Our Research Projects

Our research projects

Active grants awarded to Pamela J. Lein:

U54 NS079202 Lein (PI)                                09/01/2012 to 08/31/2022                      

Novel anticonvulsant and neuroprotective therapies for TETS and OP intoxication

The unifying goal of the UC Davis CounterACT Center of Excellence is to identify improved medical countermeasures for treating acute intoxication with seizure-inducing chemical threat agents.

Role: Center Director and PI of Project 2


R21 ES026515 Lein (PI)                                 04/01/2016 – 03/31/2018                   

Does air pollution increase risk of AD in a genetically susceptible animal model?

The goal is to test the hypothesis that chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution triggers inflammatory responses in the brain to initiate or accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology and cognitive dysfunction in a novel transgenic rat expressing AD susceptibility genes.


P01 ES011269 Van de Water (PI)                 06/012013 to 05/31/2018                          

The UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention

Project 4: Calcium Signaling Defects in Autism         Pessah and Lein (Co-Leaders)

Project 4 will test the hypothesis that CGG trinucleotide repeats in the FMR1 gene influence susceptibility to non-dioxin-like (NDL) persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and pro-inflammatory cytokine profiles identified in plasma of women participating in the MARBLES study during pregnancy.


U54 HD079125 Abbeduto (PI)                       09/02/2013 to 08/31/2018                      

MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC)

The goal is to support a translational science agenda focused on intellectual and developmental delays (IDD).

Roles:  Core C Co-Director; Project 1 Co-Investigator


R01 ES014901 Lein (Contact) and Pessah (MPI)     12/01/2008 – 11/30/2019

Molecular and Cellular Basis of PCB Developmental Neurotoxicity.

The main objective of this project is to test the hypothesis that developmental exposure to the MARBLES PCB mix will disrupt neuronal connectivity via RyR-dependent effects on neuronal connectivity and the net outcome will be influenced by heritable mutations that alter the fidelity of Ca2+ signals.     


P30 ES023513 Hertz-Picciotto (PI)                05/05/2015 – 03/31/2020  

UC Davis Environmental Health Science Core Center

The overarching goal of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Core Center is to expand the scope, innovation, and impact of EHS research so as to improve environmental public health in northern California, the Central Valley, and across the globe.  Role: Leader, Career Development Program


R01 ES024946 (La Merrill)                           03/01/16 – 02/28/21                                  

Perinatal DDT exposure causes insulin resistance in mice through impaired thermogenesis

The overall objective of this proposal is to identify mechanism(s) by which environmentally relevant exposure to DDT during development increases risk of T2D in adulthood. Our central hypothesis is that developmental DDT exposure alters the epigenetic programming and/or sympathetic nervous system regulation of thermogenesis during early development, resulting in impaired thermogenesis throughout the life course.

Role: Co-Investigator


R01 NS097808 (Silverman)                     09/01/17-08/31/22                                        

Phenotypic Characterization of Novel Models of Dup15q Syndrome           

The goal of this project is to identify behavioral, neuroanatomical and epigenetic mechanisms of isoform-specific Ube3a overexpression to address important questions regarding our main scientific premise that overexpression of UBE3A is the principal pathogenic mechanism causing Dup15q impairments.

Role: Co-Investigator



      R21 ES025570 (Silverman)                   07/01/15-06/30/17                                      NIH/NIEHS                                                                           

Functional Outcomes of Interactions between an ASD-Relevant Gene and Air Pollution

The goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that developmental exposure to traffic-related pollution impairs behavioral phenotypes relevant to ASD coincident with neuroinflammation and/or altered neuronal connectivity. Role:  Co-Investigator


RD835550 (Lein)                                            11/01/13-10/31/16                          USEPA                                                                      

Identification and scientific validation of AOPs involving genomic and nongenomic intracellular thyroid hormone signaling in neurodevelopment

Goal: (1) Identify neurodevelopmental processes regulated by thyroid hormone (TH) and determine whether these are mediated by genomic or non-genomic mechanisms and differ significantly between species.

