Petering to Start Children's Environmental Health Center
David Petering along with Ron Hines, Assistant Director of the Children's Research Institute, have been funded by NIEHS/NIH to start
The Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center. This will replace and upgrade the Marine and Freshwater Biological Sciences Center (MFBSC), for which Petering has been funded for 22 years. The work performed by the MFBSC will continue, but there will be new emphasis on the clinical perspective. The Center will award pilot project grants and provide support staff. Clinical personnel will learn more about the research perspective, and researchers will learn more about real world problems. The grant that was awarded is four times the yearly funding for the MFBSC and is for five years.
The Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core (EHSC) Center, an extramural center of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, is focused on diseases and disorders of child development and reproduction. The Center's primary objective is to attract and strongly support teams of scientists positioned along the basic, translational, and clinical/public health science continuum. Its complementary objective is to convert scientific understanding into effective strategies to prevent environmentally dependent childhood disease.
The Center is a partnership between investigators at UW-Milwaukee in the basic environmental health sciences and others from the Children’s Research Institute (CRI) of Children's Hospital and Health System (CHHS) who contribute robust translational research in childhood disease. The NIEHS Center supports this group with world class infrastructure and resources that foster collaboration and basic-clinical/community research.
Basic research in neurobehavioral toxicology, signal transduction based toxicology using the zebrafish model and studies on Great Lakes and children's health (UW-Milwaukee) are complemented by CRI investigations of cardiovascular birth defects, gene-environment interactions, and community health, particularly in relation to the National Children's Study of the etiology of childhood diseases. In addition, the Center has substantial capability in the area of technology and methodology development that stimulates other research endeavors.
The Community Outreach and Education Core (COEC) is an integral part of the Center. As such, the rigor of peer review has permeated the program, encouraging academically vigorous initiatives and extramural sources to fund them, increasingly sophisticated evaluation methods, and regular communication with peers at national meetings and in scientific journals.
Program initiatives focus on (a) building environmental health competency of educators and health professionals in relation to children's environmental health, (b) expanding the ethnic communities that COEC reaches, particularly Latino, Native American, and African American, in order to stimulate environmental health literacy related to children among such groups, and (c) collaborating with the Integrated Heath Science Facility Core-Community Unit to support community health research and career development.