Concerns about the potential impacts of environmental chemicals on human and environmental health have increased greatly in the past 10 years. Through their effects on hormonal pathways, environmental chemicals can differentially affect females, particularly at critical and sensitive periods across the lifespan. These critical periods include stages of particular vulnerability (such as fetal development and among the elderly), major life transitions (such as during midlife and into late life), and stages of rapid cell proliferation and growth (such as during fetal development, puberty, and lactation). The Women's Health and Environment across the Entire Lifespan (WHEEL) program at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has as its focus interdisciplinary research specific to the intersection of: women's health, environment and health issues specific to life stages. It will build on graduate training programs already in place at URMC and complement these with educational training and research experiences designed to meet the needs of scholars within the program. This program will train Interdisciplinary Women's Health Research (IWHR) scholars from a spectrum of disciplines and ultimately promote research and translation of findings that will benefit the health of women, particularity in the area of women's environmental health across the lifespan. Our long term objectives are to: 1) "graduate" scholars who go on to successful careers in interdisciplinary research in women's environmental health;2) establish a successful and sustainable training program in women's health research;3) create an environment at URMC conducive to interdisciplinary research in women's health, 4) develop researchers who provide positive feedback to the research environment and the fields of women's health research, and 5) build in continuing mechanisms to effectively translate results of women's health research to health professionals and the broader community.

Public Health Relevance

Public and scientific concerns about the potential impacts of environmental chemicals on human and environmental health have increased greatly in the past 10 years. The Women's Health and Environment across the Entire Lifespan (WHEEL) program at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) will train junior faculty to conduct outstanding interdisciplinary research that will help identify environmental agents that can adversely affect women's health at all stages of life, thus addressing these concerns. Results of this research will provide a strong foundation for risk assessment and regulation, when appropriate, thus decreasing risks to public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Special Emphasis Panel ()
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Shreffler, Carol K
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University of Rochester
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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Barrett, Emily S; Sobolewski, Marissa (2014) Polycystic ovary syndrome: do endocrine-disrupting chemicals play a role? Semin Reprod Med 32:166-76
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Allen, Joshua L; Liu, Xiufang; Pelkowski, Sean et al. (2014) Early postnatal exposure to ultrafine particulate matter air pollution: persistent ventriculomegaly, neurochemical disruption, and glial activation preferentially in male mice. Environ Health Perspect 122:939-45

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