Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research

Overall Center Goal

The overall goal of the Maternal and Infant Environmental Health Riskscape (MIEHR) Research Center is to elucidate the contributions of exposures in the biological, physical, social, and built environments of the environmental riskscape to environmental health disparities in pregnant women and their infants. The term “riskscape” refers to chemical and non-chemical exposures at the individual and neighborhood level from biological, physical, and social environments.

The MIEHR Center has two synergistic research projects that build on the recruitment of a cohort of women who delivered an infant at three large hospitals in the Texas Medical Center: a Community Engagement and Dissemination Core, and an Investigator Development Core. The MIEHR Center will accomplish its goals in research, career development, and community engagement with multidisciplinary and diverse teams of community and academic experts, interdisciplinary collaborations between projects, activities that develop a diverse workforce, and community engagement that fosters equitable community stakeholder interactions.

Specific Aims

  • Conduct multidisciplinary research to characterize maternal and infant environmental health disparities in overburdened populations living in a disaster-prone region with elevated pollution levels.
  • Evaluate the impact of environmental health disparities in relation to maternal and infant health, with a focus on preterm birth and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
  • Engage, educate, and empower community stakeholders in environmental justice communities to inform MIEHR research, reduce environmental health disparities and build community resilience.
  • Support and promote career development of the next generation of environmental health researchers from underserved populations.

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