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.
Anjum Hajat, Ph.D. investigates the intersection of air pollution and psychosocial stressors, and how they affect health outcomes. Her research suggests that individuals who suffer from stressors, such as poverty and neighborhood disadvantage, in conjunction with air pollution exposure, have more adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease.
Since we last caught up with Melissa Smarr, Ph.D., at the HERCULES Center, she has become a health scientist administrator for the NIEHS Population Health Branch of the Division of Extramural Research and Training. Smarr says she has been interested in the various aspects of research administration since she was doctoral student. Her current position provides opportunity to address emerging areas of research from a broader perspective. Smarr also noted that science communication is an exciting part of her research journey.
Timothy Moran, M.D., Ph.D., is investigating the role of environmental factors in food allergy development. His research suggests that food allergies may be caused in part by environmental exposures, rather than purely by genetics. His research centers on the question of whether there is a difference in the indoor environment of children with peanut allergies and the indoor environment of those without a peanut allergy.