Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research
Elaine Symanski, Ph.D., Center for Precision Environmental Health, Baylor College of Medicine
Robert Bullard, Ph.D., Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University
Baylor College of Medicine
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston - McGovern Medical School
Texas Southern University
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 a unique ongoing, perinatal database and biospecimen repository: 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.
- Conduct multidisciplinary research to characterize maternal and infant environmental health disparities in overburdened populations living in a disaster-prone region with elevated pollution levels.
- Engage, educate, and empower community stakeholders in environmental justice communities to inform MIEHR research, reduce environmental health disparities and build community resilience. The Environmental Health Disparities MIEHR Research Center will conduct multidisciplinary research to significantly advance their understanding of environmental disparities in maternal and infant health with a focus on preterm birth and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
- Support and promote career development of the next generation of environmental health researchers from underserved populations.