Certificate Program in Environmental Health Sciences
The Certificate Program in Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) focuses on the mechanistic links that exist between environmental exposures, the molecular and cellular affects that ensue, and diseases of environmental etiology. Emphasis is placed on training in molecular toxicology, environmental and occupational health, molecular epidemiology, toxicogenomics, toxicoproteomics, and population-based and clinical/translational research. The goal is to explore mechanisms, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of diseases of environmental etiology. This is achieved by working with world-renowned experts in lung and airway disease, cancer causation, neurodegenerative disease, reproductive and developmental disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
Our scientists also investigate gene-environment interactions to identify individuals most susceptible to environmental exposures and disease based on genotype. They also develop and validate biomarkers of exposure and response to determine phenotype. The goal is to achieve personalized environmental medicine to determine who is at risk and who will respond to treatment. Course work and rotations will equip students to perform research across discipline. Options exist to do risk assessment and risk communication in environmentally-challenged communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Individuals from the Program will graduate with the Certificate in Environmental Health Sciences and a PhD from their respective Graduate Group. This training will prepare graduate students for careers in toxicology, risk-assessment, and environmental and occupational health sciences and may place in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, consumer-product industry, or governmental agencies (e.g. EPA, CDC, FDA, NIEHS, NHLBI, NCI and NIOSH). Trainees will receive broad training in these areas for careers in EHS and will be encouraged to become board certified as “Diplomats of the American Board of Toxicology.”
Many common diseases/disorders are “linked” to environmental exposures. Areas of interest include: lung and airway disease (asthma, lung cancer, mesothelioma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that can result from exposure to allergens, ozone, inhaled carcinogens, asbestos and air pollutants; diseases linked to oxidative stress (neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease and inflammation); and, endocrine, reproductive and developmental disorders (oocyte quality, reproductive aging, epigenetics, pre-term rupture of the fetal membranes, birth and developmental defects). Elucidating the mechanistic links that exist will lead to improved prevention and intervention strategies of major societal disease.