2024 Events

3:30 pm EDT, In-person and zoom, Toxicology Building, Room 2104, Centennial Campus. Hannah Starnes (Project 3 Trainee) presented her dissertation defense of A New In Vitro and Machine Learning Framework for Characterizing Albumin Binding Across the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Chemical Landscape. Click HERE for more information.

Ann Arbor, MI, In-person. Three days of powerful talks! This conference is held every other year with a unique focus on the social, scientific, political, economic, and environmental health issues raised by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). We examined both ubiquitous exposures in consumer products and discrete historic and recent contamination discoveries in drinking water and soil around the world. In partnership with academic institutions and the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, each conference brings together some of the nation’s leading scientists, government agency professionals, community-based organization leaders, national and regional environmental advocates, journalists, and lawyers to examine the most pressing issues related to PFAS exposures, health effects, and building greater accountability from responsible parties. Click HERE for more information.

8:00-5:00 pm EDT, Virtual Workshop. A 3-day virtual workshop on multi-omics analysis offered by Columbia University. The Multi-omics Boot Camp was a three-day intensive boot camp of seminars and hands-on sessions to provide an overview of concepts and methods used to analyze multiple omics data in observational studies. Specific topics included integrating germline genetic, gene expression, and exposomic data, gene-environment interaction, mediation, and polygenetic risk scores for assessing risk, estimating subgroups, and selecting relevant features. Click HERE to learn more.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. This training class built on the earlier information for treatment technologies presented in the PFAS 101 CLU-IN training. It provided more in-depth information regarding considerations for implementing integrated PFAS treatment technologies and remediation strategies. This training introduced the concept that achieving site remedial objectives will likely necessitate the implementation of multiple treatment technologies and remediation strategies (i.e., an integrated remedial strategy). Specifically, this training used a hypothetical conceptual site model to frame the discussion of remedial approaches for PFAS impacted source area soil, source area groundwater, and more dilute groundwater plumes. The training concluded with a discussion of select field implemented and developing disposal and destructive technologies for managing treatment residuals. Click HERE to learn more.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Virtual seminar. The final NIH Scientific Workforce Diversity Seminar Series (SWDSS) event of the 2023­–2024 season will focus on strategies to enhance inclusion and create a culture of equity within the scientific workforce at academic institutions as well as methods for assessing culture change. Panelists will discuss the benefits of inclusive excellence in the scientific workforce and barriers that institutions face in fostering inclusive cultures. This virtual seminar will also share principles of inclusive practices that can be adopted by other academic institutions across the biomedical, social, and behavioral research enterprise. Click HERE for more information and to register.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) hosted their 2024 Progress in Research webinar series showcasing federally-funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety. Over the three sessions, presenters will highlight their research projects and accomplishments – included in this group of researchers were SRP’s Occupational Health and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies grant recipients. Click HERE for more information.

10:00-2:00 pm EDT, Virtual Workshop. The NIEHS convened a free two-day virtual workshop on Horizon Scanning to proactively identify and improve responses to emerging contaminants, emergencies, and issues of concern. Horizon scanning activities engaged experts in conversations to predict responses or capabilities that may be needed; scoping typically consists of compiling bits of information and working with a stakeholder to satisfy their needs.

Day two featured collaborative round-table discussion and workshop time to address these two questions, and to outline key needs and features for a community of practice. This collaborative half-day will lay the groundwork for building an inter-agency, interdisciplinary community of practice for horizon scanning. Click HERE for more information.

12:30-7:00 pm EDT, Hunt Library. This was a great opportunity to connect and for students to receive training in communicating their science. The keynote speaker was Dr Emma Hinkle, an alumnus of NC State, who is a Senior Medical Writer and dedicates much of her spare time to educating the public about science and ethics. This year, each student who gave an oral presentation was provided with feedback from all members of the audience (faculty, staff and students) through a simple form that could be completed in real time – so we all had an important part to play!

