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Award Winners

Past Award Winners

2017 Awardees

2017 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award
Teresa Anguiano

2017 Graduate Student Travel Award
No applicants

2017 Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award
No applicants

2017 Best Undergraduate Poster
Brittany Benjamin, Edinboro University
Mentor: Dr. William Mackay

2017 Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation
Kyle Mandler

2017 Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation
Alixandra Wagner

2017 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Presentation
Dr. Matthew Neal

Best Young Investigator Poster
Dr. Jie Dong

2017 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Oral Presentation
Dr. Carol Starkey

2017 Best Young Investigator Platform
Dr. Tina Sager

2017 Best Methodology
Andrew White

2017 Best Overall Presentation
Breanne Farris


2016 Awardees

2016 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award
Katie Roach

2016 Graduate Student Travel Award
Alice Han

2016 Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award
No applicants

2016 Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation
Lauren Falcone

2016 Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation
Katie Roach

2016 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Presentation
Dr. Vamsi Kodali

2016 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Oral Presentation
Dr. Cody Nichols

2016 Best Methodology
Lindsey Bishop

2016 Best Overall Presentation
Dr. Todd Stueckle


2015 Awardees

2015 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award
Samantha Adkins

2015 Graduate Student Travel Award
Amin Cheikhi and Carrie Long

2015 Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award
Dr. Melissa Badding

2015 Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation
Lindsey Bishop

2015 Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation
Sharlee Mahoney

2015 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Presentation
Dr. Colleen McLoughlin

2015 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Oral Presentation
Dr. Donna Davidson

2015 Best Methodology
Carrie Long

2015 Best Overall Presentation
Dr. Stephanie Rellick


2014 Awardees

2014 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award
Kylie Horvarth

2014 Graduate Student Travel Award
Cody Nichols

2014 Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award
Dr. Carol Starkey

2014 Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation
Cody Nichols

2014 Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation
Breanne Yingling-Farris

2014 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Presentation
Dr. Tina Sager

2014 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Oral Presentation
Dr. Kevin Beezhold

2014 Best Methodology
Hannah Pope-Varsalona

2014 Best Overall Presentation
Dr. Elizabeth Engler-Chiurazzi


2013 Awardees

2013 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award
Diana Yesica Garcifigueroa

2013 Graduate Student Travel Award
Breanne Yingling

2013 Postdoctoral Fellow Travel Award
Dr. Phoebe Stapleton

2013 Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation
Shilpi Oberoi

2013 Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation
Katelyn Siegrist

2013 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Poster Presentation
Dr. Nicki Marshall

2013 Best Postdoctoral Fellow Oral Presentation
Dr. Todd Stueckle

2013 Best Methodology
Courtney Roper

2013 Best Overall Poster
Andrea Cronican


2012 Student Travel Award

Hannah Pope-Varsalona
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Abstract: Investigating Roles for DNA Polymerase η in Protecting against Cr(VI)-Induced Mutations and Telomere Aberrations.
Mentor: Patricia L. Opresko, PhD


2011 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award

Alison E. Simmons and Ida Karimi
Indiana Area School District and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
Project: Effects of Nitrite on Development of Embryos and Early Larval Stages of the Zebrafish (Danio rerio).
Mentor: Thomas Simmons, PhD

2011 Student Travel Award

Fu-Jun (Frank) Liu
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Abstract: Mechanisms of the Werner Syndrome Protein in Protecting against Cr(VI)-Induced Telomere Loss.
Mentor: Patricia L. Opresko, PhD


2010 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award

Arpit Mehta
School of Pharmacy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA
Project: Mechanism of Autoprotection by Acetaminophen.
Mentor: Sachin S. Devi, PhD

2010 Student Travel Award

Katrina Porter
West Virginia University, School of Medicine Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Morgantown, WV
Abstract: Diesel Exhaust Particle Exposure Augments Arteriolar Mechanotransduction.
Mentor: Tim K. Nurkiewicz, PhD


2009 Fall Meeting Poster Winners

Best Methodology Poster
Nicole T. Myers, J.M. Johnson, N.A. Lalanne, S.G. Grant, and J.J. Latimer.
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Poster: Epigenetic Downregulation of DNA Nucleotide Excision Repair in Early Stage Breast Cancer.

Best Overall Poster
R. Brigg Turner, B. Vroman, and S.S. Devi.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy, Erie, PA
Poster: Autoprotection Model in Female Mice Using Acetaminophen As a Model Hepatotoxicant.


