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NC State’s Jane Hoppin Wins Holshouser Award

NC State Professor Jane Hoppin

Biological Sciences Professor Jane Hoppin has been honored with the 2021 Gov. James E. Holshouser Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service.

The award honors faculty who exemplify the University of North Carolina System’s commitment to service and community engagement. Arwin D. Smallwood of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University also received the award.

Hoppin is an internationally-renowned environmental epidemiologist focusing on human health effects associated with environmental exposures, with an emphasis on respiratory disease associated with pesticides.

“The complexities of establishing trust in communities to which you are an outsider while managing to conduct high-quality research that has the ability to affect not only the subject community, but communities globally, are challenges with which most of us have not contended,” says NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson.

“Dr. Hoppin has embraced these challenges expertly, conducted groundbreaking research in environmental epidemiology, established important research and training collaborations across North Carolina, and continues to improve the quality of life for underserved communities through meaningful public service.”

Hoppin was instrumental in establishing the longstanding Agricultural Health Study (AHS), which is funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Since 1993, the AHS has enrolled more than 89,000 farmers and their spouses in Iowa and North Carolina, led to hundreds of publications identifying associations between pesticide exposures and human disorders, and helped to inform and facilitate safer practices to protect agricultural communities.

In response to the emerging health concern about GenX and other PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in the drinking water in Wilmington and Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 2017, Hoppin created the GenX Exposure Study. She quickly mobilized her team to respond to the news of the contamination in a watershed that affects millions of North Carolinians.

She secured rapid response funding from the National Institutes of Health and contributed substantially to the successful NIEHS funding of NC State’s Superfund Center, which is dedicated to understanding PFAS toxicity and improving its remediation. To date, she has recruited hundreds of citizens, collecting surveys and blood samples, and will help answer their pressing questions about their exposures and long-term health effects.

Hoppin is an NC State University Faculty Scholar, a member of the graduate program in toxicology and environmental health sciences, and deputy director of the university’s Center for Human Health and the Environment.

Hoppin received her bachelor of science in environmental toxicology from the University of California, Davis. She earned a master’s degree in environmental health sciences and an Sc.D. in environmental health and epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She holds adjunct appointments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

This post was originally published in NC State News.