1:00-3:00 pm EDT. Live Webinar. This training class built on the earlier information for introductory PFAS topics presented in the PFAS 101 CLU-IN training. The ITRC PFAS Beyond the Basics class provided more information related to potential sources of PFAS in biosolids, implications of PFAS associated with land-applied biosolids, vadose zone fate and transport processes that likely govern biosolids releases, treatment/disposal options for PFAS-impacted biosolids, and regulatory considerations. Click HERE for more information.

12:00-2:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) hosted their 2024 Progress in Research webinar series showcasing federally-funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety. Over the three sessions, presenters highlighted their research projects and accomplishments – included in this group of researchers were SRP’s Occupational Health and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies grant recipients. Click HERE for more information.

Durham, NC, In-person. The International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects (also known as “The PIC Congress”) provided a unique platform for discussion between chemists, engineers, toxicologists, and biomedical researchers regarding the most pressing issues related to combustion pollutants and their associated health impacts. Combustion-derived pollutants are recognized as one of the primary causes of environmental degradation and human health effects. The first PIC Congress was organized in 1990 at the National Institute of Health facility in Bethesda, MD, USA. The Congress is now a biennial event held in international locations such as Germany, Sweden, China, and South Korea.  In 2022 it was held in the United Kingdom and in 2024 Duke University was excited to host the 18th International Congress in the United States. Click HERE for more information.

8:00-4:45 pm EDT, Live Webinar. The FRTR 2024 Spring General Meeting provided an opportunity to share progress and results of recent AI/ML projects providing advanced contaminant plume characterization and predictive modeling, and improved cleanup efficiency. The meeting highlighted site-specific case studies where AI/ML has substantially enhanced remedial decisions, remedy implementation and performance monitoring, and reduced needs for extensive sampling. Discussions during the meeting sought to provide remedial project managers and technical staff with information and best practices for deploying AI/ML technology. Click HERE for more information.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. In 2023, the ITRC Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) Framework was published to help environmental regulatory agencies and other stakeholders identify, evaluate, and manage CEC’s while acknowledging uncertainties in their environmental fate and transport, receptor exposure, and/or toxicity. Such an approach can be conducive to improved allocation of regulatory response resources and provide a foundation for communicating potential risk to stakeholders. Click HERE for more information.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. This training class built on the earlier information for fate and transport and site characterization presented in the PFAS 101 CLU-IN training. It provided more in-depth information for fate and transport, site characterization, source identification and some introductory information on environmental forensics. These topics were presented along with options and a framework for data visualization. This training focused largely on PFAS fate and transport in groundwater. The goal was to provide detailed information about the inputs practitioners can use to develop a robust conceptual site model to help understand fate and transport at PFAS sites, and how to gather evidence of multiple sources. Click HERE to learn more.

8:30-6:00 pm EDT, Hunt Library-Duke Energy Hall. The Data Science and Environmental Health Sciences Research  symposium provided expert knowledge on state-of-the-art approaches in Data Science as applied to Environmental Health Research. This symposium promoted current research activities in Population Genomics, Genomic Driven New Approach Methodologies and Environmental Health Disparities and addressed approaches to handling “big data”. This meeting aimed to foster collaborative discussions through an interdisciplinary forum and advance the application of new methods in Environmental Health Science Research. Click HERE to lean more.

12:00-1:30 pm EDT, Webinar. During this call, we invited Ashley Vargas, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Division of Extramural Research and Training at NIEHS and Miori Harms, Uranium Mine Reclamation Coordinator for the New Mexico Environment Department, to be part of a career panel focused on the government sector. This career panel series will span several sessions over the year as we are hoping to highlight professionals from various employment sectors, showing the breadth of opportunities post-training.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Webinar. This ITRC training course built upon PFAS sampling and analysis information presented in the PFAS 101 CLU-IN training. The ITRC PFAS Beyond the Basics class provided in-depth information on preparing for and implementing sampling events. Some detailed information and case studies were presented for sampling surface water and PFAS-containing foam that can form and aggregate at the surface water-air interface. The training included information about PFAS analysis and discusses alternative qualitative analytical techniques. The occurrence of PFAS in air information from the literature for outdoor air, indoor air, settled dust and precipitation was discussed. Click HERE for more information.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. This training class built on the earlier information for introductory PFAS topics presented in the PFAS 101 CLU-IN training. It provided more in-depth information for human health effects, ecological toxicity and ecological risk assessment, PFAS regulations, and AFFF alternatives and replacement. Click HERE to lean more.

