This application requests support for 3 pre-doctoral students and 1 postdoctoral fellow for the first two years and support for 4 pre-doctoral students and 2 postdoctoral fellows for the next three years for the Joint Graduate Program in Exposure Science (JGPES) of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences/UNMDJ and Environmental Sciences/Rutgers University. The JGPES has seventeen faculty members from four departments of the two universities and has trained thirty-three doctoral students to date. The central mission of the JGPES is to train pre- and postdoctoral trainees with a broad knowledge of human exposure science and its applications to the environmental health sciences, and to provide rigorous training in their specialized area of research. The JGPES is the first Exposure Science Doctoral Degree granting program in the United States, the availability and evolution of a wide range of courses to meet the emerging needs in this field, and it's being housed within the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), a multidisciplinary research center dedicated entirely to environmental health research. The JGPES association with EOHSI provides a unique multidisciplinary environment for fostering collaborative relationship among developing scientists and training scholars in conducting interdisciplinary research. The curriculum and research opportunities offered by the JGPES are designed to encourage innovation, originality of research, and leadership skills. The requested number of trainees is consistent with the expected growth of the program and field of exposure science over the next five years. The JGPES offers its trainees an unusual opportunity to closely interact with toxicologists, physician-scientists and clinical researchers at the interface of exposure science and human health through the use of measurement of biomarkers, application of "omic" techniques and toxicokinetic modeling. Graduates of the JGPES acquire a depth of knowledge and research experience at the cutting edge of the field of exposure science that allows them to build independent, multidisciplinary research programs within the broader field of environmental health.
Understanding human exposure to environmental chemical and biological agents is a key component of protecting and improving public health. This proposal would establish the first training grant to educate the next generation of independent scholars in exposure science to enable them to develop research programs to adequately address the emerging issues in that field and to collaborate with other scientists in research in the overarching discipline of environmental health.
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