Claire Marjorie Aelion is Dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has over 70 publications, and held grants as Principle Investigator from several agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. She received the National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow Award, one of 30 awarded nationally in all science and engineering disciplines. She also has been the recipient of an award for Commitment and Service to Public Health, and two previous Fulbright awards. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, where she holds the position of secretary/treasurer, and she currently serves as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board and the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2030 Stakeholder Engagement subcommittee. Her research focuses on the association between environmental contaminants and human health, in particular that of neurotoxic metals in soil and intellectual disability in children. Dr. Aelion will be working with faculty at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens during her Fulbright. Colleagues and she will examine the distribution of metals in soils and household dust, and factors affecting their bioaccessibility, and on chromium contamination and its impacts in select Mediterranean surface water and groundwater. Neurotoxic metals pose a particular risk to vulnerable populations including pregnant women and children. Understanding the potential health impacts of environmental contamination can lead to important interventions that protect these populations and improve population health outcomes.
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