2009 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award

Kevin Beezhold
West Virginia University, Cancer Cell Biology Program, Morgantown, WV
Project: Arsenic Regulation of microRNAs in Human Carcinogenesis
Mentor(s): Fei Chen, PhD and Vincent Castranova, PhD

2009 Student Travel Awards

Eva M. Goellner
Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA


2008 Spring Meeting Poster Winners

Best Methodology: James P. Fabisiak, Cory Mathias, Kelly Brant and Randy Stalter for
Poster: Use of a Fibroblast/Endothelial Cell Co-Culture In Vitro Assay to Assess the Effects of Chemical and Microbial Toxins on Angiogenic Capillary-Like Tubule Formation.

Best Overall: A.Erdely, T. Hulderman, R. Salmen, A. Liston, P. Zeidler-Erdely, and P.P. Simeonova for “
Poster: Crosstalk between the Lung and Blood Following Carbon Nanotube Exposure—Potential Biomarkers and Implication for Cardiovascular Disease.


Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Sciences—Region 7

This year, A-E SOT participated in PJAS Region 7 Meeting.
Aaron Barchowsky represented A-E SOT.
$100 Awards were given to 7th grader,
Olivia Roberson and 12th grader, Chris Sparacino.


Winner of the 2007 MaryAnne Stock Graduate Student Research Award

Congratulations to Itai Antonia Nemec, winner of the 2007 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award. Antonia is PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh working in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health for Dr. Aaron Barchowsky.


Winner of 2007 Spring Meeting Poster Awards

Congratulations to the following:

For Best Methodology: Robin E. Gandley, Kathleen G. Raman, Jennifer D. Rohland, Mazen S. Zenati, and Edith Tzeng

Impact of High Fat Diet and Injury on Carotid Artery Reactivity

For Best Overall: Udayan Apte, Gang Zeng, Benjamin Cieply, Klaus Kaestner, and Satdarshan P. S. Monga

b-Catenin Is Essential for Liver Regeneration Following Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Failure


Winner of the 2007 Student Travel Award

Congratulations to Kelly Brant, PhD, winner of the 2007 Student Travel Award. Kelly is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She is working with Dr. James Fabisiak. Kelly presented her poster at the 2007 National Society of Toxicology meeting in Charlotte.


Winner of the 2006 MaryAnne Stock Graduate Student Research Award

Congratulations to Harina Vin, winner of the 2006 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award. Harina is an outstanding high school student who worked for Dr. Aaron Barchowsky in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh last summer.


Winner of the 2006 Graduate Student Travel Award

Congratulations to Antonia Nemec, winner of the 2006 Student Travel Award. Toni is a graduate student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Toni presented her poster at the 2006 National SOT Meeting in San Diego.


Winners of the 2006 Spring Meeting Poster Award

For Best Methodology, Congratulations to: MJ Keane, JC Harrison, E Kisin, WE Wallace, HELD, NIOSH, Morgantown, WV

A Study of In Vitro Dispersion and Potential Micronucleus Induction by Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes in V 79 Cells

Abstract: Single-wall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) manufactured using a high-pressure carbon monoxide process were used to challenge Chinese hamster lung fibroblast V 79 cells in vitro. The sample carbon nanotubes had been purified after manufacture to remove soluble metals, and were suspended in either culture medium (Dulbecco's minimal essential medium, DMEM), or a simulated pulmonary surfactant (SPS) of 1 mM dioleylphosphatidyl choline in DMEM. Results indicate there was no significant dose-response relationship of micronucleus induction in V 79 cells from carbon nanotubes suspended either in DMEM or simulated pulmonary surfactant at concentrations ranging up to 480 ug/ml. Microscopic examination of carbon nanotubes in liquid suspension indicated much better dispersion in simulated pulmonary surfactant than in MEM, with aggregates of the SPS-suspended CNT generally less than cellular size, while MEM-suspended CNT aggregates were often larger than cells. It was found in initial studies of SPS suspension of CNTs that sonication of phospholipids in air could cause a positive micronucleus response from the SPS itself; subsequent experiments used a N2 purge and brief sonication under N2, which eliminated the micronucleus induction by altered SPS components.

For Best Overall, Congratulations to: Adam C. Straub, Donna Beer Stolz, Linda R. Klei, Nicole V. Soucy, and Aaron Barchowsky

Chronic Arsenic Exposure Induces Angiogenic Gene Expression and Changes Vascular Architecture in Mouse Liver

