This application requests continuance of COBRE support for the Center for Environmental Health Science (CEHS) which was established in 2000 with the goal of developing a nationally competitive interdisciplinary research program to study the mechanisms of human disease and environmental impacts on those diseases. The COBRE I and II awards (2002 and 2007, respectively) strengthened the institution's biomedical research infrastructure through the support of the CEHS and enhanced the ability of investigators to compete independently for external peer-reviewed support. Faculty were hired and mentored, Facility Cores were established, and research projects were supported resulting in substantial growth of external grant funding and publications from CEHS investigators. The University of Montana contributed significantly to the success with financial support and substantial new research space. A strategic plan has been established to transition CEHS into a sustained long-term center through the following aims:
Aim 1 : Encourage and facilitate collaborative research to achieve sustainability of the research program and cores.
This Aim will be accomplished through the Strategic Plan to continue to develop CEHS investigators, anticipate and target research opportunities with strong proposals and a highly effective and interactive Facility Cores.
Aim 2 : Utilize the pilot grant program, training opportunities and external expertise to build on the CEHS funded research portfolio. The pilot project program will be used to fund the most promising research, training opportunities will be provided on a competitive basis to support continued education opportunities to investigators, and external expertise (External Advisory Committee and invited experts) will provide scientific guidance.
Aim 3 : Provide leadership and administrative support and continue to evaluate and refine center and core operations. Leadership and administrative support will provide critical infrastructure to facilitat investigator's research success and evaluation will be used to determine effectiveness.
Aim 4 : Utilize the University of Montana commitment to leverage the COBRE support to achieve the goal of long-term center sustainability.
The University of Montana Center for Environmental Health Sciences has been a key area of emphasis in biomedical research at the University of Montana since its inception in 2000. It is a highly interactive collection of investigators and Facilty Cors focused on improving human health. The success of the Center is a result of a close interaction between the investigators areas of research and expertise in the Facilty Cores.
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