The University of North Dakota STEER is designed to support undergraduate training in the environmental health sciences within the University of North Dakota. The STEER training program will expand and compliment the ongoing NIH IDeA INBRE program that is focused on fostering undergraduate biomedical research at the State's primarily undergraduate institutions and the enhancement of the undergraduate pipeline to the health professional schools. The North Dakota INBRE is focused on """"""""Health and the Environment"""""""". The present application is targeted at filling an important gap in undergraduate training in the environmental sciences not provided by the North Dakota INBRE program. This gap is the support of undergraduate environmental science training for undergraduate students at the INBRE host research-intensive institution, the University of North Dakota. The present application will use the INBRE foundation to initiate a strong undergraduate training program in environmental health science at the University of North Dakota. The research theme will be to advance the hypothesis that environmental agents which elicit human disease cause cellular alterations in cell structure and function that can be identified as predictive biomarkers of disease development and progression. To advance this theme, the students will be involved in research that studies the role of the environmental pollutants, arsenic and cadmium, in the development and progression of human bladder, breast, prostate, and renal disease.
The aims of the program are: to provide an undergraduate research experience in environmental sciences to undergraduate students at the University of North Dakota;to provide an introduction to environmental health sciences to undergraduate students at the University of North Dakota;and, to use infrastructure developed in the INBRE program to support STEER programmatic efforts and vice versa over the life of the award mechanisms.
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