Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility
Member Resources

Resources for Members

Facility Cores | Career Development | Funding Opportunities

Facilitate Research

Facility Cores

The Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS) provides valuable services to CEHS members including assistance with study design, project management, IRB, sample analysis, and use of equipment for projects related to cardiopulmonary disease, developmental disease, or environmental cancer. Investigators who have questions about getting started with CEHS services should contact our new full-time CEHS Scientific Program Manager Mary Watson, Email:

Mary Watson

Mary Watson, Scientific Program Manager

The sections below describe the types of scientific resources that our program can help coordinate, along with contact information for CEHS facility core and sub-core directors. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Investigators who are seeking scientific support services, even if those services are not listed here, are encouraged to contact our scientific program manager.
Investigators who are interested in specimen processing with the Troester lab, please use these links to submit your project and sample information prior to sending samples to the lab.

Troester Lab Biospecimen Processing Intake Form

Troester Lab Slide Project Intake Form

Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) Read More

The Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) supports clinical and population-based investigations on the genetic and environmental determinants of human health and disease. We provide scientific consultation for human studies, access to state of the art equipment and expertise, and we promote cross-disciplinary collaborations, integrating human studies research with other research activities of the Center and UNC-CH. The specific aims of the IHSFC are to provide scientific consultation for and tracking of clinical and translational human subjects studies, to assist with collection, processing, analysis, and storage of biospecimens, and to facilitate access to collaborative human studies.

PowerPoint Overview of the IHSFC

Dr. Jeannette Bensen

Dr. Jeannette Bensen


IHSFC Director: Jeannette Bensen, PhD Faculty Profile
Department of Epidemiology, Email:

Biospecimen Processing Facility Sub-core (BSP) Read More

The UNC BSP is a centralized, quality controlled and quality assured facility for the processing, storage and disbursement of human specimens. UNC BSP Website

Under full capacity operating conditions, CEHS members will receive priority in processing access. CEHS members also have priority access to the BSP analytical equipment and biological safety cabinets free of charge (List of Services).

Dr. Patricia Basta

Dr. Patricia Basta


BSP Sub-core Director: Patricia Basta, PhD Faculty Profile
Department of Epidemiology, Email:

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core (BBFC) Read More

The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core (BBFC) provides support for the data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation needs of laboratory, clinical, and population-based investigations in environmental health. The BBFC provides rigorous and state-of-the-art biostatistics and bioinformatics support to CEHS members including study design, data analysis, and result dissemination.

The BBFC also provides targeted statistics and bioinformatics technical assistance including:

  • consultation for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty
  • in-depth mentoring of junior investigators
  • help to develop and implement new statistical methods
  • consultation in statistical applications such as, SAS, R, STATA, and SPSS
Dr. Haibo Zhou

Dr. Haibo Zhou


BBFC Director: Haibo Zhou, PhD Faculty Profile
Department of Biostatistics, Email:

BBFC Weekly Walk-in Clinic
Our Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core offers weekly walk-in clinic hours for general consultation to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or faculty members on biostatistical or bioinformatics aspects of environmental health science studies. The clinic is operated by a trained doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Haibo Zhou.  Dr. Zhou works with the student to assign students to appropriate expertise from our faculty pool.

For questions about the walk-in clinic or to schedule an appointment, send an email to CEHS-BBFC@UNC.EDU.

  • Location – The walk-in clinic is located in conference room 253A Rosenau Hall and is open on Mondays from 12:15pm-2:15pm.
  • Pilot Project applicants are required to attend a walk-in clinic session (no appointment necessary) before the core director can sign off on a letter of support.
  • Make an Appointment or Email a Question:
  • Molecular Analysis Facility Core (MAFC) Read More

    The Molecular Analysis Facility Core (MAFC) supports Center members by ensuring access to analytical resources within the MAFC sub-core facilities listed below. Support includes consultation and experimental design, routine sample analysis and training, development of novel analytical methods needed to advance research, and in-depth data analysis, integration, and interpretation. The MAFC upgrades instrumentation and services to meet analytical needs of UNC-CEHS members, fosters a collaborative learning environment, and strengthens the partnership between all CEHS facility cores to enhance the value of data generated in the MAFC and to assist investigators with data integration. The MAFC also increases visibility and promotes the capabilities of the MAFC sub-cores in order to attract new researchers in environmental health sciences.

