|Fry receives two prestigious honors for outstanding young researchers|
|September 28, 2010|
Rebecca Fry, PhD, assistant professor of environmental sciences and engineering at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received two prestigious awards recognizing her potential to advance science and make substantial contributions throughout her career.
Fry has received The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health. She also has been named a PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow.
The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award aims to identify outstanding scientists who are in the early stages of their careers and who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in the mission areas of the NIEHS.
Fry's ONES award includes a $2.2 million grant to study health effects of prenatal arsenic exposure in newborns in Gomez Palacio, Mexico. As principal investigator for the study, Fry will investigate the relationship between prenatal exposure to arsenic, epigenetic changes across the genome and health effects in newborns.
"The ONES award is highly selective and goes to only the most talented scientists," said Michael Aitken, PhD, professor and chair of the School's environmental sciences and engineering department. "We are extremely proud that Rebecca has been selected for this award, which means NIEHS recognizes her scientific potential as well as her deep commitment to environmental research. She is an outstanding member of our faculty."
"This is an opportunity to understand how early life exposures to environmental contaminants can influence long-term health," she said. "I am honored and excited to have this opportunity."
Other School collaborators on the study are Andrew Olshan, PhD, professor and chair of the epidemiology department; Miroslav Styblo, PhD, associate professor of nutrition; Zuzana Drobna, PhD, research assistant professor of nutrition; and Fei Zou, PhD, associate professor of biostatistics.
PopTech Science Public Leadership Fellowship
PopTech chooses Science and Public Leadership Fellows who are high-potential early- and mid-career scientists working in areas of critical importance to the nation and the planet, describing the fellows as "a corps of highly visible and socially engaged scientific leaders who embody science as an essential way of thinking, discovering, understanding and deciding."
PopTech is a global community of cutting-edge leaders from many different disciplines, who come together to explore the social impact of new technologies, the forces of change shaping the future, and new approaches to solving the world's most significant challenges.
Its mission is to accelerate the positive impact of world-changing people, projects and ideas. The group fosters breakthrough, multidisciplinary collaborations that help individuals, companies and organizations work together to change the world.
PopTech says it is responding to unprecedented challenges for the nation and planet that require scientific analysis, responses and solutions. Yet today few working scientists and researchers become visible, actively engaged public leaders.
"This lack of visible scientific leaders has real consequences," the program's website says. "Without them, science's influence is diminished in public debate. Well-funded special interests can create the appearance of facts where they do not exist, and controversy where there is little or no actual debate. The truth can become politicized, and public action on vital issues stalled. And scientists themselves can miss out on opportunities to form new kinds of interdisciplinary collaborations and relationships that can enrich their work and ideas."
Each year, PopTech selects up to 20 scientists who work in areas of critical importance to the nation and planet, such as energy, food, water, public health, climate change, conservation ecology, green chemistry, computing, education, oceans and national security. Fellows are given yearlong training and skills development led by a world-class faculty of experts in communications, media training, public engagement and leadership.
"I'm excited about this opportunity," Fry said. "Our research is uncovering vital and groundbreaking information about how our bodies react to chemicals in the environment. The training through this fellowship will help me disseminate our findings more effectively, and so have a better chance of translating the research into actions that will make a difference in the world."
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|Last updated September 28, 2010|