Dean Marjorie Aelion has announced that the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors for the maximum seven-year term, extending to July 1, 2022. The school was first accredited in 1970, and is one of 52 CEPH-accredited Schools of Public Health in North America. Dr. Gloria DiFulvio spearheaded the School’s accreditation team which included faculty and staff from every department in the school. In her announcement, Dean Aelion extolled the efforts of faculty, staff, students, alumni and SPHHS Advisory Board members who assisted in preparing the self-study report and participated in the 3-day CEPH site team visit.
Laura Vandenberg, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, is launching a three-year, $450,000 research program supported by a National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) early career award to investigate the possibility that exposure to estrogen or estrogen-like chemicals in the womb may be a risk factor in developing breast cancer. “We already know that the major known risk factor in breast cancer is exposure to estrogen, so girls who enter puberty earlier and women who enter menopause later have higher risk,” she says. Her investigation will focus on a the chemical bisphenol S (BPS), related to bisphenol A (BPA) and now often used in plastics, thermal receipts, food packaging and other products instead of BPA.
The U.S. National Regulatory Council has opened a new docket on proposed rule changes and standards for radiation protection to change the basis of those regulations from the linear no-threshold (LNT) model to the hormesis model. Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Edward Calabrese, a longtime champion of the hormesis model, says it felt like "a vindication of my 30-year career, in many ways.” He has long argued that for a variety of reasons, the LNT model has never been properly validated and current federal and international rules on human exposure to chemicals, drugs and low-dose radiation based on it were adopted without rigorous testing. He says that in “substantial validation tests, only the hormetic dose-response made consistently accurate predictions.”
Patty Freedson, Professor and Chair of Kinesiology, recently spoke at the International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM) in Limerick, Ireland. Freedson delivered an invited presentation, titled “New Frontiers for the 'Quantified Self'.” Her talk highlighted recent progress in physical activity and sedentary behavior assessment using wearable accelerometer-based sensors. "I discussed advances developed in our lab at UMass Amherst, in collaboration with Dr. John Staudenmayer from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, where we have developed and validated novel methods to interpret sensor output from research-grade wearable monitors,” says Freedson.