Kristina Whitworth, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in San Antonio and a member of the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH), was recently awarded a R01 grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) under the Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award (ONES) program. The award totals $1.8 million.
ONES is a competitive grant program that supports early stage investigators conducting innovative research to study environmental effects on human health. Whitworth’s project is multidisciplinary, bringing together international experts from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), the University of Valencia, and the Department of Health, Basque Country with UTHealth colleagues Elaine Symanski, PhD, and Michael Swartz, PhD, at UTHealth School of Public Health and Suneet Chauhan, MD, at the McGovern Medical School.
As part of her project, Whitworth and her team will use data from a large Spanish pregnancy cohort called INMA to assess potential sensitive windows of exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution during pre- and post-natal periods on child cognitive and behavioral outcomes. The project also aims to investigate the role of fetal growth in the causal pathway linking particulate matter air pollution exposure with early neurodevelopment.