Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Fellowships, Grants, & Awards. (Announcements)

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Fellowships, Grants, & Awards. (Announcements)

Article excerpt

Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research

A federal executive order of 21 April 1997, "Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks," charges agencies to consider special environmental risks to children in their activities. Accordingly, the NIEHS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invite grant applications for centers that will conduct multidisciplinary basic and applied research in combination with community-based research projects on environmental threats to children's health and translate those research findings to public policy, community needs, and information for the health care community and for the general public.

Awards in this program will 1) provide for interactions among basic, clinical, and behavioral scientists to establish state-of-the-art research programs addressing environmental contributions to children's health and disease; 2) support a coordinated program of research/prevention centers pursuing high-quality research in environmental aspects of children's disease, with the ultimate goal of facilitating and accelerating translation of basic science knowledge into clinical applications or intervention strategies that can be used to reduce the incidence of environmentally related diseases in childhood; 3) develop fully coordinated programs that incorporate exposure assessment and health effects research with development and validation of risk management and health prevention strategies; 4) encourage the translation and application of research findings to the prevention and clinical decision making arenas and give information to the communities and policy makers that most need it to protect children's health; and 5) establish a national network that fosters communication, innovation, and research excellence with the ultimate goal of reducing the burden of morbidity among children as a result of exposure to harmful environmental agents.

Data will be generated in a multitude of scientific disciplines in order to understand the impact of chemical and other exposures on the fetus and child as it relates to brain and other organ systems growth and development through young adulthood. Specifically, disease areas such as respiratory diseases, neurodevelopment and neurobehavior, childhood cancers, birth defects, and other conditions can be included for study.

This initiative builds upon a related request for applications (RFA) that resulted in the creation of 12 Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research. The prior RFA emphasized similar research foci: respiratory disorders, growth and development, and learning and behavior, including developmental disorders. Recompetition of the existing program emphasizes the need for continued research in all of the above areas, but expands the role of translational research and community outreach that will move the research from the experimental and population laboratory to the prevention and clinical decision making arenas and to the general public. Scientifically, the focus of the continuing program reemphasizes the importance of exploring the unique susceptibilities of children that put them at risk of developing illness in early life. These susceptibilities include genetic susceptibility, susceptibility due to poverty and poor nutritional status, and increased risk due to strained social and behavioral supports and inadequate access to medical care. Center research should fill existing gaps in our understanding of the complex interactions between genes and the environment, including chemical, physical, biological, social, behavioral, and nutritional factors in the development of common childhood diseases.

Collaborative multidisciplinary research approaches are required to explore the dynamic interaction of children with their environment. This center program therefore emphasizes integration of laboratory and population science while applying community-based participatory research (CBPR) strategies. …

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