zheng received this award for his significant contributions in education in toxicology and his training of toxicologists for more than 25 years as a researcher and educator.   

Well deserved, Dr. Zheng! 

Posted 12/18/2020


Alum among names submitted to lead the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Jim Frederick, a 1990 graduate of  the School of Health Sciences, is among the list of names that will be submitted to President Elect Biden’s transition team, as a potential leader of the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Jim received a BSEH in Industrial Hygiene while at Purdue University and worked as the United Steelworkers’ assistant health and safety director until his retirement in 2019.  “I would be honored to serve in the administration to advance worker safety and health,” Frederick said in an interview Wednesday. He added that Biden’s team hasn’t approached him about the OSHA position.

To read the article it its entirety at the Bloomberg Law, Daily Labor Reports, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/unions-float-two-picks-to-be-workplace-safety-chief-under-biden

Posted 12/9/2020

2020 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Grant

Sa Liu, Asst. Professor HSCI, corresponding PI, and her co-project directors Dr. Jennifer Johnson, in the department of Anthropology, and community partner Ms. Deborah Corcoran, Community Outreach Coordinator in Martinsville IN,  have received a 2020 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their project “Groundwater Contamination and Health Equity in a Deindustrialized Midwestern Community.”  The 3 year project’s goal is to improve how information on exposure risk is produced and consumed to motivate meaningful improvements in health outcomes and health equity in real world communities.

Posted 10/8/2020

2020 Showalter Trust Research Award

Dr. Uzay Emir’s project entitled; "Investigating the Cerebellar Crus I abnormalities in autism spectrum disorders using ultra-high resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging," was selected by the external Showalter Trust Selection Committee to receive a 2020 Showalter Trust Research Award.   Uzay awarded $75,000 in total costs for the project period of July 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021.

Posted 6/9/2020

2020 Showalter Trust Research Award

Dr. Sa Liu’s project entitled, "Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination and children’s health in Martinsville, IN," was selected by the external Showalter Trust Selection Committee to receive a 2020 Showalter Trust Research Award. Sa was awarded $75,000 in total costs for the project period of July 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021.

Posted 6/9/2020

Career Research Achievement Awardee

Wei Zheng received the 2020 HHS Career Research Achievement Awardee.  This award recognizes research that demonstrates clear scientific, scholarly contributions as a result of work done while a Purdue faculty member.   Dr. Zheng will be honored at the HHS Fall Research Day.

Posted 4/3/2020

Outstanding Young Investigator Award

Jennifer Freeman received the 2020 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Society of Toxicology – Women in Toxicology specialty section.  This award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field toxicology in the early stage of their career.  Congratulations Jennifer!

Posted 4/3/2020


Dr. Sa LiuHSCI Professor discusses potential health risks of PCE plumes with community

Dr. Sa Liu, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Science spoke to approximately 100 local residents packed into SCI REMC’s community room to release the results of the preliminary study on the PCE (tetrachloroethylene) plumes.  She is seeking additional funding from the National Institute of Health and from the Ralph W. and Grade M. Showalter Research Trust to look at the plumes in more detail.  Dr. Liu noted that the community is an essential component of the research, and community participation is vital. “Stay tuned,” Liu said at the end of her presentation. “I hope we can get more things going and we can eventually get the contamination cleaned up and get health effects evaluated.”  For more information on the meeting and results, please read the complete story here.



Scholarship - Board of Certified Safety Professionals

Congratulations to Meredith Robbins, junior in Environmental Health Sciences and Occupational Health Sciences, for being a recipient of a BSCP scholarship.  This $5000 scholarship is available to students in select occupational health and safety educational programs and is offered every year.    https://www.bcspfoundation.org/news-events/2019-bcsp-foundation-qap-gsp-abet-scholarship-recipients/

Posted 1/29/2020

Congratulations on Election

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Cannon, Associate Professor of Toxicology in HSCI on being elected to the presidential chain of the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section (NTSS) of the Society of Toxicology (SOT).  His 4 year term will begin Spring of 2020 as Vice-President Elect. 

