Center for Precision Environmental Health

Program in Population and Environmental Health Disparities News


ECHO funding

Drs. Kristina Whitworth and Elaine Symanski, faculty leads of the Program in Population and Environmental Health Disparities at Baylor College of Medicine, along with collaborator Dr. Thomas Northrup at the McGovern Medical School, were awarded more than $2.2 million over two years to recruit pregnant women and their children as part of a new ECHO Cohort study site in Houston that will serve to expand the diversity of the nationwide ECHO Cohort.  The ECHO Program aims to understand the impact of myriad exposures experienced by pregnant women and children during susceptible periods of development from conception through early childhood on a range of childhood and early adolescent health outcomes. See the press release for more details.

Partnering to Find Solutions for Better Environmental Health in Houston’s Disadvantaged Neighborhoods 

NIEHS featured the work of Elaine Symanski and her team on addressing metal recycling pollution in Houston in a community-engaged project with academics, industry, residents, the Houston Health Department, and Air Alliance Houston in the Science Selection of Environmental Health Perspectives (Vol 131, no. 80, August 2023) and the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) newsletter (Vol 14, Issue 8, August 2023).  These mentions highlight the example that the MAPPS study provided in demonstrating the importance of community, partnerships, and a focus on action-oriented outcomes in addressing environmental injustice.    

Symanski named BCM Woman of Excellence

Dr. Elaine Symanski, a GC-CPEH Deputy Director, has been chosen as one of the 21-22 BCM Women of Excellence awardees. This award recognizes Dr. Symanski’s pioneering work establishing a P50 Center of Excellence in Health Disparities, her extraordinary contributions and accomplishments in the area of health equity, and her leadership in addressing issues related to environmental health disparities in maternal and infant environmental health.

Open Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellow Positions in Population and Environmental Health Disparities

The Program in Population and Environmental Health Disparities at BCM is pleased to announce the availability of two exciting career opportunities in the field of population and environmental health Disparities. We are currently accepting applications for an open-rank faculty position and a postdoctoral fellow position in this important area of research.

The faculty position offers a unique opportunity for a motivated professional to join our faculty. The successful candidate will contribute to advancing research and scholarship in the intersection of environmental factors and population health disparities. Individuals with interests in joint chemical and non-chemical stressors, exposure assessment, emerging environmental health issues, health disparities, climate change, environmental racism and environmental justice are encouraged to apply.  

The postdoctoral position is designed for early-career researchers seeking to gain valuable experience in the field. The selected candidate will work closely with our team of experts in leading research projects, developing grant applications, and publishing scientific findings. This position offers an excellent opportunity for professional development and networking within the field of population and environmental health disparities.

Drs. Chen and Rammah Present at 2023 Health Equity Research Summit

Dr. Chen Receives Award for Best Trainee-Led Project  

Baylor College of Medicine had its sixth annual 2023 Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training, and Research (COE) Summer Research Summit on May 16, 2023. The conference focused on the theme of "Achieving Environmental Justice: Removing Systemic Barriers and Disparities in Healthcare," aiming to explore the impact of environmental disparities on health equity and discussing strategies to address them.

Two postdoctoral researchers in the Program in Population and Environmental Health Disparities Publications presented their research at this meeting. Dr. Wei-Jen Chen, in recognition of his excellent research, was honored with the prestigious award for Best Trainee-Led Project. His study, titled "Race/ethnicity-specific Associations of Fine Particulate Matter and Temperature Exposures with Low Birth Weight among Women in Harris County, Texas, 2018-2020," aimed to investigate the relationship between air pollution, temperature, and birth weight in different racial/ethnic groups, with a particular focus on Hispanics, who have been underrepresented in previous studies conducted on the East or West Coasts. 

Dr. Amal Rammah also presented her study titled "Spatial Social Polarization and Black-White Disparities in Stillbirth." Dr. Rammah’s research seeks to understand the contributions of spatial social polarization, a legacy of redlining and residential racial segregation, to persistent disparities in risk of stillbirth between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White women in the United States, with a particular focus on Harris County (TX), where such disparities remain largely unexplained.

The COE Summer Research Summit was an engaging and informative event, bringing together researchers, healthcare providers, and policymakers to discuss solutions for achieving health equity in the face of environmental challenges.