Scientific collaboration and cutting-edge technologies can advance environmental health sciences. The NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Core Centers Program facilitates these collaborations by funding institutional infrastructure to support scientific equipment, facilities, and other resources that can be shared among environmental health researchers. By pursuing shared research questions, the EHS Core Centers identify emerging issues that advance understanding about how pollutants and other environmental factors affect human biology and may lead to disease.
Currently, there are more than 20 centers across the country. Each center has its own strategic vision and scientific focus, but all share four common goals: advancing scientific research; promoting community engagement; advancing translational research; and training new researchers.
The EHS Core Centers Program brings together researchers to tackle related environmental health questions.
Community Engagement Cores translate and disseminate Center research results into information community members, decision makers, and public health professionals can use to protect and improve public health.
There are more than 20 EHS Core Centers around the country, many of which have a long history of NIEHS support.
Researchers from the NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) at the University of Rochester explore how exposure to environmental chemicals affects brain health. The scientists study how exposure to air pollution, pesticides, and PFAS may harm brain health across the life course – from disrupting early brain development to increasing Parkinson’s disease risk later in life.
In a two-part installment of the Environmental Health Chat podcast series, researchers from the NIEHS-funded HERCULES Exposome Research Center discuss the exposome, a growing area of research that aims to assess all the environmental factors a person is exposed to throughout their life and how those exposures affect health.
As people age, their bodies may be less capable of handling the effects of environmental hazards, such as poor air quality. Researchers from NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers are studying how environmental exposures may adversely affect the health and well-being of older adults. Research results may help inform policies that can protect their health.
Researchers from the Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers at Emory University and the University of Michigan collected and analyzed oral histories from people who experienced the aftermath of polybrominated biphenyl contamination in Michigan in 1973.
Exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may reduce fertility in women by as much as 40%, researchers from the NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Sciences Core Center at Mount Sinai found. The team reported that higher levels of PFAS in blood were associated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of pregnancy and live birth among a group of reproductive-age women in Singapore who were trying to conceive.
When residents discover or suspect pollution is harming their community, the process of investigating and fixing the problem can be overwhelming. Working with communities dealing with contamination, members of the NIEHS-funded EHS Core Centers at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Pennsylvania developed an online resource to guide residents through the daunting environmental cleanup process.
Tamarra James-Todd, Ph.D., of the Harvard University EHS Core Center, and Ami Zota, Ph.D., of the Columbia University EHS Core Center, are leaders in field of beauty justice, which addresses the health and exposure inequities related to chemicals in beauty and personal care products.