SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
15 June 2017
Volume 18 Issue 6

Return to the Globe

Sustaining Affiliate Member Spotlight: The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH)

Todd Anderson, Texas Tech University

As Texas Tech University approached its 75th year, The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) was established as a collaborative effort addressing environmental and human health impacts of pollutants. Immediately since it’s founding in 1997, the institute enjoyed broad support from the university and community, serving as one of the anchor tenants for a newly established research park.  On 9 May, TIEHH celebrated 20 years of environmental research and impact at Texas Tech. TIEHH scientists and collaborators have played important roles in the history of SETAC, just as SETAC has played an important role in shaping the history of TIEHH. A few highlights of that relationship and some of TIEHH’s accomplishments are described below.

When TIEHH was established in 1997, the charter faculty included Todd Anderson (1997–present), George Cobb (1997–2011), Richard Dickerson (1997–2001), Ken Dixon (1997–2011), Mike Hooper (1997–2008), Ron Kendall (1997–present), Thomas LaPoint (1997–1998), Scott McMurry (1997–2007) and Ernest Smith (1997–present); many if not all were long-time SETAC members. In addition to the three remaining charter members, the core faculty (year of hire) now also includes Jaclyn Cañas-Carrell (2006), Jordan Crago (2016), Weimin Gao (2006), Céline Godard-Codding (2006), David Klein (2012), Greg Mayer (2008), Steve Presley (2002), Seshadri Ramkumar (2002), Kamaleshwar Singh (2009), Phil Smith (2002) and Degeng Wang (2015).  Over the years, many additional scientists (several being SETAC members) have spent time at TIEHH, including Louis Chiodo, Stephen Cox, Jonathan Maul, Chad Paton, Chris Salice, Chris Theodorakis and Jia-Sheng Wang.  As a SETAC North America Affiliate Member for many years, TIEHH scientists have served the society in leadership positions, on committees and working groups, organized regional and national meetings, served as editors and editorial board members for the society’s journals, and contributed to its science, policy and decision-making.

Over the last 20 years, TIEHH scientists have engaged in a variety of important research projects. Some of those projects included studies on biomarkers and wildlife in remediation decision-making, endocrine disruption, environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina, atrazine risk assessment, energetic materials like perchlorate and explosive metabolites, endangered species and the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The atrazine and perchlorate research resulted in two books1, 2 published by SETAC Press.

TIEHH scientists and their many collaborators have also used SETAC journals as outlets for their important science over the last 20 years. Some of the most widely cited articles3 from 1997–2017 involved screening methods for estrogenic chemicals in wildlife, responses of larval amphibians to atrazine, accumulation of heavy metals in vegetables, carbon nanotube impacts on crop plants, and perchlorate impacts on amphibian thyroid function. More recent SETAC publications from TIEHH scientists and collaborators have included research on microplastics, PPCPs, neonicotinoids, sea turtles, veterinary pharmaceuticals and reptile risk assessment.

 The Department of Environmental Toxicology is the academic home for TIEHH scientists as well as most M.S. and Ph.D. students conducting research at TIEHH. Our students have a large presence and regularly attend regional chapter and national SETAC meetings. TIEHH students also established a SETAC student chapter, the Llano Estacado SETAC (LE-SETAC) 16 years ago. The student chapter is very active in outreach and service.

We are very proud of our more than 170 alumni, who conducted research with TIEHH scientists over the last 20 years. Those graduates, likes SETAC’s tripartite representation, work in academia, business and government. Many TIEHH alums maintain strong ties to SETAC, serving on program committees, editorial boards and in other leadership positions. Like TIEHH scientists, they have also used SETAC publications as important outlets for their own science.

As we celebrate the last 20 years, we hope to build on the support and accomplishments we’ve enjoyed over that time. As always, there will be challenges to sustaining the momentum. A strong and mutually beneficial relationship with SETAC is an important part of our strategy to navigate those challenges.

Author’s contact information:

Return to the Globe

Contact SETAC Globe
Contact the SETAC Europe office
Contact the SETAC Europe office