HESI Insights - December 2020

Engaging Funding Agencies in a Discussion on the Use of Environmental Epidemiology in Risk Assessment

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On 1 December 2020, the HESI Environmental Epidemiology Committee held an online focus group with several funding agencies. The meeting engaged representatives from Autism Speaks, the March of Dimes, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in an open dialogue on funding mechanisms and exploring how to increase the use of epidemiology in risk assessment and decision making. This was the fifth meeting in a series of highly interactive workshops (two were organized in 2018 in Washington, DC, and Research Triangle Park, NC, and two were organized in 2019 in Atlanta, GA, and at the Gulf Coast Consortia in Houston, TX) by which we sought to explore incentives and barriers to realizing the full potential of epidemiological data in risk assessment.

Starting in early 2021, the committee will organize a webinar series targeting a broad audience to illustrate how the field of risk assessment could benefit from a synergy between epidemiologists, exposure scientists, risk assessors, and other experts to ultimately improve public health. These presentations will also be an opportunity to feature the work done by different groups (including HESI) in this field.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sandrine Deglin (sdeglin@hesiglobal.org).

Reminder: Submission Open for
THRIVE Letters of Intent

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HESI THRIVE is a seed grant program that is innovating translational research and improving quality of life after cancer. By providing researchers with both seed funding and access to critical networks, THRIVE enhances the visibility of the patient need, the value of the research, and the reasons that larger funding entities might elect to incorporate these research streams into future funding priorities.

THRIVE provides seed grants for clinical and translational research and technology-based solutions that enhance our ability to predict when and how adverse effects may occur in patients who have received cancer treatment. The THRIVE grant program is designed to provide seed funding to investigators for the testing of initial hypotheses and collecting of preliminary data to help secure long-term funding from other major institutions. For details on eligibility, funding, the application process, and key deadlines, please click here.

The letters of intent deadline is 31 December 2020. For more information, contact research@hesithrive.org.

Emerging Issues 2021
Call for Proposals

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HESI is seeking your suggestions for new scientific projects (human or environmental health) for consideration as an emerging issue in 2021. Proposals will be reviewed in early 2021, and one or more may be selected to form a new scientific collaborative program within HESI. Although this is not a grant, the selected program will receive support from HESI for scientific program design, coordination, and staffing.

Learn more about the HESI Emerging Issues process on our website or download the proposal form here. The deadline to submit proposals is 15 January 2021. Don’t miss out!

HESI is Hiring: Part-Time
Scientific Program Manager

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Are you looking for an opportunity to collaborate with leading scientists in allergy, immunology, and agricultural safety assessment from around the world? HESI is pleased to announce the opening for a remote, salary-exempt, part-time program manager for an ongoing protein allergenicity database project.

The position is offered as a remote role, although some on-site visits to meet with project partners in the Washington, DC area may be required. While the candidate will have the ability to work in a remote setting with a considerable degree of independence, the candidate must agree to remain in compliance with social distancing and other COVID-19 related guidance from federal, state, and local officials.

Learn more and find application details here.

Thank You for Your Hard Work
During COVID-19!

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While 2020 has posed new and unique challenges, it has also illuminated all we have to be grateful for. To those of you have worked tirelessly to address the COVID-19 pandemic, whether through volunteer work, research, or other avenues, thank you for your commitment and endurance to helping the global health community.

We also want to take the opportunity to thank all our members for their hard work during a difficult year. We truly value and appreciate the contributions you made to advancing HESI science while adjusting to a new normal. Thank you for all you do to help develop science-based solutions for a safer, more sustainable world.

We hope you are able to take some time over the coming weeks to rest, recharge, and enjoy the holiday season. Stay safe, stay healthy, and happy holidays!

Save the Date! eSTAR Committee and AAPS Webinar


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The HESI eSTAR Committee has co-organized a webinar with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) titled “Development of Next-Generation Biomarkers for Detecting Kidney Toxicity”. This webinar is free and open to the public, so please feel free to share the link! Webinar details can be found below or on the AAPS website.

  • Webinar Title: Development of Next-Generation Biomarkers for Detecting Kidney Toxicity
  • Presenter: Dr. Alison Harrill (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
  • Date: 11 February 2021
  • Time: 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM EST
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Registration: Register here

For more information, please contact Dr. Syril Pettit (spettit@hesiglobal.org).

From the Leadership

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2020 is my 20th year with HESI. While I didn’t have any way to know what 2020 would look like when I started with the organization, I certainly could never have predicted it would look like this. The challenges to global health and public trust in science have often been dismaying. Clearly, there is much work to be done for all of us to advance HESI’s mission of developing science for a safer, more sustainable world. Some of this work will take place in the laboratory, some in the classroom, and some as active members of society. I implore you to share your thoughts and suggestions as to how we continue forward with HESI’s multi-sector, multi-disciplinary model to help contribute to a healthier future for us all.


Syril D. Pettit, DrPH, MEM
HESI Executive Director

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Fax: +1-202-659-3859

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