Posted 1/29/2020

HSCI Faculty among the “Titans of Nuclear”

Dr. Jason Harris (Associate Professor, HSCI) sat down with Titans of Nuclear host, Bret Kugelmass, for a podcast interview.  Kugelmass has identified both a severe disconnect and steep learning curve between nuclear and technology adjacent communities as impediments to innovation, financing, and social acceptance. Seeking to bridge this gulf he is compiling an audio encyclopedia of the greatest minds in Nuclear Energy opening the field to environmental-minded technologists.  Dr. Harris reflected on (1) Biology and Nuclear Engineering  - how his early interest in biology led to a career in nuclear engineering, (2) Environmental Distribution of Radionuclides - health physics and how radionuclides are distributed throughout the environment, (3) Nuclear Power Plant Emissions - A comprehensive look at nuclear power plant emissions and the birth of the nuclear security field, and (4) The Human Factor in Nuclear Security - Methods of analyzing and assessing security culture at organizations and how it impacts risk at a nuclear facility).

Posted 1/3/2020 

John E. Christian Distinguished Alumnus Award

Jose Manautou

Congratulations to Dr. José Manatou, who received the 2019-2020 School of Health Sciences Distinguished Alumnus award presented in honor of Professor Emeritus John E. Christian. José received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1991. He was honored at a dinner at the Buchanan Club, Ross Ade Pavillion on October 17, 2019.

Posted 12/20/19




Dr. Kamil Ugurbil, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair Professor of Radiology, Neurosciences and Medicine, Director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), University of Minnesota Medical School was on the West Lafayette campus on Tuesday, December 3rd  as part of the School’s 40th Anniversary celebration.  His seminar titled, “Harnessing Physics and Neuroscience: Understanding Human Brain Function,” was presented at the School’s weekly Seminar Series.
Posted 12/9/19

Scientific American Journal

Dr. Jonathan Shannahan was interviewed recently for an article in the Toxicology Studies section of Scientific American article entitled “Health Concerns Mount as More Old Sewer Pipes Are Lined with Plastic.”  He is quoted talking about his research and findings regarding the human health implications of exposure to cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) emissions, which were published in Inhalation Technology. The full interview can be found here.

Posted 12/3/19


Stanley M. Shaw (1935-2019)Stanley M. Shaw

Stanley M. Shaw, 84, of Battle Ground passed on to his heavenly home at 10:10 a.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Mulberry Healthcare Center. 

He was the Interim Head of the School of Health Sciences from 1991 – 1993; and more recently was a member of the Health Sciences Advisory Board until 2016.   A link to his obituary and details of the service can be found here.

Posted 10/30/19


Published in the Journal & Courier from Oct. 29 to Oct. 30, 2019

Associate Director, Women’s Global Health Institute

The Women’s Global Health Institute at Purdue University has appointed a School of Health faculty member to one of its leadership roles. Ulrike Dydak, professor of Purdue University School of Health Sciences, is the institute’s new associate director. Also, another faculty member from our College (HHS), Dorothy Teegarden, professor of Purdue University Department of Nutrition Science, is WGHI’s new director.  See the news story on the HHS webpage.

Posted 10/8/19

New Awards

Purdue University has renewed the NRC Scholarship Grant ($200k awarded) and the NRC Fellowship Grant ($400k awarded) to encourage careers and research in the nuclear related fields.  These grants are led by Dr. Seungjin Kim (School of Nuclear Engineering) as PI, with our own Dr. Jason Harris (School of Health Sciences) and Shripad Revankar (School of Nuclear Engineering) as Co-PIs.  See the full list of grants here

Posted 10/1/19

Associate Professor

Dr. Ellen Wells has been promoted to Associate Professor of Environmental  & Occupational Health Sciences effective, Fall 2019.   Ellen received a B.A.in Biology from Oberlin College in 1998, a M.E.M (Masters of Environmental Management) in Environmental Health Policy and M.P.H. (Masters of Public Health) in Environmental Health from Yale University in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2009.  She teaches courses in public health, epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, and environmental health science.  She conducts environmental epidemiology research related to metal and endocrine disruptor exposures and their relationship with neurologic and cardiometabolic health, particularly among children.

Posted 9/9/19

UM Pilot Project Research Training Award 

Dr. Park received a grant for $20,000 for his proposal titled “Nano Particulates in Welding Fumes and Manganese Deposition in the Human Brain: Does Size Matter?” from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). PPRT project awardees are required to present a poster on their research at the ERC Regional Research Symposium at the University of Kentucky (tentative date March 13, 2020).

Posted 07/18/2019

Grants to Study Lead and Arsenic Exposure Effects in Children

Dr. Wells (Associate Professor, Health Sciences) and colleagues have initiated a research study which will measure exposure to lead and arsenic among children in East Chicago, Indiana and determine whether exposure to this combination of metals is associated with child neurodevelopment.  East Chicago residents have been exposed to substantial levels of lead and arsenic as a result of decades of industrial activity, most notably operations related to a former lead smelter (now the USS Lead Superfund site).  

