The Northern California Education and Research Center (NCERC) has a long history of research productivity, of both faculty and trainees. The NCERC is housed within the Northern California Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) which currently has over 60 faculty from multiple disciplines including agricultural engineering, bioengineering, biostatistics, epidemiology, ergonomics, exposure assessment, lung biology, occupational health nursing, occupational and environmental medicine, sociology, and toxicology whose research is well funded through extramural support. The NCERC has three core training programs, (industrial hygiene, occupational health nursing, and occupational medicine) and two allied programs, ergonomics and occupational epidemiology. The Occupational Epidemiology Program, directed by Dr. Ellen Eisen, was added most recently. Each of these training programs has its own research training curriculum. In the past, the NCERC had used NORA Research Training funds to support individual students in the various core programs to conduct discrete research training projects supervised by a faculty mentor that addressed NORA goals, but with no attempt to integrate research training across core programs and disciplines. However, in 2007, we were first successful in obtaining Targeted Research Training (TRT) funding for a plan to provide a more integrated and interdisciplinary approach to research training. We now have a total of 4 years of experience (2008-2012) with our TRT program. The first years'experience was set out in our previous (funded) proposal. Therefore, we focus here on the last 3 years of TRT operation. In our last renewal, in 2010, we were granted 3 years of continuation funding for the TRT, whereas other programs received 5 years of funding. Two of the 3 years under the first renewal have passed. In this second renewal application we seek an additional 2 years of funding to bring the TRT Program into line with other (5-year) programs under the NCERC. Concurrent with this submission, a change of TRT directorship is taking place. The previous Director, Dr. Marion Gillen, took early retirement nearly a year ago, for medical reasons. ERC Deputy Director, Patty Quinlan, stood in as acting director for most of the second year of TRT and Prof. Michael Bates, environmental and occupational epidemiologist in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, is taking over as Director of the TRT for the third year of the currently funded program. Dr. Bates is also the proposed Director for the 2 years of additional funding which this application seeks. He has also been running the TRT Interdisciplinary Research Seminar for the last 4 years. A key intention of our TRT training program is inter-disciplinary research training. To achieve this during the first 2 years of this renewal, the TRT program focused on several thematic areas that represent strengths of our faculty and were considered to provide good opportunities for Research to Practice (r2p) projects: (1) vulnerable workers, (2) occupational lung disease, (3) exposure assessment for epidemiologic studies, (4) occupational transmission of infectious disease, (5) musculoskeletal disease, and (6) safety design for "green" jobs. The intention was that focusing on these areas would allow the trainee research activities to play to the strengths of the faculty and their existing research activities and would encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Educational Resource Center Training Grants (T42)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZOH1-JFK (50))
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Sanderson, Lee M
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University of California Berkeley
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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