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Chan receives grant award

Published: January 6th, 2009

Category: News, Oral Biology, Research

Edward Chan, Ph.D.Edward Chan, Ph.D., a professor in the UF College of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Biology, received a one-year grant of $88,500 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, to fund a pilot study on autoantibody determinations and their xenobiotic associations.

The first study of it’s kind to look at a United States population-representative sample, the purpose is to determine the frequency and specificity of autoantibodies among healthy individuals and correlate them with exposure to environmental xenobiotic.

Chan, born in Hong Kong, joined the College of Dentistry in 2002 as a full professor. In 2004, he also joined UF’s College of Medicine as a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He received his bachelor’s in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada in 1976. In 1979, he earned his master’s (Clinical Chemistry) and in 1984 his doctorate (Immunopathology) from the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Chan is one of two lead investigators for the study; the other is Minoru Satoh, in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology with the UF College of Medicine. Collaborating on the study from the NIEHS are Frederick Miller, Chief, Environmental Autoimmunity Group; Dori Germolec; Christine Parks; and Darryl Zeldin. Charles Dillon, with the Centers for Disease Control, is also collaborating.

The group plans to evaluate the prevalence and specificity of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) in cohorts already established in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the U.S. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations.

The NHANES program, a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics, began in the early 1960s and has been conducted as a series of surveys focusing on different population groups or health topics. In 1999, the survey became a continuous program that has a changing focus on a variety of health and nutrition measurements to meet emerging needs.  The survey examines a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 persons each year. The pilot project will determine the prevalence of ANA in 5,000 individuals and the results will be correlated to environmental exposure data collected in NHANES.

About the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
The NIEHS is one of 27 research institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health. The NIEHS mission is to reduce the burden of human illness and disability by understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease.
The NIEHS traces its roots to 1966, when the U.S. Surgeon General announced the establishment of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences within the NIH. In 1969, the division was elevated to full NIH institute status.