Idaho National Laboratory awards funding to Purdue Investigators for Versatile Test Reactor projects

Idaho National Laboratory has awarded $1.7 million of funding to universities to develop instrumentation and tools for a proposed research reactor that would generate high-speed – or “fast” – neutrons for experimentation and testing purposes.

Purdue is one of six university-led projects that were awarded through the Versatile Test Reactor program. Dr. Maria Okuniewski (PI), Asst. Professor in Materials Engineering and Dr. Jason Harris (Co-PI), Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences, received $350,400 for their project In-Situ Irradiation Creek Testing Vehicle Instrumented with Novel Sensors.

Posted 6/12/19

Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Online Education

Jason HarrisDr. Jason Harris, Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences (HSCI), has been selected to become the new Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Online Education in the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), effective July 1, 2019.   Jason earned a PhD in Health Physics from HHS’ School of Health Sciences in 2007 and returned to Purdue as a tenured associate professor in 2015. In addition to his appointment in HSCI, he holds a courtesy appointment in Purdue’s School of Nuclear Engineering. He is founder and director of Purdue’s Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security, director of HSCI’s health physics and industrial hygiene programs and, since 2018, has served as chair of the HSCI undergraduate curriculum committee.  

Posted 5/29/19

National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Freeman served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee (ASEM) to Develop a Scoping Plan to Assess the Hazards of Organohalogen Flame Retardants. Since the 1970s, flame retardants have been added to materials to meet flammability standards. However, some flame retardants have migrated out of products, causing environmental contamination and damage to human health. The new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers guidance to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on how to conduct a hazard assessment of flame retardants.


Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference

Undergraduate researchers doing research in laboratories within the School of Health Sciences had an outstanding performance at the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC). In sum, students in HSCI labs contributed 20 scientific posters and delivered 3 oral presentations. A special recognition for our HSCI undergraduate award winners:

Oral Presentations:
Alec Graff (Park) - Interdisciplinary Research: Second Place Oral Presentation Award
Hannah Gallion (Wells) - College of HHS: Third Place Oral Presentation Award
Jennifer Davis (Dydak) - Interdisciplinary Research: Third Place Oral Presentation Award

Poster Presentations:
Rachel Yuska (Perez-Torres) - College of HHS: 1st Place Poster Award
Lucas Turner (Freeman) - College of HHS: 2nd Place Poster Award
Frank Yanko and Chloe Rivers (Bowman) - College of HHS: 2nd Place Poster Award
Claire Jackson (Wells) - Archival Research: 2nd Place Poster Award

Posted 5/2/19

2019 Outstanding Doctoral Student

David Edmondson, recent HSCI PhD graduate mentored by Dr. Ulrike Dydak, was selected as one of the two College of Health and Human Sciences 2019 Outstanding Doctoral Student awardees.  He will be honored at the April 26th, 2019 Spring HHS Faculty Meeting and is receiving an award plaque and $1,000 prize.  David’s graduate studies were funded by a highly competitive NIH/NIEHS F31 Fellowship on Multimodal Neuroimaging Approaches to Modeling Manganese Toxicity.  Congrats Dr. Edmondson!

Posted 4/15/19

 HHS 2019 Distinguished Alumnus

Charles MillerDr. Charles Miller, a 1973 graduate from Bionucleonics (Radiation Health Physics) is a 2019 HHS Distinguished Alumnus. This award honors alumni who have significantly advanced their careers and have demonstrated noteworthy professional accomplishments that reflect favorably on their profession, Purdue and society.
Posted 4/15/19



HHS 2019 OUtstanding Young Alumni

Akshay  ThomasDr. Akshay Thomas, a 2009 graduate from the School of Health Sciences is a 2019 HHS Outstanding Young Alumni. This award honors alumni under the age of 35 with outstanding career development either through traditional channels or innovative approaches including involvement in professional organizations, college alumni association or community activities.

Posted 4/8/19


John E. Christian Distinguished Alumnus Award

Lynne Fairobent

Congratulations to Lynne A. Fairobent, who received the 2018-2019 School of Health Sciences Distinguished Alumnus award presented in honor of Professor Emeritus John E. Christian. Lynn received her B.S. in Environmental Health (Health Physics) in 1978 and is the first woman to receive our School's most prestigious alumni award. She was honored at a dinner at the Buchanan Club, Ross Ade Pavillion on October 11, 2018.

