The interdisciplinary Training in Precision Environmental Health Sciences (TPEHS) program is a joint initiative of Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health (UTH-SPH). Research at the intersection of genes and the environment (GxE) has contributed to the fields of environmental and public health and significantly advanced our knowledge of environmental factors and genetic contributors to disease. Genomics and environmental health research are producing ever-larger data sets, illuminating the need for today's environmental health researchers to be able to incorporate big data into their research. The goal of the TPEHS is to train the next generation of environmental health scientists working at the interface of genetics, environmental health and data science (GxExD). The training program is aligned with the Center for Precision Environmental Health at BCM, led by Program Director Dr. Cheryl Walker. This Center provides strong institutional support for the TPEHS and a ?home base? for this joint training program. TPEHS Program Objectives are for trainees to 1) acquire fundamental knowledge in Genetics, Environmental Health, and Data Science; 2) become proficient at integrating concepts of GxExD into research; and 3) gain the necessary skills and tools to leverage GxExD training to achieve their next career objective. The Program will support 2 pre- and 2-post-doctoral trainees in Year 1, increasing to 3 pre- and 3 post-doctoral trainees/year thereafter. The core curriculum for PhD students includes didactic coursework in Environmental Health/Toxicology, Genetics, and Data Science and a Foundations Course on Integrative Concepts of Precision Environmental Health. This didactic training is complemented by career development activities, training in Responsible Conduct of Research and Rigor and Reproducibility, and programmatic/networking opportunities (including peer-to-peer mentoring) that enhance the training environment and build cohesion among trainees. In addition to the Foundations Course, postdoctoral training includes the opportunity for industry-based networking with the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) and/or preparation for academic careers via grant- writing workshops and submission of a K99/R00 application. Leadership at both BCM and UTH-SPH have committed to providing four additional slots for trainees in the Program, increasing the size of the trainee cohort and broadening the applicant pool beyond US citizens. The TPEHS is a unique opportunity to cross-train biomedical scientists in GxExD research and leverage the collaborative environment and research powerhouse of the Texas Medical Center scientific community. At the end of the program, trainees will have a deep understanding of inter-disciplinary GxExD research, demonstrated ability to carry out independent research in this challenging multidisciplinary area, and the preparation needed be effective precision environmental health researchers of tomorrow.
The interdisciplinary Training Program in Precision Environmental Health Sciences (TPEHS) is a joint initiative between Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health whose goal is to train the next generation of environmental health scientists working at the interface of genetics, environmental health and data science. Historically, training in these disciplines has been siloed, and few researchers have the training needed to incorporate all three into today?s precision environmental health research. The TPEHS is designed to meet the need for this interdisciplinary training by preparing the next generation of environmental health science researchers to make important research advances and improve our understanding of environment influences on health and disease.