The University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, with the collaboration of faculty from the Departments of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Genome Sciences, Medicine, and Pathology, proposes to train biostatisticians and life scientists to develop and apply quantitative methods to the environmental health sciences in the first competing renewal of the Biostatistics, Epidemiologic and Bioinformatic Training in Environmental Health (BEBTEH) training grant. The long-term goal is to develop pre- and postdoctoral trainees into successful independent scientists who will advance environmental health science and improve health for future generations. BEBTEH has two pathways: one population-based and one laboratory-based. The population-based pathway emphasizes statistical methods in environmental epidemiology to elucidate the etiologies of environmentally- related diseases. The laboratory-based pathway focuses on the interpretation of modern genomic data and how they may be exploited to unravel the biological bases of diseases. Both pathways foster a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and interdisciplinary training environment that 1) includes quantitative and applied training objectives, 2) assigns a quantitative and a scientifi mentor to each trainee, 3) involves each trainee in a project that leads to expertise in multiple disciplines necessary to advance environmental health science research, 4) recruits trainees with differing backgrounds to enhance cross-training, and 5) targets training activities to enhance training goals. The investigators propose to continue and improve upon BEBTEH's training of 8 pre-doctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees, funded since 2009, by fine-tuning its alignment with the 2012 NIEHS Strategic Plan. BEBTEH is directed by Dr. Elizabeth A. (Lianne) Sheppard and is overseen by an Executive Committee comprised of Drs. Bruce Weir, Sverre Vedal, Harvey Checkoway, and David Eaton. It has close ties with multiple NIEHS- and sister agency-funded Research Centers and projects, thus providing trainees with access to a first class research environment. Although it is only four years old, BEBTEH is beginning to demonstrate an excellent training track record. The Program contributes to the NIEHS vision through its focus on quantitative training for the next generation of environmental health science leaders.
The adverse impact of environmental exposures on health is a deep public health concern that can be mitigated through training of the next generation of leaders in quantitative and environmental health sciences. BEBTEH offers a unique blend of interdisciplinary quantitative and environmental health science training opportunities in first clas research environment. The proposed Training Program will help realize the vision of the 2012 NIEHS Strategic Plan to provide global leadership for innovative research that improves public health by preventing diseases and disability.
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