The Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center Training Grant (METC-TG) involves 34 trainers that have outstanding training records and well-funded research programs. These trainers cover a variety of research areas such as developmental toxicology, predictive toxicology, structural biology, high throughput toxicology, stem cell toxicology, mammalian genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry. Pre-doctoral trainees come from the METC graduate program and other Ph.D. graduate programs such as M.D./Ph.D., Cancer Biology, Cellular and Molecular Pathology, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Biomolecular Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Candidates are considered for support for a period of two to three years. Postdoctoral trainees are also supported for two years, but will be required to submit an Individual NRSA application in their first six months. The selection of trainees and oversight of the grant will be carried out by the Training Grant Leadership (TGL) which consists of the Director and two co-Deputy Directors. In addition, four subcommittees monitor student progress, curriculum, recruitment and trainee input. The METC will be reviewed by an External Advisory Board composed of nationally recognized toxicologists at the midpoint of the next funding cycle. This application seeks continued support for eight pre-doctoral and four postdoctoral positions. All pre-doctoral trainees take a METC-TG core curriculum comprised of courses in basic mechanistic toxicology, the environment and human disease, research ethics and career development. They are also required to attend a weekly toxicology research seminar, and complete additional courses required by their Trainee. Pre- and postdoctoral trainees will also be mentored in grant writing, ethics, managing techniques and teaching. A preliminary examination qualifies predoctoral trainees for the final research phase and thesis examination, although laboratory research is continuous from the first semester. Pre-doctoral trainee progress is monitored by Research Advisory Committees for each trainee and by the TGL. Postdoctoral training is facilitated by appointment of a Postdoctoral Career Advisory Committee (two faculty mentors in addition to a trainer) that will recommend selected didactic continuing education courses, collaborations and professional development credits. The recruitment of minorities to the Program is given high priority and is facilitated by a NIEHS-funded Summer Minority Research Program for undergraduates. The University provides two-year special fellowships for minority and disadvantaged students. Upon completion of the training program, graduates usually undertake a period of postdoctoral training, after which they are well qualified to assume responsible career positions in toxicology in academic, governmental, or other public or private research institutions, or industrial laboratories.
The human chemical environment influences a significant fraction of human morbidity and mortality. This application is designed to train the next generation of scientists to take leadership positions in the arena of human oriented environmental health research. Training of such scientists is essential if we are to understand how our environment impacts our health and if we are to properly identify and regulate those important causal chemicals.
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