This multidisciplinary five-year program is designed to train predoctoral (PhD) and postdoctoral students in three distinct but interrelated areas: Environmental Biostatistics, Environmental Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Science. The goal is to prepare scientists to address emerging challenges in environmental health science research. By constructing a training program that involves collaboration among these three critical scientific areas, we have a unique opportunity to advance the field of environmental health in ways that could not be achieved if the training were achieved via three single disciplinary programs. Current environmental health research, whether involving experiments with laboratory animals or observational studies of human populations, is becoming increasingly complex. The valid quantification of exposures to environmental hazards requires consideration of complicated time- dependent multiple exposure profiles. Assessment of early biologic effects (biomarkers) requires elucidation of how exposure profiles relate to multiple, intermediate, and often correlated endpoints. A critical component is a better understanding of heterogeneity across individuals in environmental effects through the creative use of state-of-the-art systems biology technologies for global measures of gene expression, levels of metabolites, epigenetic alterations and single nucleotide polymorphisms across the genome. Assessment of exposure-disease relationships thus requires knowledge of the connections between exposure, early biological effects, genetic factors and their potential interaction with the environment, uniting al this knowledge to understand how these factors may affect multiple, possibly correlated health outcomes. Training programs that produce well-rounded scientists who can address these complex research questions are clearly needed to advance environmental health science. Funding is requested for the support of 23 predoctoral trainees (9 BIOS, 7 EPID, and 7 ENVR) and for 5 postdoctoral trainees (1 BIOS, 2 EPID, and 2 ENVR). The Departments of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, the three largest and most recognized departments in the 2nd-ranked UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, have available all the personnel and facilities sufficient to provide comprehensive predoctoral and postdoctoral training.
This multidisciplinary five-year program is designed to train predoctoral (PhD) and postdoctoral students in three distinct but interrelated areas: Environmental Biostatistics, Environmental Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Science. The goal is to prepare scientists to address emerging challenges in public health and medical research in environmental health.
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