SPRING 2019

Giving Leadership Donor Event

By Jeni Baker, a freelance writer and editor

Palm Beach, Florida – Winter 2019

Michael and Annie Falk, whose $1 million gift has established the Nicholas School’s Michael and Annie Falk Foundation Environmental Exposomics Laboratory, hosted an educational event at their home in Palm Beach, Fla. earlier this year to introduce guests to the lab and its mission.

“We are so happy to support this exciting new area of study, and because it deals with an issue that concerns many of us, we thought hosting an event would be a great way to raise awareness about it,” said Annie Falk.

Presenting talks were co-principal investigators Heather Stapleton, associate professor of environmental chemistry, Lee Ferguson, associate professor of environmental science and engineering, and Stanback Dean Toddi Steelman.

Each guest was offered a silicon particulate- attracting bracelet. Using mass spectrometry, Stapleton can analyze the particulate in the lab, to detect and measure the wearer’s exposure to a whole database of known contaminants.

“This type of innovative work being done in the exposomics lab has the potential to help people protect themselves and their families from health threats known to be linked to certain environmental agents,” said Michael Falk.

“We hoped that by hosting a fun, informative and interactive event, we could introduce our friends to both this important emerging field and the innovative research being conducted at the Nicholas School and in the Falk Environmental Exposomics Lab,” he said. “Now they know more about what’s possible, and we hope we have engaged them with the progress being made
at Duke.”