This T35 grant application is designed to support medical students involved in a Summer Research and Training Program in Environmental Health Sciences. The proposed program will capitalize on the outstanding research facilities at the Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine, strengths in environmental health coupled with patient-oriented research, existing research and training infrastructure, and a demonstrated institutional commitment to the continued development of biomedical research and training. Funds are requested to support ten pre-doctoral short-term trainees per year (M.D. candidates). The list of preceptors includes twenty-eight faculty members representing basic and clinical research disciplines. Students will have the opportunity to participate in research projects in a variety of areas including mechanisms of cell damage by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, biological intervention by antioxidants, chemical damage to DNA and genetic stability, signaling pathways induced as a response to genetic damage, structure-function relationships in mutagenic events, roles of enzymes in influencing damage from chemical agents, and mechanisms of neurological and renal damage induced by metals (especially manganese and mercury). The primary objective of this program is to provide a meaningful research experience in the field of environmental health sciences to medical students early in their academic careers and encourage more towards careers as physician-scientists. To achieve this objective, the program aims to 1) provide the medical student with the opportunity to conduct mentor-guided research in order to gain an improved understanding of biomedical research and career opportunities in the field;2) provide students with information about what is involved in a career in biomedical investigation;3) provide an atmosphere that encourages and facilitates student interaction with a diverse group of established investigators and clinicians in the broad area of environmental health sciences;and, 4) give participants a comprehensive and current overview of environmental health sciences and unsolved research problems in the field.
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