Awards to Graduate Students:

Hao Chen

NIEHS T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, 2012 – 2014

Superfund Research Program Fellowship

SOT Neurotoxicology Specialty Section, 3rd Place, Graduate Student Poster competition, 2014

Brad Hobson:

NIGMS T32 Predoctoral Fellowship – UC Davis Pharmacology (2013 – 2014)

Society of Toxicology Neurotoxicology Specialty Section Poster Competition – 1st Place (2014)

ARCS Foundation Scholar - Northern California Chapter (2014 – 2016)

David and Dana Loury Foundation Fellowship (2014 – 2015)

Northern California Chapter of the Society of Toxicology Graduate Student Achievement Award (2017)

Frances Shaffo

NHLBI T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, 2013 - 2016

Sunjay Sethi

NIEHS T32 Fellowship 2016-2017

Freeland Fellowship 2016

Floyd and Mary Schwall Fellowship in Medical Research 2014-2016

Kyla Walter

NIEHS T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, 2014 – 2016

Richard A. Freedland Fellowship (2014-2015)

CTSC T32 Predoctoral Fellowship (2013-2014)

Casey Boosalis

Designated emphasis in Biotechnology Predoctoral Fellowship, 2012 - 2015

Christopher Barnhart

NIEHS T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, 2010 – 2012

Superfund Research Program Fellowship

ARCS Predoctoral Scholarship, 2010 – 2014

NorCal SOT Graduate Student Achievement Award, 2013, 2014

Marianna Stamou

Freedland Scholarship Award

Superfund Research Program Fellowship

NorCal SOT Graduate Student Achievement Award, 2012

SOT Neurotoxicology Specialty Section, 2nd Place, Graduate Student Poster competition, 2014

Eduardo Gonzales

NIH IMSD Predoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2018

Jeffery and Marsha Gibeling Predoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2018

Pfizer SOT Undergraduate Student Travel Award, 2016

Michelle Guignet

David and Dana Loury Foundation Fellowship (2015 – 2018)

Freedland Fellowship (2016)

NIGMS T32 Predoctoral Fellowship- UC Davis Pharmacology (2015)

Kelley Patten

T32 Predoctoral Fellowship in Learning, Memory and Plasticity (2017-2018)

Lauren Matelski

Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society travel award (Sept 2017)


 Awards to Postdoctoral Scientists:

Kim Keil

NRSA F32 HD088016 Postdoctoral Fellowship (Keil) 07/05/16-07/05/19

PCBs and heritable mutations in calcium signaling act via DNA methylation to disrupt dendritic growth and plasticity

SOT Celebrating Women in Toxicology Award, Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group, 2016

Northern California Society of Toxicology, Postdoctoral Achievement Award, 2016

Society of Toxicology, Neurotoxicology Specialty Section, Postdoctoral Poster Competition, Third Place, 2016

Northern California Society of Toxicology, Postdoctoral Achievement Award, Second Place

Society of Toxicology, Neurotoxicology Specialty Section, Postdoctoral Poster Competition, First Place, 2017

UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium, Finalist Oral Presentation, April 2017.

UC Davis Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, April 2017.

 Suren Bandara

 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through grant # UL1 TR001860 and linked award TL1 TR001861. 06/16- 06/17,

Cristina Grodzki

NHLBI Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2009-2010

Christopher Banks

NIEHS Postdoctoral Fellowship,

Paula Goines

Hartwell Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011-2013


Galen Miller

NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2013 – 2016

Karin Streifel

Autism Research Training Program Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012 - 2014

NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014 – 2015

Suangsuda Supasai

 Linus Pauling Institute's Young Investigator Award, Oxygen Club of California World Congress, 2016

2017 NorCal Postdoctoral Achievement Award, 2017

2018 Women in Toxicology SIG Celebrating Women in Toxicology Award