University of Miami
Center for Subtropical and Tropical Oceans and Human Health
Lora Fleming, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Miami CSTORMS - The Center for Subtropical and Tropical Oceans and Human Health Research in the Marine Sciences and its collaborators propose to build on several decades of collaborative and interdisciplinary research, education and training to address the new NIEHS-NSF research initiative in Oceans and Human Health. CSTORMS will focus on issues relevant to the Southeastern United States and Caribbean, as well as global Sub/Tropical areas worldwide, to integrate interdisciplinary research between biomedical and oceanographic scientists. CSTORMS will include three Research Projects. CSTORMS investigators will expand existing research into Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) of the NIEHS Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center and the NIEHS-funded Florida International University (FIU), University of Miami (UM) ARCH Program to examine the application of toxic algal culture, toxin analysis, remote sensing, oceanography, and genomics to subtropical/tropical HAB organism and toxin distribution with biological oceanographers, biochemists, and plankton biologists.
The Center will also explore the interaction between functional genomics and NSF funded oceanography of the subtropical/tropical HAB organism, Karenia brevis, and its environmental interactions with collaborations between oceanography, genomics, chemistry, and remote sensing. Taking advantage of local subtropical/tropical conditions, the Center will explore the relationship between microbial indicators and human health effects in sub/tropical recreational marine waters, incorporating NSF-funded oceanographic current modeling to predict ambient conditions, with environmental engineers, remote sensors, microbiologists, physical oceanographic modelers, and epidemiologists. There will be three CSTORMS Facility Cores supporting this research in Genomics, Remote Sensing and Toxic Algal Culture. An Administrative Core will encourage additional integrated interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration through an active interdisciplinary Pilot Project Program, as well as an outreach and education program, supported by Internal and External Advisory Committees. To accomplish this research program in subtropical/tropical oceans and human health, CSTORMS will collaborate with interdisciplinary scientists at Florida International University (FIU), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Miami Dade County Department of Health, the University of Florida, and other institutions, as well as other Oceans and Human Health Centers and researchers. The ultimate goals of CSTORMS are to foster innovative interdisciplinary scientific research, and to train scientists, in the biological and oceanographic sciences concerning issues affecting the subtropical and tropical oceans, and their human populations.