CHAMACOS Study Awarded Best Article

chamacos logoKaren Huen’s paper “PON Genomics” was awarded best student or new investigator research publication of 2010 by Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Huen, an assistant researcher at UC Berkeley's Center for Children's Environmental Health Research, received a cash award and complementary registration to the Environmental Mutagen Society’s annual conference in September 2012 to be held in Bellevue, Washington.

In 2010, the article was also selected as the “Editor's Choice” by the Environmental Mutagen Society. It was featured on the cover of the March issue.

"Effects of PON Polymorphisms and Haplotypes on Molecular Phenotype in Mexican-American Mothers and Children" was co-authored by Lisa Barcellos, Kenneth Beckman, Sherri Rose, and COEH members Brenda Eskenazi and Nina Holland from the Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research at UC Berkeley and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Functional Genomics Core, in Oakland, California.

The study, led by principal investigator Holland, conducted a thorough analysis of PON genetic variation by sequencing the PON1 gene in 30 Mexican-American subjects.  Researchers also assessed the significance of these genetic variants in over 700 Mexican-American mothers and children from the CHAMACOS birth cohort study in Salinas Valley, California.

More than 90 PON genetic variants were identified by scientists, including 9 novel polymorphisms. ┬áThe PON1 enzyme is considered protective to humans because it can detoxify some organophosphate pesticides;1 therefore, these genetic variants may influence an individual’s vulnerability to pesticide exposure.

Their research was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

1 Huen K, Barcellos L, Beckman K, Rose S, Eskenazi B, Holland N. Effects of PON polymorphisms and haplotypes on molecular phenotype in Mexican-American mothers and children. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. 2010 Mar; 52(2):105-16.