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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 21, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 40
Center for a Livable Future Names Predoctoral Fellows for 2008-2009

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has awarded predoctoral fellowships to 12 students for 2008-2009. This year, for the first time, the fellowships have been awarded in one of CLF's three program areas: Farming for the Future, Eating for the Future and Living for the Future.

Recipients of Farming for the Future Predoctoral Fellowships are Carmen Arriola and Edward Broughton, International Health; Beth Feingold and D'Ann Williams, Environmental Health Sciences; Jillian Parry Fry, Health Policy and Management; and Amy Peterson, Epidemiology. Arriola, Peterson and Williams are second-year CLF Predoctoral Fellows.

Eating for the Future Predoctoral Fellowships have been awarded to Julia DeBruicker, Health, Behavior and Society; Jennifer Hartle, Environmental Health Sciences; and Sohyun Park and Manjunath Shankar, International Health.

Recipients of Living for the Future Predoctoral Fellowships are Kristen Gibson, Environmental Health Sciences and a third-year CLF Predoctoral Fellow; and Gila Neta, Epidemiology.

Carmen Arriola received a veterinary degree from San Marcos Major National University in Lima, Peru, and is a fourth-year doctoral student concerned about the vulnerability of human populations to the health and economic impacts of zoonotic (animal to human) diseases. Her proposed research is the first systematic study of the environmental and public health impact of the porcine industry in Peru. She says she hopes to apply her research findings to practical uses, especially for underserved populations around the world. Her doctoral adviser is Lawrence Moulton, a professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health. Her project advisers are Robert Gilman, also a professor in International Health, and Ellen Silbergeld, professor in Environmental Health Sciences.

Edward Broughton's experience with his family's shellfish farms in Australia led to his interest in aquaculture and human health. As a third-year doctoral student, he will examine the association between antibiotic use in food-fish production and zoonotic infections. Specifically, he will investigate antibiotic-resistant and susceptible salmonella bacteria in farmed fish from Guangdong, China, and the risk their presence poses to humans. He would like to add to the body of knowledge that guides policies for antibiotic use in aquaculture at the national and international levels. Broughton earned his bachelor's degree in applied science from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and his master's from Columbia University. His adviser is Damian Walker, assistant professor in International Health.

Beth Feingold is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences' Division of Environmental Health Engineering. She has proposed using satellite remote sensing to locate Confined Animal Feeding Operations based on the spatial and spectral signatures of the animal houses and manure lagoons in order to better estimate their contribution to large-scale ecosystem and human health burdens of pollution and disease. Feingold holds master of public health and master of environmental science degrees from Yale University, and a bachelor's in geology from Vassar College. Her adviser is Ellen Silbergeld, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Jillian Parry Fry, a second-year doctoral student, received her undergraduate degree in biobehavioral health from the Pennsylvania State University and her master's degree in public health from the University of New Mexico. Current research interests include examining the impact of industrial food animal production sites on surrounding communities from a human rights perspective. Her doctoral adviser is Robert Lawrence, CLF director and professor in Environmental Health Sciences. Her faculty adviser is Daniel Webster, associate professor in Health Policy and Management.

Amy Peterson received her veterinary degree from Tufts University in 2001. She spent two years in both large and small animal clinical practice in addition to participating in the control and eradication efforts during the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth disease epidemic. Her proposed research is to investigate animal reservoirs of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and the role of large-scale industrial agriculture in environmental spread of animal MRSA to surrounding communities by evaluating MRSA presence and clonal profile at hospital admission in a rural tertiary care hospital center. Peterson's doctoral advisers are Ellen Silbergeld, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and Kenrad Nelson, professor in the Department of Epidemiology.

D'Ann Williams is a DrPH student at the Bloomberg School while also working in the Division of Environmental Health Engineering. She received an undergraduate degree in natural sciences from Towson University and a master's degree in environmental sciences from Johns Hopkins. At the Center for Asthma in the Urban Environment, she focuses on environmental sampling to evaluate source exposure and environmental determinants of asthma. In 2001, working with an NIEHS/JHSPH team at the World Trade Center in New York, she investigated airborne exposures of workers. She also worked in New Orleans to assess airborne mold levels within the city after Hurricane Katrina. Her proposed research is to assess the exposure of dairy CAFO contaminants in indoor and outdoor environments in Yakima Valley, Wash. Her research adviser is Patrick Breysse, professor in Environmental Health Sciences, and her doctoral adviser is Alison Geyh, associate professor in Environmental Health Sciences.

