Advanced Research Cooperation in Environmental Health
Renee R. Reams, Ph.D.
Faculty members at Florida A&M University (FAMU), in partnership with faculty in the Institute of Chemical Toxicology and Environmental Health Science (EHS) Center in Molecular and Cellular Toxicology with Human Applications at Wayne State University are proposing an advanced research cooperation program in basic environmental health sciences. This program will provide the infrastructure required for mentoring and developing Florida A&M faculty in the use of contemporary concepts in molecular and cell biology and related experimental approaches and technologies such that these investigators would be able to pursue studies of the molecular mechanisms by which environmental chemicals modulate the response of cells and tissues. The research focus of investigators in this initiative was signal transduction, an emerging contemporary research area of great importance to environmental toxicology, since it is becoming increasingly apparent that toxicants exert their biological actions by interfering with inter- and intra-cellular signaling pathways that affect gene expression and cellular function. The research objective of this program was to assist Florida A&M faculty in the development of contemporary concepts, approaches, and technologies for elucidating mechanisms associated with disruption of signal transduction pathways, second messengers, and effectors as a consequence of exposure to environmental agents. The primary objective of this program was to establish mentoring relationships, which would develop into collaborative interactions and will result in publication of manuscripts in high quality peer-reviewed journals and the funding of competitive peer-reviewed research grant applications. The specific objectives to be accomplished included assisting Florida A&M University faculty with 1) the development of specific objectives derived from a hypothesis-based concept which will result in an R01-type grant submission, 2) the planning and execution of experiments designed to provide preliminary data in support of peer-reviewed grant applications, 3) in the use of contemporary molecular, cellular, or immunological cDNA array and RT-PCR approaches, 4) with guidance in the purchase of equipment and establishment of a core facility, 5) with a mentoring-intensive education/enrichment program, 6) with the production and submission of manuscripts to peer-review journals and grant applications, 7) through reviewing submitted manuscripts and grant proposals, 8) through attaining R01-like funding for the mentored faculty within the time frame of this grant, preferably within four years.
External and Internal Advisory Boards, scheduled meetings and laboratory rotations, and specific objectives have been identified. Pilot projects have been established between Florida A&M University faculty in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, FAMU Environmental Sciences Institute, and faculty in the Institute of Chemical Toxicology and EHS Center. It was envisioned that through these interactions and objectives the research capacity of investigators at Florida A&M University would be enhanced.