Advanced Training in Environmental Health Sciences
The NIEHS training program at UC Davis offers interdisciplinary predoctoral training in environmental health science. The objective of this predoctoral program is to train the next generation of environmental health scientists through interdisciplinary research and coursework that address issues of direct relevance to the NIEHS mission. Training faculty consist of 53 active researchers with substantial experience in mentoring predoctoral students. Areas of research focus in this training program are: (1) Cancer; (2) Endocrine and Metabolic Mechanisms of Toxicity; (3) Genotoxicity and Epigenetics; (4) Neurotoxicology; and (5) Respiratory Toxicology. Faculty interests and expertise overlap in these areas facilitating interaction among labs, which in turn promotes interdisciplinary approaches to studying the impact of environmental factors on human biology and disease. Trainees are recruited from several graduate groups that provide disciplinary training relevant to environmental health sciences: toxicology, exposure assessment, epidemiology, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience and pathophysiology.
Trainees have access to advanced technologies, such as proteomics, genomics and metabolomics, state-of-the-art imaging, genetically modified mice, and inhalation facilities for rodents and non-human primates. A strength of environmental health training at UC Davis is the vertical integration of studies of environmentally-induced disease. Molecular, cellular, tissue and animal (including transgenic mouse) models complement nonhuman primate models, human clinical samples obtained through the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) and epidemiological studies. The activities of various research centers (M.I.N.D. Institute, Center for Children’s Environmental Health, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, Superfund Program, Environmental Health Sciences Center, and Center for Nanotechnology Health Implications Research) provide synergy and promote connections to disease prevention and public health.
Trainees receive training in responsible conduct of research and obtain instruction and practice in scientific writing (including proposals for extramural funding) and in communicating scientific findings (via chalk talks and participation in annual retreats and national meetings). Trainees are also exposed to emerging concepts and technologies in environmental health via participation in a trainee-organized and -managed seminar series that brings in leading environmental health scientists from across the country, and a summer course in which training faculty and trainees explore a current issue of relevance to environmental health with the goal of producing a joint review or white paper for publication. This training program builds on an established program with a strong track record of meeting the NIEHS mission to train the next generation of scientists to protect public health by connecting scientific advances to environmental exposures and consequent disease processes.