SWEHSC Mentoring Achievements: Promoting the Career of Established Scientists and Junior Faculty

In partnership with other Colleges and Centers, we offer small contributions from the Career Development budget to supplement new UA EHS faculty recruitment packages to promote the visibility and stature of EHS research and the SWEHSC across the university, and to leverage minimal funds to attract top investigators in multiple colleges that specifically enhance the EHS research agenda. Another objective of the SWEHSC Administrative Core is to promote the implementation of state-of-the-art research tools and technologies in EHS research and to assist new faculty joining the UA in establishing their laboratories and research programs. This will continue to be accomplished through the Pilot Project funds and Career Development Programs. The following junior faculty were recruited from 2012-2017 (*denotes Career Development funds or Pilot Project Award recipient):

  • Eli Chapman, Ph.D.* Assistant Professor Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Dr. Chapman’s research focuses on arsenic-induced oxidative stress, compromise of protein quality control, heat-shock response, and cell-cycle alterations. Dr. Chapman received pilot project and CD funding and is mentored by Dr. Zhang.
  • Karletta Chief, Ph.D.* – Assistant Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science. Dr. Chief’s research focuses on the effects of climate change on indigenous communities based on predictions of watershed hydrology, unsaturated flow in arid environments, and the effects of natural and human disturbances on soil hydrology. As an extension specialist, she also works to bring relevant science to Native American communities in a culturally sensitive manner. Dr. Chief received pilot project and CD funding and is mentored by Dr. Beamer.
  • John Clarke, Ph.D.* Assistant Professor. Dr. Clarke was mentored for an NIEHS funded K99/R00 award on the inter-individual variability in response to environmental exposures of microcystin. He is now an assistant professor at Washington State University. Dr. Clarke received pilot project and CD funding and was mentored by Drs. Cherrington and Wright.
  • Zelieann Craig, Ph.D.* Assistant Professor, Department of Reproductive Physiology in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Craig’s interests are reproduction and toxicology, and the field of reproductive physiology and toxicology. Dr. Craig conducts research aimed at understanding the relationship between environmental exposures and ovarian function and disease. Dr. Craig received pilot project and CD funding and is mentored by Dr. Vaillancourt.
  • Jani Ingram, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, Northern Arizona University. Dr. Ingram is the PI of the Partnership of Native American Cancer Prevention Training Program. Her research investigates environmental contaminants with respect to their impact on health and she addresses chronic uranium exposure and cancer risk to the Navajo. In addition, Dr. Ingram’s work has focused on fostering collaborations with the Navajo community and leaders. She is mentored by Dr. Burgess.
  • Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, Ph.D.* Assistant Professor, Pediatrics. Her research efforts include the assessment of exposure to arsenic compounds in food and water and its relation to urinary and other biomarkers of disease, the impact of nutrient intake on these biomarkers, and the relation between prenatal exposure to neurotoxins and child development. Dr Kurzius-Spencer received pilot project and CD funding and is mentored by Dr. Burgess.
  • Julie Ledford, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Immunology, College of Medicine. Dr. Ledford’s research focuses on respiratory disease and genetic and molecular mechanisms of allergic airway diseases in children. She is new to UA and will be targeted for CD. Her mentor is Dr. Kraft.
  • Aikseng Ooi, Ph.D.* Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Dr. Ooi focuses on identifying the mechanisms by which chronic environmental exposures mediate permanent cellular reprogramming. By applying next-generation sequencing, he seeks to identify changes at the genetic and epigenetic levels that are inflicted by environmental exposures using computational and in vitro cellular modeling. Dr. Ooi received pilot project and CD funding and is mentored by Dr. Zhang.
  • Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Soil, Water, and Environmental Science. Dr. Ramirez-Andreotta’s research interests include environmental contamination and soil/food quality and phytotechnologies to improve soil and air quality. She is building citizen science programs to increase public participation in environmental health research, developing low cost environmental monitoring tools to improve exposure estimates, and designing effective risk communication and report-back strategies to improve environmental health literacy. She is new to UA and will be targeted for CD. Her mentor is Dr. Maier.
  • Casey Romanoski, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Cellular Medicine, College of Medicine. Dr. Romanoski focuses on elucidating the interaction between DNA variation and gene regulation. Her laboratory uses next-generation sequencing technologies and a combination of experimental and computational approaches to study how endothelial cells achieve context-appropriate expression patterns in healthy and inflammatory settings. She is new to UA and will be targeted for CD.
  • Elisa Tomat, Ph.D.* – Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Tomat’s research interests are the chemistry of transition metal ions and other redox-active species and their involvement in human health and disease. Dr. Tomat received pilot project funding and was mentored by Dr. Monks.
  • Ting Wang, Ph.D.* Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine. Dr. Wang’s research aims to understand the exacerbated cardiopulmonary toxicity of particulate matter (PM) pollution with pre-existing conditions including asthma and congestive heart failure. Dr. Wang received pilot project and CD funding and is mentored by Dr. Garcia.
  • Jeong-Yeol Yoon, Ph.D.* Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Dr. Yoon’s research interests include medical diagnostics, air quality, tissue engineering and organ-on-a-chip, food safety and water quality, and fast PCR diagnostics. Dr. Yoon received pilot project funding and was mentored by Dr. Monks.