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Wayne State University names Melissa Runge-Morris, M.D., director of the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

May 13, 2010

DETROIT—The Office of the Vice President for Research at Wayne State University has announced the appointment of Melissa Runge-Morris, M.D, of Detroit, as director of the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (IEHS).

In addition to this role, she is professor of internal medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in WSU’s School of Medicine, and professor in the IEHS. She joined the WSU faculty in 1990.

Runge-Morris is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and received her doctor of medicine degree from the University of Michigan. She did residencies in internal medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Hennepin County Hospital in Minneapolis, and a fellowship in medical oncology at Northwestern University.

Earlier this year, Runge-Morris received two federal stimulus grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling more than $775,000. These research projects are investigating the potential role of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the progression of breast cancer and delineating the role of a liver enzyme in the development of metabolic diseases such as heart disease, abnormal cholesterol metabolism and insulin-resistant Type 2 diabetes. For more information about these studies, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu/communications/news-release.php?id=92&y=&m.

IEHS faculty and researchers conduct biochemical and cellular research on the short- and long-term effects of environmental agents on human health. An evolving theme of the institute is to address environmental health science problems that are prevalent in the Detroit region, including the toxicological effects of living in an industrial environment, and determining the underlying causes of health disparities in the local population. Through its community outreach and education programs, IEHS aims to reduce disease risk in Detroit and other areas.

“Dr. Runge-Morris served as acting director during the reengineering of IEHS,” said Gloria Heppner, associate vice president for research at WSU. “Because of her leadership, the institute is experiencing a rebirth as a vital part of the research enterprise at Wayne State University and beyond.”

For more information about the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, visit www.iehs.wayne.edu.

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Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.