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University of California-Davis

Superfund Research Program

Training Core

Project Leader: Robert H. Rice
Co-Investigator: Daniel P.Y. Chang
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 1995-2023

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Project Summary (2005-2010)

The Training Core aims to produce doctoral level engineers and scientists with the interdisciplinary educational experience necessary to address complex research problems posed by hazardous waste sites. The Core, with 27 training faculty, is directed by a committee of 6 experienced members spanning the disciplinary scope of the Superfund program and closely connected with other toxicology programs and a variety of graduate groups on campus. The Core’s strong recruitment program in toxicological sciences is complemented by continued emphasis on nonbiological projects, for which the excellent UC Davis graduate programs in chemistry, engineering, hydrogeology and soil science are a great asset. While fulfilling course requirements of their respective graduate group programs, the students, from diverse backgrounds, are encouraged in preparatory coursework to take advantage of an extensive menu of relevant courses to gain interdisciplinary expertise. In addition, their education is enriched by:

  1. attendance at Superfund supported series of campus seminars to be given by leading environmental health scientists;
  2. practical experience in the regulatory environment through research translation activities;
  3. presentations of their own research results at national meetings, at monthly meetings of Superfund investigators, at the annual Superfund tri-program meeting and at annual retreats/symposia co-sponsored with other toxicologically oriented campus programs; and
  4. special hands on training offered by the Analytical Core, the DNA Microarray, Proteomics and Metabolomics Core and facilities specializing in interdisciplinary research (Molecular Structure Facility, Center for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources, John Muir Institute for the Environment). Selection of candidates for 4 trainee slots (university contribution) is on the basis of academic credentials (GPA, recommendation letters) and a research proposal.

Trainee progress is monitored by periodic review of coursework, research summaries, participation in Superfund meetings, and timely fulfillment of academic requirements (e.g., qualifying examination). The Training Committee also selects applicants for the innovative Distinguished Undergraduate Summer Research Training Program, which promotes graduate school matriculation and careers in environmental health sciences with an emphasis on minority undergraduates.

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