Abstract: Arsenic is a well-known environmental toxicant that causes a wide range of organ specific diseases and cancers. Epidemiological evidence shows that drinking arsenic contaminated water enhances vascular remodeling in humans and contributes to the pathogenesis of liver diseases through poorly defined mechanisms. Since a significant amount of liver disease results from vascular changes and chronic environmental exposures to arsenic enhance angiogenesis and vascular remodeling, we examined the hypothesis that arsenic induces a program of angiogenic protein expression that changes blood vessel density and architecture in the liver. Mice were exposed to 0, 50 ppb, or 250 ppb of sodium arsenite (AsIII) in their drinking water for five weeks. These exposures did not affect the overall health of the animals, the general structure of the liver, or hepatocytes morphology. However, there were increases in CD45 and CD68 positive inflammatory cells, vascularization of the peribiliary vascular plexus (PBVP), and constriction of hepatic arterioles. Immunohistochemical analysis of 10-micron sections from excised livers demonstrated increased staining for PECAM/CD31, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, and angiopoietin-1 protein in sinusoidal vessels suggesting functional pathologic vascular remodeling. Quantitative real time-PCR of total liver RNA demonstrated that As(III) increased mRNA levels of pro-angiogenic and vessel remodeling genes relative to changes in the housekeeping gene HPRT. In conclusion, As(III) exposure induced a program of inflammatory angiogenesis and vessel remodeling that may explain As(III)-stimulated pathogenesis in liver diseases, such as portal fibrosis, portal hypertension, and possibly tumor progression.


Winner of the 2005 MaryAnne Stock Graduate Student Research Award

Congratulations to Itai Chipinda, winner of the 2005 MaryAnne Stock Student Research Award. Itai is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Portland State University. He is conducting his doctoral thesis in the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Branch at NIOSH in Morgantown, WV.


Winners of the 2005 Spring Meeting Poster Award


Congratulations to: E. Kisin1, A.R. Murray3, V.J. Johnson2, O. Gorelik4,5, S. Arepalli4,5, V.Z. Gandelsman4,5, A. Hubbs1, V.E. Kagan 6, V. Castranova1,3,6, A.A. Shvedova1,3.

1Pathology and Physiology Research Branch and 2Toxicology and Molecular Biology Branch, HELD, NIOSH, Morgantown, WV, 3Physiology and Pharmacology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 4Lockheed Martin Corporation, Engineering Directorate, Materials and Processes Branch, and 5Nanotube Team, GBTech, Inc., NASA-JSC, Houston, TX, 6Environmental and Occupational Health Department, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

2. Oxidative Stress andPulmonary Toxicity of Carbon Nanotubes

Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) are new members of carbon allotropes similar to fullerenes and graphite. Because of their unique electrical, mechanical and thermal properties, carbon nanotubes are being evaluated for novel applications in electronics, aerospace and computer industries. Our previous work has established that exposure of human broncho-epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) to SWCNT induced oxidative stress as evidenced by the formation of free radicals, accumulation of lipid peroxidation products, and depletion of antioxidants. This was accompanied by ultra-structural and morphological changes, enhanced cytotoxicity, and apoptosis. In the current study, we investigated pulmonary toxicity of SWCNT after pharyngeal aspiration to C57BL/6 mice.

We found that SWCNT caused dose-dependent formation of granulomatous broncho-interstitial pneumonia, fibrosis, and decreased pulmonary function. Administration of carbon nanotubes to C57BL/6 mice also resulted in a dose-dependent accumulation of biomarkers of inflammation and depletion of lung antioxidants. Overall, our data suggest that exposure to CNT leads to enhanced pulmonary toxicity via interactions of inflammatory response and oxidative stress culminating in the development of multifocal granulomatous pneumonia and fibrosis.

Congratulations to: Pallavi B Limaye, William C Bowen, and George K Michalopoulos: Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

3. Characterization of Bile Duct Toxicity and Compensatory Regeneration Following Methylene Dianiline Administration

Previously, we demonstrated that bile duct destruction induced by methylene dianiline (DAPM) followed by bile duct ligation results in transdifferentiation of hepatocytes into biliary epithelial cells in order to repair the bile ducts. The objective of the present study is to
investigate if the hepatocytes transdifferntiate during normal compensatory regeneration after bile duct toxicity. Male F344 rats were treated with DAPM (50 or 75 mg/kg, in DMSO, ip) and bile duct damage and repair were examined over a time course of 0 to 15 days. Serum bilirubin and GGT levels gradually increased from 12 h in a dose dependent manner, remained elevated until day 3, and returned to normal levels by day 7. Histological damage to the bile ducts was apparent from 12 h along with inflammation and portal triad edema. Bile infarcts in the periportal hepatocytes were apparent after both the doses with corresponding elevations in serum ALT levels. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunohistochemical staining in the biliary epithelial cells was apparent from 48 h after low dose while from day 3 after high dose and was sustained until day 7 after both the doses of DAPM. Hepatocyte division was also observed after DAPM toxicity. TUNEL assay indicated that apoptosis is not the predominant mode of cell death in either cell type after DAPM toxicity. Immunohistochemical staining for AE1/AE3, a marker for biliary epithelium showed intense cytoplasmic staining in the bile duct cells in the normal liver. However, the staining gradually increased in the periportal hepatocytes as the time progressed during regeneration after DAPM challenge. This finding may be part of the recently documented process whereby hepatocytes transdifferntiate into biliary epithelium.

