The Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) at MIT held its annual poster session on May 13 in Morss Hall of Walker Memorial. The session highlighted the work of the environmental health research communities of MIT and some of its sister institutions. More than 60 posters were presented from the science and engineering laboratories affiliated with the CEHS, and six cash prizes were awarded for outstanding research.
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, researchers are sometimes 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 are awarded in two categories: graduate students and postdocs. For each category, the first-place prize is $1,000, the second-place prize is $500, and the third-place prize is $200, plus CEHS memorabilia. The cash prizes were made possible by the Myriam Marcelle Znaty Research Fund, which was established nearly 30 years ago to support the research of young scientists at MIT.
Amy Rabideau from the lab of Professor Bradley Pentelute won first place in the graduate student category. Rabideau presented her work on the “delivery of polypeptides and antibody mimics into cells using anthrax toxin.” In second place, Fei Chen, from the lab of Professor Edward Boyden, presented his work on “expansion microscopy.” Finally, in third place, Marianna Sofman, from Professor Linda Griffith’s lab, presented her work on “engineering angiogenesis: a materials approach to vascularizing tissue.”
In the postdoc category, first place went to Kelly W.L. Chen from the lab of Professor Douglas Lauffenburger. Chen presented her work on “multivariate analysis of intestinal epithelial cell and immune cell crosstalk in normal and inflammatory conditions.” Second place went to Kathryn B. Smith-Dupont, from Professor Katharina Ribbeck’s lab, who presented her work on “biophysical tools for understanding the barrier properties of mucus: cervical mucus as a case study.” Uthpala Seneviratne, from the lab of Professor Steven Tannenbaum, took third place after presenting his work on “decoding the S-nitroso proteome in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s by SNOTRAP and mass spectrometry — clues for altered signaling pathways.”