Pilot Project Program
A significant portion of the Center's funding is allocated for Pilot Projects.
Pilot projects are particularly important to the Center because they foster
innovative research, help to broaden membership, and facilitate collaborations
between research groups that might not otherwise occur. The goals of the
MIT CEHS Pilot Project Program are to achieve the following:
- Provide initial support for new investigators to establish research in the area of environmental health.
- Allow established investigators to explore innovative new directions in environmental health research representing a significant departure from ongoing funded research.
- Stimulate investigators from diverse fields of endeavor to apply their expertise to environmental health research.
- Encourage and foster multi-disciplinary research collaborations.
- Provide an opportunity for investigators to take move their basic research to the translational level.
Pilot projects funded focus on preliminary investigation in an area of environmental health science and toxicology that can be completed within one year. Funding is available to all CEHS members, to all members of the MIT faculty, and under appropriate circumstances to investigators in the wider Boston and Cambridge research community.
A call for applications for pilot project funding is disseminated through publication on the MIT website and announcements for posting distributed through Department, Lab, and Center Headquarters Offices.
Current Pilot Projects
The MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, through support from the NIH-NIEHS Center Grant P30-ES002109, has awarded four pilot projects with a start date of May 1, 2013.
The three funded applications are:
(1) Steven Barrett
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Engineering System and Atmospheric Chemistry
Steve Hung Lam Yim
Aeronautics and Astronautics
“The Health Impact of Use of Leaded Aviation Gasoline”
This study aims to quantify population exposure to airborne lead associated with use of leaded aviation gasoline. The resultant children’s IQ loss incidence and its impact on U.S. economy will be also estimated.
(2) Bevin P. Engelward
Gerald N. Wogan
"Development of Application of the RADR/GptΔ Mouse Model: Convergent Technologies for Revealing the Mutagenic Potential of Inflammation"
The proposed study describes an approach for specifically querying the HR susceptibility of somatic stem cells in the colon. The proposed studies will both provide new mechanistic insights into inflammation-induced cancer, while at the same time paving the way for the application of this mouse model to additional problems.
(3) Jonathan Runstadler
Biological Engineering and Division of Comparative Medicine
Division of Comparative Medicine
"Investigating the Differential Environmental Stability of Influenza Virus Particles: Does Variation in Lipid Content Explain Host Shift Events?"
This pilot project proposes to explore the role of the viral lipid membrane in viral environmental stability, with particular focus on how stability may be critical in defining the ecology and evolution of influenza infection in natural reservoirs and potential transmission to novel hosts, such as humans.
In addition, one Translational Pilot Project was funded this round.
(1) Jacquin C. Niles
Senior Postdoctoral Associate*
"Characterizing Oxidative DNA Damage and Repair in Plasmodium falciparum"
The goal of this proposal is to initiate a systematic analysis of the parasite-based mechanisms contributing to this important human health problem.
The MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, through support from the NIH-NIEHS Center Grant P30-ES002109, has awarded two translational pilot projects with a start date of December 1, 2013 as a result of a special pilot project call geared towards junior investigators.
The two funded translational applications are:
(1) Jesse Kroll
Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
“Laboratory Characterization of the Composition and Variability of Solid Biofuel Combustion Emissions”
The goal of this proposed work is to better understand the emissions from solid biofuel combustion, by the detailed examination of both the composition and the variability of emissions under a given set of combustion conditions (as a function of fuel type, cookstove design, and other key operational parameters).
(2) Elizabeth Nolan
"Nickel Allergy and Proinflammatory Proteins"
The goal of this pilot research initiative is to evaluate a putative role for the proinflammatory proteins calprotectin (CP, S100A8/S100A9) and psoriasin (S100A7) in contact hypersensitivity to nickel, a metal ion that is a component of many consumer products and causes skin allergy in humans.
Highlights of Previously Funded Pilot Projects
For information on the CEHS Pilot Project Program contact:
MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences