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Boston University

Superfund Research Program

Training Core

Project Leader: Michael D. McClean
Co-Investigator: Jean van Seventer (Boston University School of Public Health)
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 2017-2020
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2012-2017)

The BU SRP Training Core will continue to provide interdisciplinary training in laboratory science, bioinformatics and computational biology, while also expanding the Training Core to act as a common reference point for all graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who work within the BU SRP program (including those who are supported by other BU SRP projects, other related training programs, and directly by the Training Core). The Training Core will directly support two students a year in bioinformatics techniques applied to the laboratory sciences, with an emphasis on analysis of high throughput, genome-wide data sets and on molecular modeling. This focus responds to the strategic importance of these methods for the biology of the future, the relative lack of exposure to them in traditional laboratory training programs, and the unique resources of the applicant institution. A major element of the program theme, the susceptibility of the developing organism to low-level xenobiotic exposures through a variety of pathways, is ideally suited to be the context for this cross discipline training. After nomination by project PIs at the end of their first year of study, two students will be selected by a Steering Committee consisting of the Program Director, the Training Core Director, and two additional BUSRP PIs, contingent on their commitment to one of the laboratories within the BUSRP. These students will receive appropriate core courses covering bioinformatics, reproduction and development, environmental health, and toxicology during their training program. In addition, we focus on communication skills, not only within the scientific community but to disseminate scientific knowledge to the broader community and to close the "communication gap" between bench and laboratory science and the public at large. Importantly, the Training Core will orient graduate students and post-doctoral fellows supported by BU SRP projects or the Training Core to the mission, activities and needs of the NIEHS SRP, EPA and state environmental and health agencies; and thereby develop a sense of shared mission and peer network as they work towards advancing the science needed to provide a firm foundation for solving the complex health and environmental issues associated with the nation's hazardous waste sites.

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