This training grant proposal requests support for 8 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees in the Curriculum in Toxicology (CiT) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). The proposed training program brings together a highly interactive and productive faculty of basic scientists, physician scientists, and public health researchers from the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Pharmacy at UNC-CH, plus outstanding researchers and mentors from the U.S. EPA and NIEHS in Research Triangle Park. The training program faculty includes 43 investigators with proven research records in environmental health and toxicology. The CiT focuses on several areas of training, such as (1) mechanisms of toxic injury by environmental agents, (2) relevance to disease pathogenesis of exposure to environmental pollutants, (3) systems of protection against cellular damage, and (4) influence of genetic variability on outcomes of toxicant exposures. This collaborative training program integrates resources and training opportunities available at UNC-CH and within local government agencies (NIEHS and EPA) and aims to provide the best scientific research and mentoring environment necessary to train future investigators. Our overall mission is to train predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees to integrate basic toxicology with next-generation research tools to advance environmental health and toxicology knowledge in the 21st century. Consequently, our research training focuses on providing predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees the environment, infrastructure, and resources to conduct interdisciplinary cross-cutting research in environmental toxicology, systems toxicology/biomarkers, research translation, and animal models of human diseases. CiT trainees have gone on to productive careers in academia, government, and industry. In order to maintain this successful training program, we continuously update our training approaches, incorporating feedback from our external advisory committee and other forms of training program evaluation. During the previous funding period, we expanded measures to enhance program cohesiveness, increased opportunities and formal training in grant writing, recruited faculty who can enhance training opportunities in emerging fields in Toxicology and Environmental Health, and increased training opportunities in professional skills. The CiT continues to have outstanding didactic instruction, excellent training and mentoring oversight, unparalleled resources, and a superb environment to support the proposed training. As outlined in this application, our previous record demonstrates that the outstanding new scientists we train will excel at interdisciplinary approaches that result in the mechanistic understanding and translation of how the environment influences human disease.
This interdisciplinary training program is designed to provide the necessary resources, infrastructure, and research opportunities for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees interested in toxicology and environmental health effects on human diseases. The goal of the Curriculum in Toxicology at UNC-CH is to train new scientists that are able to enhance our understanding of how the environment affects human disease.
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