An article by Pai-Yue (Patty) Lu-Fritts, MD, MSc, a former Center for Environmental Genetics (CEG) New Investigator Scholar, has been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. Lu, who was named a New Investigator Scholar by the CEG in 2012 as a pediatric rheumatology fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is currently an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Pediatrics.
Lu-Fritts’ work has involved study of the Fernald Community Cohort and has identified links between uranium exposure and systemic lupus erythematosus in persons living near the former uranium processing facility at Fernald. She completed initial work on the project as part of her master’s-level training in clinical and translational science at the University of Cincinnati.
The peer-reviewed article is titled, "Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is Associated with Uranium Exposure in a Community Living Near a Uranium Processing Plant: A Nested Case-Control Study” and will appear in Arthritis & Rheumatology later this year. Arthritis & Rheumatology is the official journal of the American College of Rheumatology.
Lu-Fritts has been mentored by John Harley, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Rheumatology and of the Center for Autoimmune Genomics & Etiology (CAGE) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and by Susan Pinney, PhD, professor and deputy director of the CEG. As director of the CEG’s Integrative Health Services Facility Core, Pinney assists investigators with epidemiological design, specimen procurement and data management, including longitudinal data and biospecimens from the Fernald Community Cohort.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences under award number P30ES006096, the Center for Environmental Genetics provides advanced training as well as core facilities and technologies needed to conduct innovative research into how environmental agents interact with genetic and epigenetic factors to influence disease risk and outcomes. Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD, Jacob G. Schmidlapp Professor and Chair of Environmental Health at UC, serves as principal investigator of the CEG grant.
The CEG’s New Investigator Scholar awards are part of the CEG’s Career Development Program and are aimed at supporting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with demonstrated interest in, and strong potential for, productive careers focused on gene-environment interactions and their implications for the development of human health and disease.