11:00-12:00 pm EDT, Virtual Meeting. As many of you know, STEEP investigators and trainees are studying the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS. Thus, STEEP and our Center have a lot in common and these joint meetings are a great opportunity for trainees to discuss their research findings, learn about novel research approaches, and expand their PFAS network.

1:00-2:00 pm EDT. Virtual Meeting. Jackie Medcalf became a champion for public health when she discovered that toxic chemicals in her drinking water were making her family sick. She founded the Texas Health and Environment Alliance (THEA) to give others the tools to protect their own health. Since its founding, THEA has worked neighborhood-by-neighborhood to clean up toxic chemicals in Houston and Harris County. During that time, the organization has built a coalition of more than 58,000 residents and influenced more than $122 million in EPA-sponsored cleanup projects.

1:00-3:00 pm EDT, Live Webinar. The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) hosted their 2024 Progress in Research webinar series showcasing federally-funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety. Over the three sessions, presenters will highlight their research projects and accomplishments – included in this group of researchers are SRP’s Occupational Health and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies grant recipients. Click HERE for more information.

9:00-3:20 pm EDT, Virtual Workshop. The NIEHS convened a free two-day virtual workshop on Horizon Scanning to proactively identify and improve responses to emerging contaminants, emergencies, and issues of concern. Horizon scanning activities engage experts in conversations to predict responses or capabilities that may be needed; scoping typically consists of compiling bits of information and working with a stakeholder to satisfy their needs.

Day one focused on articulating the current scope of our abilities and technologies for horizon scanning of emerging contaminants from global, to federal, to state, to community perspectives. We also identified current gaps or weaknesses in those abilities. At the conclusion of Day one, participants were asked to consider what advancements in our abilities need to occur, and what a collaborative directed effort – a community of practice – may look like. Click HERE for more information.

12:00-1:15 pm EST, Livestream. Taylor Hoxie, PhD candidate, Duke University, presented “Assessing Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Indoor and Ambient Environment Utilizing Silicone Wristbands”. Research on exposure to PFASs has mostly focused on exposure via contaminated drinking water and food. However, PFASs exposure is not limited to dietary sources. Consumer products and building materials can also serve as sources of PFASs in the indoor and ambient environment.

SOT returned to Salt Lake City for the first time in more than a decade for its 63rd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. The 2024 meeting featureed five days of Featured and Scientific Sessions, poster presentations, and social events, as well as the popular three-day ToxExpo. Click HERE to read more.

9:30-4:30 pm, Talley Student Union, Piedmont-Mountains Ballroom. The University Research Symposium (URS) was brought to you by the Research Leadership Academy and hosted by the Office of Research and Innovation. Theme: 21st Century Threats to Health | Bright Ideas to Real World Solutions. Leading experts on a vast array of topics spanning human health and food security presented at the event.

3:30-4:45 pm EDT, Webinar. One of the world’s foremost oil spill scientists, Chris Reddy, Ph.D., discussed communicating science in a crisis. His recent book, Science Communication in a Crisis: An Insider’s Guide, was created from Reddy’s commitment to make the science behind his work accessible and meaningful to the public. Dr. Reddy shared lessons learned on the front lines of oil spills and other marine disasters — lessons that have application for scientists in all fields who wish to communicate effectively in times of crisis, as well as for journalists, industry professionals, and public servants whose work involves clear, informed crisis communication. Click HERE for more information.

12:30-2:00 pm EST, Webinar. Hosted by the EPA, this webinar showcased the economic benefits of Superfund Redevelopment for communities across the country. Participants heard about creative strategies used in redevelopment projects in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. They also learned about collaborative approaches that help position sites for reuse and advance local economic development opportunities. This webinar was free of charge and open to the public. Click HERE to for more information.

