On December 5th, a poster session was held during the Superfund Research Program (SRP) Annual Grantee Meeting in Durham, North Carolina. The session featured a competition for exemplary trainee posters in the categories of “environmental sciences and engineering” and “health sciences.” PROTECT trainee, Elana Elkin of Project 2, won first place in the health sciences category for her poster titled “Effects of the Trichloroethylene Metabolite S-(1,2-Dichlorovinyl)-L-Cysteine on Mitochondrial Function in Human Cytotrophoblasts.” The poster was selected out of dozens of student submissions and was one of six selected winners. The meeting and accompanying poster session was attended by SRP researchers and administrators from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and took place as a part of the NIEHS FEST which was held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Elkin holds a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies in social science from Michigan State University and a master of public health from the University of Michigan. She is currently a second year Ph.D. candidate in Toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Under the direction of Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso, Elkin’s research focuses on how exposure to the common environmental contaminant trichloroethylene interferes with pregnancy-related physiological processes, including cell death, mitochondrial dysfunction and regulation of gene expression. In the future, she hopes to work for a government entity as a toxicologist. In her spare time, Elkin enjoys researching her family tree and spending time with her pet parakeet, Coby.

Congratulations to all of the 2016 poster winners! View Elkin’s award-winning poster below.