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Principal Investigator: Gohlke, Julia M
Institute Receiving Award Virginia Polytechnic Inst And St Univ
Location Blacksburg, VA
Grant Number T32ES033959
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 Jul 2023 to 30 Jun 2028
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): PROJECT SUMMARY Environmental exposures affecting human health are traditionally associated with industrial sources in urban environments, while exposures and associated health outcomes unique to rural landscapes have been less emphasized in environmental health sciences training. To address this gap, the Rural Environmental Health (REH) training program will leverage Virginia Tech’s strengths in agriculture, engineering, veterinary, and natural resources research and outreach in rural areas to advance biomedical and public health training and research. The REH program will provide predoctoral fellows with environmental health training in the areas of toxicology, environmental epidemiology, exposure science, and risk assessment. Trainees will focus their dissertation research within one of three focus areas: mechanisms of environmentally-mediated diseases prevalent in rural areas, characterization of exposures in rural landscapes, or community-engaged approaches to address environmental health priorities in rural areas. A total of six REH trainees will be recruited over the 5- year funding period from participating PhD degree granting programs at Virginia Tech including: 1) Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, 2) Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, 3) Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, 4) Biological Systems Engineering, 5) Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and 6) Biological Sciences. Over their 4 years of training, they will participate in formal coursework in environmental health sciences, including toxicology, epidemiology, and exposure science, to gain depth in methodological skills. REH trainees will gain team science and science communication skills, experience working at the science-policy interface, and receive career planning guidance through participation in the Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program. The IGC will expose them to the wide range of global change research on interacting health threats from climate change and pollution in rural environments. REH trainees’ will participate in a journal club led by REH leadership to build camaraderie, learn from each other, and keep abreast of the relevant literature on rural environmental health. The REH program is supported by a leadership team spanning four colleges (Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, and Natural Resources) and an additional 22 faculty mentors with cutting-edge interdisciplinary research programs funded through grants from NIH and other federal agencies including NSF, USDA, and NASA. As a new program, the leadership team has developed a mentoring and evaluation plan that includes multiple methods of independent feedback from trainees, faculty mentors, and an external advisory board made up of directors of long-standing NIEHS-funded training programs to guide progress and ensure the continued growth and success of the REH trainees.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 87 - Institutional Training/Institutional Career Development Grants
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Carol Shreffler
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