- Overall The mission of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) is to advance understanding of environmentally induced disease and disability and to translate this knowledge into interventions, new practices or policy changes that reduce those exposures or mitigate their effects on health. The EHSC brings together faculty from seven schools and colleges engaged in environmental health sciences (EHS) research spanning molecular biosciences, environmental science, engineering, pathophysiology, biostatistics, epidemiology, and community development, with relevance to human conditions. The EHSC has made huge strides in less than 4 years. Among its notable achievements, the EHSC has: broken through silos, transformed interdisciplinary collaboration into the standard modus operandi among our members, attracted both new and established investigators, and placed environmental health on the radar of other Centers throughout UC Davis. Increasingly, EHSC members are engaging with community stakeholders and seeking to address community-driven questions. A few highlights of EHSC accomplishments are: 1) a novel vivarium facility for air pollution health studies using real-time air pumped from a heavily trafficked tunnel; 2) a program of research on exposures and health effects in response to hugely destructive wildfires now commonplace throughout the western U.S.; 3) recruitment of many new investigators, including two underrepresented minority women; establishment of a strong presence on social media. Guided by the NIEHS 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and the NIEHS Translational Research Framework, we adopted three overarching theme areas: 1) interdisciplinary translational EHS linking molecular/cell culture experiments, whole animal assays, human epidemiologic research, interventions, and policy; 2) integration of environment, social justice and health to understand vulnerability and resilience; 3) building bridges with communities, clinicians, and policy- makers. Layered on those broad themes, we continue to cultivate the historic UCD strengths in research on respiratory, nervous, immune, metabolic, endocrine, and reproductive systems, and recently expanded into cancer and climate-related health research. The Center has a Pilot Projects Program and four cores: Administration, Integrative Health Sciences, Exposure Sciences and Community Engagement, as well as various advisory committees. In the coming funding period, the UC Davis EHSC will expand its scope and impact by 1) advancing cutting-edge research in exposure characterization, environmental health effects, their molecular biologic mechanisms, and technology development for improving measurement of exposures and biomarkers; 2) enlarging the cadre of EHS researchers, and 3) engaging with policy-makers, community stakeholders and health professionals, to ensure relevance of our research and to translate findings into public health improvement. The Center emphasizes inter-disciplinary and translational approaches to environmental health issues and is developing partnerships with other Centers throughout UC Davis.

Public Health Relevance

- Overall The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center has, in its first four years, advanced understanding of various health conditions and the exposures that contribute to them. These include neurodevelopmental disorders, metabolic conditions like diabetes, and respiratory problems such as asthma. By learning what factors increase the risk or severity of these conditions, this research sets the stage for interventions that can prevent them, and thereby improve public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee (EHS)
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Thompson, Claudia L
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University of California Davis
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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