Congratulations to Neelakanteswar (Neel) Aluru, who recently received a ONES (Outstanding New Environmental Scientist) award from NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Neel has been working with Project 4 for several years, first as a postdoc and most recently as a collaborator in his position as an Assistant Scientist in the Biology Department at WHOI. The RFA states "The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award is intended to identify the most talented Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) who intend to make a long-term commitment to research in the Environmental Health Sciences and assist them in launching an innovative research program focused on the understanding of environmental exposure effects on people’s health."
The project title is "Role of de novo DNMTs in Toxicant Induced Alterations in DNA Methylation" is a 5-year, $2.05M grant for research. The research proposed by Neel in this project will provide new understanding of the role of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) enzymes in the mechanisms of epigenetic changes induced by exposure to environmental chemicals. The studies will use zebrafish as a model system, and the results will be relevant both for human health as well as the health of vertebrate animals (including marine vertebrates) exposed to environmental chemicals. Read more in the WHOI press release and in the March 2015 Environmental Factor story "NIEHS funds six early-career researchers for innovative science"
Neel's BU SRP Project 4 papers:
Aluru, N., Karchner, S.I., Franks, D.G., Nacci, D., Champlin, D., Hahn, M.E., 2015. Targeted mutagenesis of aryl hydrocarbon receptor 2a and 2b genes in Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Aquat Toxicol 158, 192-201.
Aluru, N., Karchner, S.I., Hahn, M.E., 2011. Role of DNA methylation of AHR1 and AHR2 promoters in differential sensitivity to PCBs in Atlantic Killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus. Aquat Toxicol 101, 288-294.