OVERALL The Houston-Galveston area is home to over a dozen Superfund sites, and is a hub for the petrochemical industry with 500 chemical plants, 10 refineries and >6000 miles of oil, gas and chemical pipelines in what has become the country?s largest energy corridor. The area is also home to the largest medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center. Thus, both the need, and size of the opportunity, for an NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Core Center (EHS-CC) in this region is great. As the EHS-CC for the Texas Medical Center, the Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health (GC-CPEH) will be the focal point and catalyst for impactful EHS research, multi-directional communication with local communities and stakeholders, and the engine driving translation of precision environmental health research advances to improve human health. The Goals for the GC-CPEH are to 1: Integrate and catalyze impactful EHS research across disciplines and institutions of the Texas Medical Center, and promote the next-generation of EHS researchers; 2: Provide inter- institutional access to resources and cutting-edge technologies to accelerate translation, and reverse translation, of research advances to improve human environmental health; 3: Support and empower community engagement across the Gulf Coast region by linking community stakeholders and investigators in multi-directional communication activities that inform GC-CPEH research; 4: Enable rapid response research activities during and after environmental disasters in the Gulf Coast region. The GC-CPEH has 34 Full members, 17 of whom have active NIEHS-funded grant support with an annual direct funding base >$5 million. The Center will support precision environmental health research through its Thematic Focus Areas: Early Life Genetic and Epigenetic Environment Interactions; Mechanisms and Interventions in Human Environmental Disease; and Disaster Research Response. The GC-CPEH will also promote research through its Pilot Project Program, accelerate research advances with seamless access to Next-gen technologies via the PIPELINE Facility Core and an IHSFC that will promote translational research; activities facilitated by Navigators and the Matching Funds Core Utilization Program. The Administrative Core, composed of highly seasoned EHS leaders, provides organizational infrastructure, and mentoring for junior faculty that includes a Career Development Leaders-in-Training program to promote development of research and professional leadership skills. An experienced and vibrant CEC will foster multi-directional communication with communities and stakeholders, and inform environmental health policy for the Gulf Coast Region.
The Houston-Galveston area is home to over a dozen Superfund sites and a hub for the petrochemical industry. It is also home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Thus, both the need and opportunity for the Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health (GC-CPEH) to be a focal point and catalyst for impactful EHS research, multi-directional communication with local communities, and the engine driving translation of precision environmental health research advances to improve human health, is exceptional.