Virtual Consortium for Translational/Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (ViCTER)
Environmental health sciences research has traditionally taken place within specific areas of interest, but partnerships among scientists who might not normally work together can help quicken the pace at which research moves forward.
The NIEHS Virtual Consortium for Translational/Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (ViCTER) fosters the exchange of knowledge and resources to improve human health by bringing together a researcher funded by NIEHS and two new collaborators. Each consortium focuses on an area where environmental factors are known or expected to influence the development or progression of disease.
The consortia are virtual in that the participants remain at their respective institutions, collaborating through regular conference calls and annual meetings. Each member contributes new research goals that cross disciplines or that involve various research methods such as animal and human studies. The synergy resulting from the new research teams may stimulate fresh perspectives or new approaches to studying an environmental health topic.
Current consortia are examining the mechanisms of arsenic-induced diabetes using mouse and human data, comparing gene expression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) animal models to that in children diagnosed with ADHD, and studying factors tied to asthma susceptibility using animal and human tissue samples. Other topics being examined include the effects of lead exposure on the brain, chemical hazard testing, PCBs and thyroid function, and methyl mercury exposure.