Posted 4/3/19

CRANS Conference on Active Non-Proliferation

Dr. Jason Harris, Associate Professor and Director of CRANS (Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security) helped organize a conference on Active Non-Proliferation.  The conference was co-hosted by the INMM and CRANS and organized by the Purdue student INMM chapter, and had nearly 70 attendees.  Attendance included students and faculty from eight universities, staff from five national laboratories, and staff from four governmental agencies. HSCI students from our Health Physics program helped with the conference coordination. 

Posted 3/26/19

2019 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award

Jennifer Freeman - Murphy Award WinnerJennifer Freeman, associate professor in the School of Health Sciences, has been named a recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in Memory of Charles B. Murphy, who was a history professor at Purdue from 1927 to 1970.   Dr. Freeman was surprised with the news on Monday, March 18. 

The University's highest undergraduate teaching honor, the Murphy Award is accompanied by a $10,000 cash award and induction into Purdue's Teaching Academy, which provides leadership for the improvement of undergraduate, graduate and outreach teaching.

The recipients will be honored at an invitation-only luncheon on April 8.  See the May 2nd news story! https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2019/Q2/2019-murphy-award-recipient-jennifer-freeman.html

A list of past Murphy Award and Early Career Award recipients is at https://www.purdue.edu/provost/faculty/charlesAward.html.    Purdue Today/photo by John Underwood

 Posted 3/19/2019

Certified Industrial Hygienist

Dr. Jae Hong Park is now a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) as recognized by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). He passed the CIH exam fall semester 2018. He specializes in industrial hygiene, specifically, aerosol technology and air quality. He has taught HSCI 345 Introduction to OEHS and HSCI 552 Introduction to Aerosol Science. For more information about CIH, please visit http://www.abih.org/about-abih/cih-caih.

Posted 1/22/19

CRANS institute center application approved

Dr. Jason Harris has been named as the Director of the newly approved Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security (CRANS).  Included as one of 135 University approved centers and institutes at Purdue, each center is developed to fill a particular need.  CRANS will engender opportunities to establish deeper and more effective partnerships between academia, government, and industry to address formidable challenges in the field of nuclear security.  Dr. Robert Bean will serve as the Associate Director.

Posted 12/3/19

Two Alzheimer's Disease NIH Supplement Awards Received

Dr. Aaron Bowman, PIIN member and Professor and Head of the School of Health Sciences received a $318,584 1-year R01 Supplement Award (ES016931) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to study mechanistic links between manganese neurotoxicity and Alzheimer’s Disease.   Dr. Jason Cannon, PIIN member and Associate Professor of Health Sciences  received a $336,582 1-year R01 Supplement Award (ES025750) also from NIEHS to study the possible effects of high-temperature meat cooking in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Posted 10/17/18

Dr. Jennifer Freeman has been named to the National Academy of Science committee focused on reviewing the safety of organohalogen flame retardants.

The Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine formed a new ad hoc committee to develop a scientifically based scoping plan to assess additive, nonpolymeric organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) as a class for potential chronic health hazards under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), including cancer, birth defects, and gene mutations.  Dr. Freeman, Associate Professor of Toxicology in the School of Health Sciences, was appointed as a member of this new ad hoc committee in recognition of her expertise on the genetics of developmental toxicity.  The first meeting of the committee is August 9, 2018, with the work expected to last over the next year.  https://www8.nationalacademies.org/pa/projectview.aspx?key=49937#collapseC

Posted 8/3/18


Dr. Ulrike Dydak was promoted to Professor of Health Sciences effective, Fall 2018.  After studying physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, Austria, Ulrike received her PhD and postdoctoral training in physics and engineering of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland. Dr. Dydak’s research is focused on the development of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) techniques for the noninvasive in-vivo assessment of metabolite and neurotransmitter concentrations, and their application to study physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms. A long-term goal of this research is to translate these novel MRS methods into viable clinical diagnostic procedures that aid in disease detection as well as assessment of treatment response. Special emphasis of her work lies on the development of the in vivo detection and quantification of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, to study manganese-induced parkinsonian neurotoxicity and idiopathic Parkinson Disease. A second focus lies on the development of whole-liver phosphorous (31P) magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging of the human liver to improve treatment monitoring in liver cancer. Dr. Dydak holds an adjunct appointment at the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at IU School of Medicine  where part of her research lab is located. She also holds an adjunct appointment at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IUPUI, and a courtesy appointment with the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University.

Posted 9/9/19

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