The primary goal of the Core is to provide an efficient infrastructure coordinating and facilitatin activities across the Center and to promote scientific integration and community engagement. Drs. Rob McConnell and Michael Goran will provide leadership to achieve these goals, bringing expertise in environmental health and childhood obesity/metabolic function, respectively. The goal of the Core is to ensure multidisciplinary interactions among basic, clinical, and public health scientists and community outreach faculty and staff to enhance a world-class research and outreach program in children's health. The Core will establish an Executive Committee of SC-CEHC investigators and the COTC Director to foster scientific interaction and coordinate internal/external activities. A quarterly meeting will be organized to present research challenges and progress in more detail and to explore opportunities for scientific interaction across the three Projects and the COTC. An External Advisory Committee will meet annually to review progress and to provide evaluation and advice. All meetings and workshops will be organized with Core support.
Specific Aims are to: 1) Coordinate a program of research that integrates state-of-the-art exposure assessment with innovative health effects research to achieve rapid advances in understanding the impact of air pollution on childhood obesity and metabolic dysregulation. The Core mechanisms will facilitate maturing collaboration between two USC teams conducting research on 1) exposure assessment and health effects of air pollution in children and 2) childhood obesity and diabetes. An important resource is the rich institutional scientific environment including complementary centers and an administrative infrastructure that will be leveraged to co-sponsor seminars and workshops and build scientific synergy within and outside the Center. 2) Facilitate the translation/application of research findings to prevention, policy, and clinical decision making arenas and provide valuable information to communities, clinicians and policymakers. The Core will provide administrative support to community engagement activities and to the Pediatric Health Specialist to help identify scientific and outreach opportunities for enhancing translation of Center research findings. 3) Provide fiscal management and reporting and coordinate interactions with NIEHS and EPA. The Core will manage all aspects of the budget including subcontracts and will assist the research projects and COTC with purchasing and reimbursements. The Core will prepare all reports and coordinate with NIEHS and EPA. 4) Foster the career development program of junior investigators into independent contributors to pediatric environmental health research. The Core will coordinate a robust career development program to promote the progress of the faculty development investigator to research independence. The investigators will provide opportunities for mock peer review of grant applications, review of presentation skills, networking with other investigators within the USC research community and beyond. Career development activities have been part of the existing SCEHSC, a program which ranked highly in that center's external review. In addition, participation in COTC activities will be an opportunity to develop skills in non-technical presentations that will be a valuable career asset. 5) Make important contributions to national networks that foster communication, innovation, and research excellence in the area of children's environmental health. The Core, COTC and SC-CEHC leadership will participate in conference calls and the annual meetings of SC-CEHC directors. Opportunities for inter-Center collaboration will be sought. In addition, SC-CEHC investigators will participate in national conference calls including those of the NIEHS Programs in Environmental Public Health Network, and of other groups, to present the SC-CEHC's most recent research findings on air pollution, obesity and metabolic consequences.
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