The Center for Environmental Health Science (CEHS) is a nationally competitive interdisciplinary research program established in 2000 to study the mechanisms of human disease and environmental impacts on those diseases to evaluate: the impact of various particulates including asbestos, metals and organics on neurodegenerative, respiratory and immune dysfunction, cardiovascular and developmental diseases cancer and gene environment interactions. The CEHS research agenda is consistent with regional and national needs and is a major contributor to the biomedical research goals of The University of Montana. In 2002 CEHS was awarded a COBRE grant that was used to strengthen the institution's biomedical research infrastructure through the support of the thematic multi-disciplinary CEHS and enhanced the ability of investigators to compete independently for external peer-reviewed support. The center was very successful with the COBRE support: new faculty members were hired, new individual grants were obtained, research support cores were established and/or strengthened, training programs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were expanded and improved, infrastructure was improved including a new 59,000 sq ft research space (open early 2007) and new key equipment was purchased. Consequently, the overall goals of the next five-year period are to build on the successes of the initial period of COBRE support to further expand the biomedical research program and to achieve sustainability. Specific goals include: 1) expand the number of externally-funded investigators;2) strengthen research facility Cores;3) increase critical mass of investigators;and 4) position the Center for training grant and program project grants including a Superfund Basic Research Center (P42).
Four aims will be undertaken to achieve these goals: 1) promote the development of CEHS faculty through the support of sub-projects that will lead to independent research grant applications;2) provide state-of-the-art research Facilities Cores that sustain a nationally competitive research environment for all University of Montana biomedical research investigators;3) sustain a support network for CEHS investigators that promotes infrastructure development, collaborative interaction and facilitates mentoring;and 4) expand the critical mass of competitive CEHS investigators at The University of Montana through strategic recruitment of new faculty.
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