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School of Public Health's Allison Appleton Named Harvard JPB Environmental Health Fellow

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 4, 2015) -- Allison Appleton, Sc.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at University at Albany, School of Public Health, has been selected as a JPB Environmental Health (EH) Fellow by the Harvard School of Public Health. The fellowship program, which formally began on October 1, 2014, and will extend through December 2017, brings together junior faculty from U.S. institutions with research interests related to social and physical determinants of environmental health on disadvantaged communities.

As toxicant and social stress exposures tend to co-occur among disadvantaged groups and can influence child health, Appleton researches the joint contribution of these factors in explaining disparities in infant outcomes. She also examines mechanisms that may help explain how these exposures become biologically embedded to affect infant health. She will use the fellowship resources to develop expertise in metal exposure assessment and also to launch a pilot study of mothers and infants in Albany, New York.

The fellowship, funded by the JPB Foundation, aims to promote multidisciplinary collaborative research among the JPB EH Fellows, support and advance academic careers within their home institutions, and create a group of trained leaders who are committed to using research to find solutions to complex environmental health problems among underserved populations.
As a fellow, Appleton will receive a stipend of up to $350,000 over the three years to cover travel expenses, collaborative research studies among fellows, conference calls, and salary support. She will also work closely with UAlbany's Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities and Dr. Larry Schell in her fellowship research.

Appleton earned her doctorate degree in social epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty of UAlbany School of Public Health, she completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in molecular epidemiology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, as well as a post-doctoral research fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

Appleton said, “This project, as well as others to be developed collaboratively with JPB EH Fellows, represents the direction I am taking my research program as I believe that considering social and environmental determinants of health in isolation from one another may be limiting our ability to effectively intervene and ameliorate health disparities.”

Learn more about Dr. Appleton’s work.

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