The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Environmental Toxicology T32 Training Grant has been in existence at UTMB, since 1990. In the nearly 20 years of its existence, training has been provided to over 60 pre-doctoral fellows and 25 postdoctoral fellows, including 8 physician-scientists. The 70 trainees who have completed their training have professional positions in basic research, biotechnology, teaching, risk assessment and/or practical problems of environmental pollutant regulation and policy. Ten have academic faculty appointments;three who subsequently obtained law degrees are practicing environmental or patent law. A tangible outcome of the investigators'policy about trainee submission of competitive research proposals is that 32 have obtained individual fellowships, including 16 from the NIEHS. Accordingly, the investigators request support for 6 pre-doctoral fellows and 3 postdoctoral fellows per year, to continue this outstanding training program. Key elements in this unique climate for training are a multiplicity of environmental-health relevant research centers and institutes, notably: 1) the NIEHS Center in Environmental Toxicology (over 15 years), 2) the Institute for Translational Science (ITS) and recently awarded (2009) NIH Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), 3) the Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine, 4) the recently renewed (2010) NIH Pepper Center on Aging, and 5) the respective Sealy Centers for Molecular Science, Structural Biology, Cancer Cell Biology, and Aging. The investigators offer training in 4 areas where they have a critical masses of experienced faculty, exemplary institutional support, and superb resources for state-of-the-art environmental and translational research, notably with two federally- supported proteomics centers (NHLBI and NIAID). These areas are: 1) airway inflammation/obstruction pathogenesis, 2) intracellular regulation and signaling, 3) DNA damage and repair, and 4) organ pathophysiology, all with a unifying theme of oxidant injury. Training in airway inflammation/obstruction pathogenesis is supported by 7 well-established trainers in 5 federally-funded asthma research programs;training in intracellular regulation and signaling is a new area, taking advantage of strengths within the ITS;training in DNA damage and repair continues to grow and develop as previously, and training in organ pathophysiology emphasizes the investigators'continued strong sub-areas of CNS toxicology, aging, and infection, providing opportunities for toxicology training in translational sciences. The didactic curriculum builds from an interdisciplinary common first year, toward advanced courses in molecular toxicology, pathology, proteomics/bioinformatics, and short courses on specialized topics. Identity and community within this training program is established with structured activities such as toxicology courses and seminars, journal club, and local and national toxicology meeting attendance. Professional development in teaching, communication, and academic responsibility is fostered by required participation in a team-taught undergraduate toxicology course that is organized, taught, and graded by trainees, with faculty guidance and evaluation. Public Health Relevance: The NIEHS T32-supported Training Program in Environmental Toxicology (ETox) has been in existence at UTMB for nearly 20 years, and this resubmission application seeks to continue the federal support for this uniquely outstanding program, in an exemplary academic venue, having a critical mass of federally-funded trainers, a tradition of successful trainee placement, a 20-year history of support from the NIEHS Center on Environmental Toxicology (CET), the NIH Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), and unparalleled institutional support for research from the Sealy Foundation and the UTMB Graduate School of Biological Sciences (GSBS). Four training areas of institutional strength in toxicology-relevant areas include: 1) airway inflammation/obstruction pathogenesis, 2) intracellular regulation and signaling, 3) DNA damage and repair, and 4) organ pathophysiology, all sharing a unifying theme of oxidant injury, in which T32 fellows experience exceptional training in research, teaching, and didactic coursework. Importantly, the new emphasis within the ETox Training Program has been its purposeful integration with the NIH CTSA, to provide trainees with collaborative and translational mentoring within multi-disciplinary translational teams (MTTs), which are vital components of existing and developing federally-funded research initiatives, at UTMB.

Public Health Relevance

Our NIEHS T32-supported Training Program in Environmental Toxicology (ETox) has been in existence at UTMB for nearly 20 years, and this resubmission application seeks to continue our federal support for this uniquely outstanding program, in an exemplary academic venue, having a critical mass of federally-funded trainers, a tradition of successful trainee placement, a 20-year history of support from our NIEHS Center on Environmental Toxicology (CET), our NIH Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), and unparalleled institutional support for research from our Sealy Foundation and the UTMB Graduate School of Biological Sciences (GSBS). Four training areas of institutional strength in toxicology-relevant areas include: 1) airway inflammation/obstruction pathogenesis, 2) intracellular regulation and signaling, 3) DNA damage and repair, and 4) organ pathophysiology, all sharing a unifying theme of oxidant injury, in which T32 fellows experience exceptional training in research, teaching, and didactic coursework. Importantly, our new emphasis within our ETox Training Program has been its purposeful integration with our NIH CTSA, to provide our trainees with collaborative and translational mentoring within our multi-disciplinary translational teams (MTTs), which are vital components of existing and developing federally-funded research initiatives, at UTMB.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
5T32ES007254-22
Application #
8696863
Study Section
Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee (EHS)
Program Officer
Shreffler, Carol K
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
22
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
City
Galveston
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
77555
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