Outstanding Young Center Scientist Program

About the Young Center Scientist Program

Consistent with NIEHS guidelines, the UM-NIEHS Center provides partial research salary support for investigators newly recruited to the Center. These funds will typically help develop the research programs of new and young investigators who are beginning their careers but who have already established a significant degree of independence. Each new investigator will be targeted to bring specific skill sets to the Center consistent with the Center's stated mission of promoting new translational research using novel multi-disciplinary approaches to better understand the impact of environmental exposures on adult diseases.

Our Center Scientist funds is administered by the Center's Executive Committee. Each year, these funds are generally to be used to provide support for 1 junior faculty researcher at 40-60% support or 2 junior faculty researchers at 20-30% support each, with the balance in each case deriving from the home appointing unit. The Center Scientist is required to have at least one Center Member as a senior mentor, and the expectation will be that the Center Scientist will participate in meetings of each of the Research Teams as well as the Center-wide seminar series, annual symposium and retreat. At one or more of these events, the Center Scientist is expected to present the fruits of their research as well as their implications for clinical translation and public health. Center Scientists will also engage in activities of the Community Outreach and Education Core, including making presentations to lay audiences. The Center Scientist will be invited to participate as a member of one of the Facility Cores to foster development of technical skills (as appropriate).

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Center Scientists

Dr. Almudena Veiga-Lopez, DVM, Ph.D.

As one of our first Center Scientists, we are pleased to present Almudena Veiga-Lopez, DVM, Ph.D. Dr. Veiga-Lopez is currently a Research Investigator working in the laboratory of Dr. Vasantha Padmanabhan, Leader of our Endocrine Disruptors Research Team. Her research has centered on understanding the fetal origin of pubertal and adult reproductive and metabolic disorders as well as the impact of native steroids in programming such defects. Going forward, she is aggressively moving into addressing the impact of environment exposures on development and specifically, on the impact of the environmental steroid bisphenol-A on adverse reproductive and metabolic outcomes and the underlying epigenetic mechanisms by which bisphenol-A induces its disruptions. As Center Scientist, she is working on developing and conducting a portfolio of independent multidisciplinary research projects related to environmental toxicant exposures, epigenetics, and metabolic syndrome. In this capacity she is principally mentored by Drs. Padmanabhan, Dolinoy, Burant and Hu. Her effort is cost-shared with Dr. Padmanabhan's NIEHS R01 grants.

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