Air Pollution Health Effects Research Opportunity
*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Public Health Environmental Assessment (CPHEA), Public Health and Integrated Toxicology Division (PHITD) located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Research Project: Environmental effects of climate change include alterations in the types and quantities of air pollutants emitted into the atmosphere. Increases in temperature, smoke from wildfires, and air toxic components may all impact community health. New experimental approaches have been developed by EPA scientists to aid risk assessment of health effects associated with a number of these air pollutants. These approaches, including high-throughput cell culture systems and computer modeling, have the potential to predict toxicity of airborne pollutants, but need support and validation by assessing similar endpoints resulting from exposures in laboratory animals. This project addresses health effects of inhaled toxic air pollutants and multi-pollutant mixtures under different exposure conditions. Research including advanced physiological and molecular methods in rodent models will help validate the cell culture and computer modeling findings, ultimately helping to better inform risk assessment of air pollution in a changing environment.
With guidance from the mentor and other researchers, the participant will have the opportunity to conduct research in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of EPA scientists in the following areas:
- Designing novel analytical approaches and refine in vivo testing methods to assess health effects of toxic air pollutant compounds.
- Designing analytical approaches and conduct experiments to investigate health effects of multi-pollutant mixtures, such as photochemical smog, wildfire smoke, or emissions from other combustion sources.
- Evaluating the physiological, immunological, and molecular responses to inhaled pollutants in the context of the physical and chemical properties of air pollutants and other exposure conditions.
- Developing approaches to compare the in vivo rodent assays with results from the in vitro assays to support air pollution risk assessment.
- Acquiring knowledge and skills related to the effects of real-world air pollutants on cardiovascular and respiratory health.
- Acquiring knowledge and skills related to applied molecular biology techniques for assessment of protein, genetic, or tissue changes in exposed animals.
- Developing knowledge and skills in designing, conducting, analyzing, and synthesizing research for communication to the broader scientific audience.
- Developing skills in presenting research findings at scientific society conferences and interacting with a broad group of scientists at the EPA and elsewhere.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Stephen Gavett (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall/Winter 2021. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three or four additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.
EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.
ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.