Division of Extramural Research and Training Third Annual Scientific Retreat. (NIEHS Extramural Update)

Article excerpt

The Division of Extramural Research and Training third annual scientific retreat was held in Wilmington, North Carolina, on 21-22 November 2002. The purpose of the retreat was to explore opportunities in new and existing topics related to the theme "transitional research: where basic science has provided mechanisms/tools to intervene/prevent disease," and to discuss how these opportunities can be incorporated into current environmental health science research. The retreat was developed around the following three scientific sessions:

Evaluation of Science: Models for Determining Scientific and Public Health Impact and Policy

In light of the recent emphasis on evaluating research impact, this session examined the value and challenges of evaluating science and technology, the power of economic analysis in scientific evaluation, and current mechanisms to support evaluations of NIH programs.

Arsenic Exposure: Mechanisms, Speciation, and Policy

This session addressed molecular mechanisms of arsenic exposure, speciation and toxicity of arsenic, and arsenic risk assessment and risk management. Three main points from the presentations included:

* New technologies: We need to use microarrays/proteomics to examine molecular signatures.

* Coordination among researchers: Various models and approaches are being used to understand the impact of chronic low-dose arsenic exposure. We need to develop further mechanisms to promote coordination among researchers.

* Developmental effects: As a co-genotoxicant and co-mutagen, we must examine the impact of arsenic on fetal programming and imprinting.

Environmental Medicine: Cases from an Emerging Discipline

This session focused on how basic research can be translated to increase awareness of environmentally related diseases and to establish prevention programs. …