    Dr. Kun Lu

    Dr. Kun Lu

    MAFC Director: Kun Lu, PhD Faculty Profile
    Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Email:

    Biomarker Mass Spectrometry Sub-core Read More

    The Biomarker Mass Spectrometry Sub-Core provides analytical support to CEHS members and other UNC-CH researchers for qualitative and quantitative assessment of biomarkers using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry instrumentation. The facility also collaborates with Center members to develop new assays for targeted biomarker analysis. Epidemiology and toxicology research relies in part on mass spectrometry because it is a very sensitive and specific analytical technique which generates data that enhances our understanding of molecular mechanisms of environmentally related disease processes and because it provides ultra-sensitive detection of biomarkers of environmental and endogenous exposure. Equipment available to Center members through this facility includes:

    • Agilent 7500cx Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) with Agilent 1260 Infinity Bioinert LC
    • AB Sciex 6500 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with Eksigent nanoLC Ultra 2D chromatography system
    • Thermo Scientific Quantum Classic triple quadrupole mass analyzer with Thermo Accela Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) separation system
    • Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum Ultra triple quadrupole mass analyzer with Waters Acquity UPLC separation system
    • Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum Ultra triple quadrupole mass analyzer with Waters NanoAcquity UPLC separation system
    • Agilent 1200 series [conventional] HPLC for off-line purification of biomarkers from highly complex biological samples
    • Agilent 6520 Accurate Mass Quadrupole Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer (QTOF-MS)
    Dr. Kun Lu

    Dr. Kun Lu


    Mass Spectrometry Sub-core Director: Kun Lu, PhD Faculty Profile
    Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Email:

    Translational Pathology Laboratory Sub-core (TPL) Read More

    The Translational Pathology Laboratory (TPL) is a UNC-CH core facility jointly sponsored by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) and the CEHS. The TPL provides UNC investigators access to annotated FFPE human tissues from the UNC Hospitals surgical pathology archive. Protein, DNA and RNA analyses are carried out on human and rodent FFPE tissues, as well as on human tissue reconstructs and cell lines, including digital imaging analysis technologies for special quantification. The core also provides histopathology, tissue microarray (TMA) design and construction and basic histochemistry and single or multiplex immunohistochemistry staining services.
    UNC TPL Website

    Stained Slides

    Stained Slides

    TPL Sub-core Director: Nana Nikolaishvili-Feinberg, PhD
    Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Email:

    Translational Genomics Laboratory Sub-core (TGL) Read More

    The Translational Genomics Laboratory (TGL)  is a medium throughput facility providing comprehensive genomic services for investigators by employing Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and/or NanostringTM technology. The mission of the Pre-Clinical Pathology Laboratory is to supports translational human cancer genomics research at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
    UNC TGL Website




    TGL Sub-core Director: Todd Auman, PhD Faculty Profile
    Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Email:

    Genomics Sciences Sub-core Read More

    he Genome Sciences Sub-Core provides investigators with low cost support for expression and genotyping arrays. Expression arrays include all Agilent and Affymetrix arrays used for samples with small RNAs such as miRNAs, small amounts of starting materials (less than 1 ng per sample) and for difficult samples such as formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples which are highly degraded. The core is beginning to move into support of single cell analysis as well. Agilent arrays for comparative genotyping hybridization are available as are Affymetrix and Illumina microarrays for high density SNP analysis. In addition to microarray support, the Genome Sciences Sub-Core also provides support for DNA analysis on all currently available sequencing platforms.

    Dr. Jason Luo

    Dr. Jason Luo

    Genome Sciences Sub-core Director: Jason Luo, MD Faculty Profile
    Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Email:

    Career Development

    The UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility uses multiple approaches to support the career development of environmental health scientists at UNC-CH. We support investigators at all career stages who are pursuing research questions on environmental health, particularly multi-disciplinary questions, through a Pilot Projects Program, a seminar series, scientific retreats, and technical support from Facility Cores. We supplement these activities with mentoring and training grant opportunities that are primarily directed toward junior investigators. We specifically encourage development of community engagement skills for environmental health researchers.


    CEHS Rising Star Initiative

    CEHS Rising Star Initiative

    The CEHS Rising Star Initiative is an intentional effort to create career development and mentoring opportunities to strengthen the environmental sciences “pipeline”.  It is hoped that this initiative will help recruit and train the next generation of environmental health scientists. Annually, 2-3 Rising Star participants will be chosen and will receive financial support and direct mentoring from the CEHS leadership group to promote the development of scientific and leadership skills.

