(Training Core - Hennig, Hilt) The University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) provides an integrated, transdisciplinary research and training environment focused on a central research problem: the enduring presence of persistent chlorinated organics both at Superfund sites and elsewhere. These pollutants pose serious environmental health challenges and mandate the pursuit of protective measures for both reducing exposures and mitigating exposure-related health impacts. The Training Core aims to prepare future environmental leaders equipped to tackle such 21st century challenges by combining interdisciplinary research strategies, real-world skills training, active participation in research translation and community engagement, and strong public health education. This training paradigm will prepare our scholars with the tools necessary not only to better understand pressing environmental problems but also to employ solution-oriented science to improve the health of our Superfund communities and beyond. Environmental problems affect all aspects of human life, and therefore, they cannot be effectively addressed from the perspective of individual disciplines. The study of environmental problems requires integration of knowledge and scientific methods from both biomedical and environmental science- based disciplines, while also considering the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions. A training program has been established in a way that not only promotes strong disciplinary training but also encourages trainees to become interdisciplinary thinkers, to develop scientific problem-solving skills, to acquire knowledge of socio- economic aspects related to environmental issues, and to be effective communicators.
The Specific Aims are to: 1) build on past success to further develop an interdisciplinary training program that prepares a new generation of investigators with a solid scientific education, as well as real-world knowledge needed to solve environmental problems, 2) enhance career development by expanding trainee interactions with our College of Public Health and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, as well as with the Administrative, Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores, and 3) identify and recruit highly motivated graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, foster interdisciplinary collaborations between biomedical and environmental science projects, and provide skills training (e.g., grantsmanship, responsible conduct of research) for success in academic research. Motivated individuals and students, especially those from underrepresented groups, will be recruited through various means, including our web page, and presentations at relevant institutions. The Training Core will be evaluated on a regular basis to assess its progress in meeting the goals of the program.

Public Health Relevance

(Training Core - Hennig, Hilt) The UK-SRC focuses on better understanding the health effects of chlorinated organic pollutants and the pursuit of protective measures for both reducing exposures and mitigating exposure-related health impacts. The Training Core will be the focal point for coordinating the interdisciplinary training activities of the UK-SRC. This core program aims to prepare qualified individuals for careers that will have a significant impact on the environmental health agenda of our nation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Hazardous Substances Basic Research Grants Program (NIEHS) (P42)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-LKB-K (S))
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University of Kentucky
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Hofe, Carolyn R; Feng, Limin; Zephyr, Dominique et al. (2014) Fruit and vegetable intake, as reflected by serum carotenoid concentrations, predicts reduced probability of polychlorinated biphenyl-associated risk for type 2 diabetes: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004. Nutr Res 34:285-93
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