U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

March 2024

NIEHS News in Brief

Society of Toxicology, EHP Editors’ Choice Collection, NIH Director’s Seminar, and George Lucier.

SOT - The Society of Toxicology 63rd Annual Meeting & ToxExpo, March 10-14, 2024, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Society of Toxicology will hold its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mar. 10-14. This event will include five days of scientific sessions, training, poster presentations, and networking opportunities, as well as ToxExpo — where NIEHS and many agencies, companies, and organizations that support toxicology research will host exhibits.

NIEHS staff will lead or join more than 60 sessions over the course of the event. Some key events include the following.

  • Meet the Director: NIEHS. Provides conference attendees with the opportunity to meet and interact with NIEHS Director Rick Woychik, Ph.D.
  • Funding 101: Grant Opportunities and Tips for Toxicologists. Features various funding tips for attendees and opportunities each day to meet one-on-one with representatives from grant-making agencies (including NIEHS).
  • The National Toxicology Program (NTP): An Interagency Partnership With Global Reach. This exhibitor-hosted session shares details about the NTP’s mission, activities, and ways in which the scientific community and the public can engage with the program.
  • ICCVAM Progress on Advancing Alternatives: Validation Report. During this session, staff from the various agencies that comprise the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) will share progress on the “Report on Validation, Qualification, and Regulatory Acceptance of New Approach Methodologies.” (BR)

EHP announces third annual Editors’ Choice collection

Environmental Health Perspectives revealed its third annual collection of the editors’ favorite papers of 2023. These papers were chosen from the almost 200 articles, reviews, commentaries, research letters, and seminars published within the journal over the course of the year. Selection was based on several factors, including peer review comments, scientific merit, novelty, and how much the editors enjoyed reading the papers.

“The EHP team has the privilege of evaluating over 2,000 papers every year, and this collection gives us an opportunity to highlight a few that stood out to us," said Editor-in-Chief Joel Kaufman, M.D.

This year’s Editors’ Choice Collection included 12 papers, which touched on topics ranging from metal levels in marijuana users and PFAS concentrations in pregnant women to the effects of logging on certain bacterial infections and the relationship between heat and mortality in desert populations. This diverse collection of topics reflects the editors’ desires to spotlight distinctive or unusual papers that might not otherwise receive the attention they deserve. (BR)

Phthalate research presented at NIH Director’s Seminar

Kelly Ferguson, Ph.D.
Kelly Ferguson, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw / NIEHS)

NIEHS Senior Investigator Kelly Ferguson, Ph.D., presented her research on phthalate diesters at the NIH Director’s Seminar Feb. 9 in Bethesda, Maryland. Phthalate diesters are a group of chemicals commonly used in personal care products and many types of plastics. Human exposure is widespread and of particular concern during pregnancy due to the endocrine activity and suspected toxicity of these compounds.

Ferguson’s presentation examined data from the Pooled Phthalate and Preterm Birth Study, a pooled dataset from 16 U.S. study groups, or cohorts, created to help better understand the connection between phthalates and preterm birth. Her talk focused on the effects of exposure during pregnancy, the potential benefits of different interventions, the role of race and ethnic disparities in determining health outcomes, and periods of susceptibility across the course of pregnancy. (BR)

NIEHS mourns the passing of George Lucier

George Lucier, Ph.D.
George Lucier, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw / NIEHS)

George Lucier, Ph.D., a leader in environmental health research and public service, passed away Feb. 8. He worked at NIEHS for 31 years, serving as director of the Environmental Toxicology Program in the Division of Intramural Research, associate director of the NTP, as well as co-editor-in-chief of Environmental Health Perspectives.

“His pioneering work in molecular epidemiology and receptor-mediated toxicology laid the foundation for better understanding the impacts of environmental agents on human health,” said NIEHS Director Rick Woychik, Ph.D. “Dr. Lucier’s legacy is not only marked by his scientific achievements, but also by his generosity of spirit, mentorship, and unwavering commitment to the greater good.”

Upon his retirement from NIEHS in 2000, Lucier embarked on a second career in local politics in Chatham County, where he continued to advocate for the well-being of his community beyond the laboratory. (MB)

(Ben Richardson, Ph.D., is a Presidential Management Fellow in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and Marla Broadfoot, Ph.D., is a contract writer for the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)

Back To Top