? ? Environmental exposures play a critical role in the pathogenesis of many common complex diseases. The purpose of the proposed Vanderbilt Environmental Health Science Scholars (VEHSS) program is to develop patient-oriented researchers committed to a career in environmental health research and equipped to function within and lead multidisciplinary teams of researchers to enhance understanding of environmental disease and to improve health. The VEHSS will focus on two specific scientific themes: 1) the role of oxidative stress in environmental injury/exposure and 2) mechanisms of environmental neurotoxicity. Vanderbilt investigators have developed and validated unique biomarkers of oxidative stress, a process implicated in the pathogenesis of many common diseases. Likewise, Vanderbilt investigators have elucidated mechanisms of metal transport and oxidative stress to better understand adverse developmental and neurodegenerative effects of environmental exposures. In each focus area of patient-oriented environmental health sciences research, Scholars will be trained in 1) a multidisciplinary approach, drawing on expertise in human genetics to identify gene-environment interactions, 2) proteomics, lipidomics, and state-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques to discover biomarkers of environmental exposure and disease states, 3) cutting-edge imaging techniques to analyze tissue uptake of metal ions and toxins and local metabolic consequences, and 4) informatics and biostatistics to analyze large and complex data. The current proposal provides a unique opportunity to merge Vanderbilt's strengths in basic environmental health sciences research and patient oriented research to create a training program that can have a major impact on environmental health in the United States. Thus the goals of the VEHSS program are to: 1) Integrate Vanderbilt's well-established, strong basic science programs in toxicology and environmental health sciences with its equally significant accomplishments in patient-oriented research to increase the impact of environmental health sciences research to improve human health. 2) Develop a unique didactic core in research methodology for conducting hypothesis-driven research in environmental health and capitalize on existing career development resources to develop a cadre of leaders in multidisciplinary patient-oriented research in environmental health sciences. 3) Leverage the shared resources of the Vanderbilt-Meharry Alliance to increase the number of underrepresented minorities serving as Scholars and Mentors and leaders in environmental health sciences research. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-SET-A (K2))
Program Officer
Shreffler, Carol K
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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