    For more details about program selection criteria and eligibility requirements, visit our Rising Stars Page.
    2019 Rising Star awardees have already been announced. Applications will be due in April 2020 for the next round of awards.

    Enrichment Read More

    Monthly Seminar Series
    The CEHS monthly seminar series highlights the research of nationally recognized environmental scientists from within and outside the UNC campus.
    Annual CEHS Symposium
    CEHS sponsors a day-long scientific retreat or symposium, with a goal of fostering scientific and intellectual exchange of ideas among Center members at multiple career stages. The format of the symposium includes presentations on emerging science by the Research Focus Area groups, highlights on how environmental health science is conveyed to community audiences, a keynote address, a poster session, and meetings of the Internal and External Advisory Committees.

    Mentoring Read More

    Mentoring Program
    Effective academic mentoring involves multiple, distinct activities and skills, requires periodic reassessment or evaluation, and Center leadership recognized that it may be more reliably accomplished by groups than by single individuals. Therefore, we have structured the mentoring program with mentor committees for junior faculty supported either directly by CEHS funds, or through the Center’s Pilot Project awards.

    Each committee is comprised of at least two senior CEHS faculty, one of whom is in the same department as the mentee. Through the year of the mentorship, the committee conducts a formal process of meeting to assess progress, help problem-solve for any impediments to the junior faculty’s success and makes recommendations for improvement.

    All CEHS supported junior investigators (post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty receiving pilot awards or direct support) will be expected to participate in the program, as a condition of their funding; investigators at more senior ranks are also encouraged to participate.

    Community Engagement Read More

    Translating environmental science for the public requires skillful communication. Through an integrated approach with the CEHS Community Outreach and Engagement Core, our goal is to enhance the ability of CEHS researchers to communicate their environmental health science results effectively with public audiences, as well as health professionals who serve them.

    Additionally, we will collaborate with the School of Medicine’s North Carolina Translational and Clinical Science Institute’s Community Academic Exchange program to integrate CEHS members into their extensive curriculum and workshops, where appropriate. Watch for community engagement topics as part of the monthly seminar series.

    Resources Read More

    CEHS investigators may enhance their research skills and productivity through collaboration with the Center’s Facility cores. These cores are designed to provide Center investigators with techniques, services, or instrumentation in a manner that will enhance the research in progress, consolidate effort, and contribute to cost effectiveness by providing a service at less cost and possibly higher quality than if each investigator were to attempt it individually.

    Multiple leadership training resources are available on the UNC campus and elsewhere, for faculty seeking to develop skills in preparation for leading labs or academic groups. The Center for Faculty Excellence provides leadership development seminars and programs here on the UNC campus, the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (TraCS) provides resources to accelerate clinical and translational research from health science to discovery to dissemination to patients and communities, and there are many other additional resources for interested faculty members. CEHS leadership encourages faculty at all stages of their careers to take advantage of these professional development opportunities.

    Timely and successful promotion requires planning and organization, in addition to academic accomplishments. CEHS leadership encourages faculty and their mentors to become familiar with promotions criteria, guidelines and timelines for their home academic unit.

    School of Public Health promotions policy

    School of Medicine promotions policy

    Dr. Terry Noah

    Dr. Terry Noah

    Career Development Program Director: Terry Noah, MD Faculty Profile
    Department of Pediatrics, Email:

    Funding Opportunities

    The Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS) issues requests for applications for three types of awards annually:

    • Standard Pilot Projects – Traditionally, these proposals are projects submitted by a single investigator.
    • Interdisciplinary Pilot Projects – These are projects proposed by a team of interdisciplinary investigators.
    • Rapid Response Seed Projects (pending availability) – Rapid response seed funds are used to expedite research in CEHS-related research areas, small amount of money for very short term projects. Funds are intended to be used in the same year.
    • Method Development Funding – Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis (up to $5,000) each to support method development activities that utilize our Molecular Analysis Facility Core. Click here to apply today.

    Eligible primary investigators must hold a UNC faculty appointment. Applications are particularly encouraged from primary investigators at the assistant or associate level.  All applications are evaluated for likelihood of developing their pilot project into a full NIEHS grant application.

    To view previously awarded grants and learn more about the Pilot Projects Program, visit the CEHS Pilot Projects page.

    There are no active requests for applications at this time. Opportunities are posted semi-annually.
    Join the CEHS listerv by emailing CEHS Associate Director Michael Sanderson ( to receive email notifications when new opportunities are available.