Since 1943, the University of Rochester has distinguished itself as an internationally recognized center for research and training in toxicology. This recognition has been achieved in part by the successes of this training grant, which is now in its 30th year of funding. The present renewal application requests funding for 12 pre-doctoral and 6 postdoctoral trainees to continue a program that is highly interdisciplinary, has a focus on clinical and translational approaches, and a strong emphasis on the basic principles that define the field of toxicology. The overall objective of this broad-based toxicology training program is to provide contemporary pre- and postdoctoral training in the environmental health sciences, such that our graduates can assume significant leadership positions in academia, government, industry and other occupations related to environmental health and public policy. This program is housed within the Department of Environmental Medicine, but its focus is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The 37 training faculty come from a total of 13 different departments within the School of Medicine and Dentistry. As such, this training program takes advantage of the great diversity of specialties and resources available at a major academic medical center by reaching beyond the immediate confines of a single basic science group to draw in exceptional faculty from other basic science and clinical departments. Faculty research programs span the entire spectrum of toxicology, from molecular mechanisms to cellular processes to whole animals and human populations. There are seven major training areas: Neurotoxicology, Pulmonary Toxicology, Osteotoxicology, Molecular Modifiers of Toxicity, Carcinogenesis, Immunotoxicology, and Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology. This Training Program is distinguished by a long history of outstanding, cutting-edge research and training in toxicology, the many accomplishments of its former and current students, fellows, and faculty, the remarkable collegiality and extensive research collaborations among its faculty members and trainees, an extensive base of research support, and by a strong institutional commitment to research and training in the environmental health sciences. The program is further enhanced by the presence of an NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Center, an EPA Center, and a Division of Occupational Medicine within the Department of Environmental Medicine, and an integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate structure at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The Medical Center is also the recipient of a Clinical and Translational Sciences Award from the NIH. There are presently 31 Toxicology Ph.D. students in residence, with six new Toxicology Ph.D. trainees starting in July-August, 2007, and 20 postdoctoral fellows currently in training. Our overall goal is to educate the next generation of talented environmental health investigators who are able to generate novel research findings, and then convert these findings into information, resources, or tools that can be used by public health and medical professionals, as well as the public, to improve overall health. This is a large training program with a long history that goes back to 1943. It has funding support through several federally funded grants. Program leadership has been stable, with Dr. Ned Ballatori taking over the role of Training Program Director in 1999. He continues to function in that capacity. BACKGROUND This application continues a 65-year tradition of research and training in toxicology, with at least 30 of those years receiving T32 grant support. This training program is broad-based, highly multi-disciplinary, and is to support 12 pre-doctoral and 6 postdoctoral fellows per year. There is no net expansion in the number of fellows, but this achieves the realigning of the pre: post-doctoral ratio from 15:3 to 12:6. The rich and thriving background of training and research at University of Rochester is well described, from its seminal Manhattan Project in the 1940's to its selection as one of the first 12 Clinical and Translational Science Institutes in the nation in 2006. This T32 has been in force since July 1978, and overseen in turn by 4 Training Directors. Dr. Ballatori assumed the role of Director in 1999 from Dr. Gasiewicz, who remained Deputy Director. They continue in this capacity through this renewal. The training program has graduated 145 PhD's in Toxicology and trained 110 post-doctoral fellows since 1970. There are currently 31 +6 pre-doctoral students and 20 + 2 post-docs in this program alone (and 390 pre-doc and 150 post-doctoral students at the School supported by large number of grants and programs), The program is housed within the Department of Environmental Medicine, but its 37 faculty hail from a total of 13 different departments within the School of Medicine and Dentistry, including clinical departments. The faculty have a strong focus on the environmental health sciences, as evidenced by publications, grants, research projects, and participation in relevant societies, centers, and advisory boards. Of the 37 faculty, 29 are members of the Environmental Health Sciences Center and six are part of the EPA-funded Particulate Matter Center. At the prior review (December 2002), this T32 was given a priority score of 170. Stated concerns were the low flexibility of the Program in optimizing the choices available to incoming students;the lack of detailed information regarding the administration of this Program, and the specific roles of Drs. Ballatori and Gasiewicz were not clear. The rotation of new students between laboratories was not formally organized. Blanket exclusion of resource mentors from serving as primary trainee mentors seemed arbitrary and possibly limiting opportunities for students. Electives were considered limited because of the large number of required courses. The retreat seemed rather overly organized, limiting the opportunity for informal access to faculty. There was little in terms of plans for external review. The current program has addressed many of the concerns and in the 5 years since its last renewal, it appears to have maintained firm administration, evaluation and oversight while accommodating more choices and flexibility in student coursework, mentoring, and training opportunities. The leadership roles appear defined and stable;Program Director and Co-Director remain constant.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-LWJ-G (E1))
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Shreffler, Carol K
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University of Rochester
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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