9:00-2:00 pm EST, Talley Student Union and Zoom. Our theme for this symposium was “Creating a Community of Care.” The event featured sessions on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and well-being in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The 2024 symposium was offered in-person at Talley Student Union and streaming via Zoom. Admission was free and the event was open to faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, students, alumni and the general public.

8:30-5:00 pm EST, Talley Student Union. The 8th Annual Research Symposium: Perinatal Environmental Exposures and Later Life Disease: Biological Targets and Mechanisms. The symposium explored perinatal environmental exposures on later life disease, covering model systems, mechanisms, epidemiology, nutrition and socio- environmental stressors and featured invited speakers and CHHE member presentations on the topic. Dr. Antonia Calafat, with the Centers for Disease Control, was a guest speaker. Click HERE for more information.

12:00-12:45 pm EST, Webinar. URI-STEEP hosted a talk by Prof. Rainer Lohmann, Professor of Oceanography and the Director of STEEP. The title of his talk was The STEEP Challenge of PFAS.

1:30-5:00 pm EST, Plant Sciences Building. The N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative (PSI) implemented a new professional development opportunity for February 2024:  PSI BRIDGE (Bridging Research Ideas for Greater Extension) Symposium. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from any department were encouraged to apply. Industry leaders (Novozymes, BASF, Inari, SAS and Bayer), NC Extension representatives and faculty across the university were in attendance. Click HERE for more information.

10:00-11:00 am EST, Zoom. NC State Superfund Research Program (SRP) is part of a national network of Centers that focus on different types of contaminants and environmental health topics. We invited our counterparts in Iowa, who focus explicitly on PCBs, to participate in an open Q&A session by Zoom to help answer questions you might have about the science of PCBs. Click HERE for more information.

4:00-5:00 pm EST, Toxicology Building. Dr. Jesse Goodrich, with the University of Southern California, was the guest speaker and gave a seminar on: ‘Emerging Carcinogens: Using Multiomics to Interrogate the Role of PFAS in Liver Cancer Development.’

The Toxicology Seminar Series is sponsored by a NIEHS T32 training grant “Molecular Pathways to Pathogenesis in Toxicology’.  TGSA Career Exposures, includes a chance for all students to meet with the speaker.  To learn more, click HERE.

1:00-3:00 pm EST, Webinar. This webinar included live deliveries of two presentations from the recent FRTR Fall meeting, with updated information: “Best Practices for PFAS Sampling and Evaluation” and “Clean Water Act Methods: Overview of EPA’s CWA PFAS Method Activities”.

The science and technology of site characterization for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has advanced in the five years since FRTR last addressed the topic in 2018. This webinar allowed PFAS member agencies to share results of recent and on-going PFAS projects that are improving our understanding of PFAS characterization technologies. Click HERE for more information.

1:00-3:00 pm EST, Webinar. This training included emerging science on PFAS, and included topics such as Properties of PFAS, Fate and Transport, Sampling and Analysis, and Treatment Technologies. The technical presentations were focused on those who are relatively new to PFAS. The training lasted approximately 90 minutes and included time for questions. Click HERE for more information.

3:00-4:30 pm EST, Webinar. Dr. Jason Lambert of the US EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) presented “Advancing the Science of PFAS Mixtures Assessment” that discusses features of a draft “Framework for Estimating Noncancer Health Risks Associated with Mixtures of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).” The framework was developed by the US EPA ORD and Office of Water.

4:00-5:00 pm EST, 2104 Toxicology Building. Dr. Jane Hoppin, Professor – Biological Sciences at NC State University, was the guest speaker and gave a seminar on: “The IARC Process of Evaluating Potential Carcinogens: Recent Findings for PFOA and PFOS”.

The Toxicology Seminar Series is sponsored by a NIEHS T32 training grant “Molecular Pathways to Pathogenesis in Toxicology’.  TGSA Career Exposures, includes a chance for all students to meet with the speaker. To learn more, click HERE.

7:30-5 pm EST, Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. The research around per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continues to inch forward through the talents of all sectors working together to find answers and develop solutions. A&WMA continues this premier conference to bring together scientists, researchers, academics, practitioners, regulators, and the regulated community to further the conversation on the current state of PFAS science and solutions for the future. Click HERE for more information.