Alumna selected as an Environmental Defense Fund Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis Postdoctoral Fellow

Grace Tee Lewis, Ph.D.

HOUSTON – (Apr. 8, 2016) – Alumna Grace Tee Lewis, Ph.D., was recently selected as an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Henry and Marie Josée Kravis Postdoctoral Fellow, working in the Office of the Chief Scientist Steven Hamburg, Ph.D., with Elena Craft, Ph.D., senior health scientist.

The focus of Tee Lewis’ postdoctoral fellowship is to examine health disparities in Houston related to air pollution. The Kravis Postdoctoral Fellowship is a collaboration between EDF and UTHealth School of Public Health’s Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) under the guidance of her mentor, Elaine Symanski, Ph.D., an associate professor at the School of Public Health and chair of the SWCOEH.   

Craft says she is enthusiastic to work with Tee Lewis and partner with the SWCOEH. “EDF values and appreciates the opportunity to partner with the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health on understanding more about health disparities in the Houston region,” says Craft.

Tee Lewis’ earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology from UTHealth School of Public Health in 2007, with minors in biostatistics and environmental science. Over the years, she has studied a variety of environmental contaminants including phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, and air pollutants including air toxics benzene, 1,3-butadiene, polycyclic organic matter (POM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lewis is particularly interested in the way socially and economically disadvantaged communities face greater risk from environmental hazards. She says she hopes her work with EDF and the SWCOEH will identify ways to reduce community exposures and improve the health of Houstonians. 

Lewis is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who taught high school science and math in rural Zimbabwe.  She also lived in Bangkok, Thailand for nearly five years. Her favorite pastimes include travel, knitting, and reading.  You may also find her bicycling around Houston with her family.

—Written by Michelle R. McDaniel, SWCOEH Continuing Education Coordinator