Abstract Books for Spring Meeting


Winner of the 2005 Student Research Travel Award

Kimberley O’Hara, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh received the 2005 Student Research Travel Award. Kimberley present her poster “Chromium (VI) inhibits heme oxygenase-1 induction in both cell and in vivo models” at the 2005 National Meeting in New Orleans.


Winner of the 2004 Student Travel Award

Congratulations to Mr. Alexander Rowe on receiving the 2004 Travel Award. Mr. Rowe is conducting research in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology at West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. Mr. Rowe’s research is titled: Developmental Immunotoxic Effects of Prenatal Atrazine Exposure. Mr. Rowe is currently a 3rd year graduate student at West Virginia University. Thanks to all our applicants!


Winner of the 2003 MaryAnne Stock Graduate Student Research Award

Congratulations to Mr. Kevin James Paavola on receiving the 2003 MaryAnne Stock Research Award. Mr. Paavola is conducting research at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Mr. Paavola's research is titled: Clara Cell Function: A Proteomics Study. A copy of the submitted abstract is located below. Mr. Paavola is currently an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing his BS in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical and Health Engineering.

Clara Cell Function: A Proteomics Study

Rationale: Exposure of the lung to large volumes of air during breathing renders the respiratory tract uniquely susceptible to gaseous, particulate and microbial contaminants. Yet, the lung also stands as a first line of defense against many environmental insults: Interdependent mechanisms exist to minimize lung injury resulting from toxicant exposure, inactivate toxicological or biological properties of inspired agents, and clear deposited material from the lung. The mechanisms by which the lung protects itself and the rest of the organism from permanent damage are not completely understood. It isclear that the epithelium of the conduction airways significantly contributes to this defense, as functional defects within the conducting airways of patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis/COPD and cystic fibrosis are associated with increased susceptibility to environmental pollutants and microorganisms. Therefore, studies of the airway epithelium will contribute significantly to our understanding of lung toxicology. Our particular interest lies in the function of the Clara cell, and abundant nonciliated cell that is the source of Clara Cell Secretory Protein (CCSP), a major component of airway secretions.


Winners of the 2003 Spring Meeting Poster Awards

The awards for Best Methodology and Best Overall poster were given at the Spring 2003 Meeting.

The annual poster awards were presented to the following:

For Best Methodology:

Adam Fedorowicz1, Hamed Afshari1, Lingyi Zhengi2, Harshinder Singh1,2, EugeneDemchuk1,3    

Development of New QSAR Approaches in Occupational Contact Dermatitis

1 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV;  2 Department of Statistics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV;  3 School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

For Best Overall Poster:

Robin Gandley

Isolated Arterial Function is Impaired by Plasma from Patients with Preeclampsia and Hyperuricemia 


Winner of the 2003 Graduate Student Travel Award

Stacey L. Brower, WVU has been chosen to receive the 2003 Graduate Student Travel Award.

The title of her poster is:

"MCF-7 Cell Mitogens Differentially Affect MAPK Activation and Estrogen Receptor-alpha Phosphorylation"


Winner of the 2002 MaryAnne Stock Graduate Student Research Award

Patti Zeidler, WVU/NIOSH has been chosen to receive the 2002 MaryAnne Stock Graduate Student Research Award.

The title of her project is:

“Comparison of the Acute Pulmonary Response of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Knockout Mice Versus Wild Type to Intracheally Instilled Lipopolysaccharide and Interferon-gamma”


Winners of the 2002 Spring Meeting Poster Awards

The Spring Meeting awards for the Best Methodology and Best Overall poster were selected by chairperson, Robin Gandley and a committee consisting of Mark Reasor and Robin Ruppel-Kerr. 

The annual poster awards were presented to the following:

For Best Methodology:

Stephen S. Leonard1,2, Kristina Mowrey1, Donna Pack1, Xianglin Shi1, Vince Castranova1, Periannan Kuppusamy3, and Val Vallyathan1 

In vivo bioassays of acute asbestosis and its correlation with ESR spectroscopy and imaging in redox status 

1 Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Morgantown, WV 26505, USA; 2 Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown WV 26506, USA; 3 Department of Medicine, the John Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

For Best Overall Poster:

Yong Qian1, Zhuo Zhang1, Daniel C Flynn2 and Xianglin Shi1 

Arsenite modulates the actin filaments, increases the cell motility and activates CDC42 and Rac through the reactive oxygen species 

1The Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505; 2The Department of Microbiology and Immunology & The Cancer Center, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506.

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