The proposed Center of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research (EHD), titled Disparities in Exposure and Health Effects of Multiple Environmental Stressors across the Life Course is structured to be a highly integrated and collaborative program. The Center includes three Research Projects that depend on and inform one another, a Community Engagement Core that contributes directly to the research mission and disseminates findings from all projects, and a Pilot Project Program that enhances our current research efforts in two selected communities in Massachusetts and extends them to other populations in the United States. The key personnel within the Center have all demonstrated the ability to successfully coordinate and complete complex interdisciplinary projects, including a number of projects involving multiple Center members. We have designed the Administrative Core to build on these successful experiences while adding novel components to maximize integration and productivity. The Administrative Core will support all activities of the Center by coordinating research efforts and tracking progress across the projects and universities; providing fiscal and resource management; providing oversight of data collection and management efforts; maintaining communication with advisory boards, funding agencies, and community partners; establishing and maintaining a career development program; and connecting Center activities with related efforts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and other EHD Centers.
The Specific Aims are: (1) provide the overall administrative infrastructure necessary to coordinate activities among research projects; (2) monitor the productivity and resources of the Center and its subcomponents; (3) assemble an Internal Steering Committee and External Advisory Board for the Center; (4) provide mentoring and career development opportunities for the Center's Career Development Investigators (CDIs) and other early-stage investigators; (5) connect Center investigators and activities with various related efforts at HSPH/HMS and BUSPH/BUSM; and (6) provide platforms for disseminating research findings to interested stakeholders in the scientific community, populations within the target communities, and the general population.
Our Center will provide comprehensive answers about fundamental questions regarding environmental health disparities in birth weight, childhood growth trajectories, and cardiovascular mortality, three outcomes with substantial public health burdens among low- income and racial/ethnic minority populations. Analyses of hypothetical housing interventions will provide insight into individual and community actions that can meaningfully improve public health and reduce environmental health disparities. .
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