Julia DeBruicker, a third-year doctoral student, will examine the sustainable food movement as it is unfolding in the United States. Her goal is to uncover what is driving this growing consumer sector. What are its participants trying to get away from in ordinary, supermarket food, and what do they want out of food that has been raised to a higher standard? Her work will prepare a blueprint for how the values, priorities and momentum that underlie this movement can contribute to the agricultural and food policy agenda that the field of public health is developing. DeBruicker will situate her research in a Midwestern agricultural region to prepare an ethnographic description and a regional model that can inform other places. Her faculty adviser is Peter Winch, associate professor of social and behavioral interventions in the Department of International Health.

Jennifer Hartle is interested in investigating how to change current eating patterns in high- income countries to reduce human impact on the environment. She plans to discover and evaluate current management plans designed to change eating habits. Utilizing successful initiatives, she plans to construct a program in behavioral change that can be introduced on a larger scale. Hartle received a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and her master's from the Bloomberg School. She has been working as an industrial hygienist in the energy production and semiconductor industries for eight years and will begin her doctoral studies in January. Her initial academic adviser is Robert Lawrence, CLF director and professor in Environmental Health Sciences, and her faculty adviser is Norma Kanarek, associate professor in Environmental Health Sciences.

Sohyun Park is interested in making healthy eating choices easy ones. Her background in nutrition and food policy with experience at the Korea Food and Drug Administration as an associate researcher led to the doctoral program in the Center for Human Nutrition at the Bloomberg School. Her research will focus on environmental and structural changes for preventing childhood obesity in South Korea. She says she wants to develop strategies to make healthy eating choices more available and accessible to children and adolescents in food outlets. She earned her bachelor's degree in food and nutrition from Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea, and a master's from Tufts University. Park is now a second-year doctoral student in the Center for Human Nutrition. Her adviser is Joel Gittelsohn, an associate professor in the Department of International Health.

Manjunath Shankar considers himself to be a heterodox health economist and has been influenced by the works of Amartya Sen, Herman Daly and E.F. Schumacher. As a fourth-year doctoral student, his research will evaluate the impact of kitchen gardens on women's empowerment and food security using the capability approach framework developed by Sen. Shankar graduated in medicine from Bangalore University and earned a Master in Health Administration degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. His research interests include primary health care, community empowerment and heterodox economics. His advisers are Alan Sorkin and Carl Taylor, both in the Department of International Health.

Kristen Gibson is interested in the environmental and public health impacts of industrial animal production through surface and groundwater transport of emerging human and animal pathogens. Over the past five years she has conducted research within the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health and has been involved in projects addressing some of the public health consequences of industrial animal production. As a third-year doctoral student and a third-year CLF Predoctoral Fellow, she plans to continue developing new methods to investigate emerging pathogens and their persistence and transport through surface and groundwater sources potentially impacted by industrial animal production. Gibson earned her bachelor's degree in microbiology and molecular biology from the University of Central Florida. Her doctoral adviser is Kellogg Schwab, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Gila Neta is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Epidemiology Department's Environmental and Occupational Division. Her dissertation research focuses on the public health consequences of pesticides. She is investigating the effects of prenatal exposures to persistent and nonpersistent insecticides in a cohort of babies born in Baltimore as part of the THREE Study (Tracking Health Related to Environmental Exposures). She is exploring the risk factors for exposure to pesticides and examining the associations between levels of pesticides in cord blood and the effects on fetal growth and development and on the immune system. Her dissertation adviser is Lynn Goldman, professor in Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology. Her academic adviser is Jonathan Samet, chair of Epidemiology.

Each predoctoral fellowship provides one year of support in an amount up to $60,000 to be used for tuition, stipend and/or research expenses depending on individual needs. Students must be enrolled in any one of the divisions of Johns Hopkins in a PhD, ScD or DrPH program and are eligible for support during any stage of their doctoral program. The CLF Predoctoral Fellowship Program, now in its sixth year, is made possible by a generous donor.


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