DETROIT -- With over $2.4 million in new federal funding, Wayne State University researchers, regional collaborators at Henry Ford Health System, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, and community partners will study how exposures to stressors that are prevalent in the urban industrialized environment -- both chemical and non-chemical -- impact human health in Detroit and beyond.
The grant, Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES), is one of approximately 20 select P30 Core Centers funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. CURES places special emphasis on understanding how environmental exposures during life windows of heightened susceptibility can adversely affect health, particularly in vulnerable persons such as children and adults of low socio-economic status, older adults, first responders, and refugees. At the heart of CURES is a grass-roots community engagement program committed to improving healthy living and working environments in the city of Detroit. CURES applies team-based approaches that integrate multiple disciplines to address pressing environmental health problems.
CURES is co-led by Wayne State faculty members Melissa Runge-Morris, M.D., director of the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (IEHS) and professor of oncology, and Bengt Arnetz, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Sc.Epi., deputy director of IEHS and professor of family medicine and public health sciences.
"The focus of CURES is to study how diseases that compromise the quality of life in an industrialized urban environment such as Detroit occur as a consequence of dynamic interactions between an individual's genetic and epigenetic make-up, nutritional status and environmental stressors such as chronic low-level toxicant exposures as well as psychosocial and physical stressors," said Runge-Morris. "Our team of researchers, along with community members, will explore the role of environmental exposure on immune disorders, metabolic disease, cancer and mental health."
"We are very pleased that Wayne State University has received this important and prestigious P30 Center grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that will be of significant benefit for the city of Detroit and the many communities that we serve," said Stephen M. Lanier, Ph.D., vice president for research at Wayne State. "The CURES team is exceptional, and this initiative will focus on nurturing healthy communities in Detroit through environmental disease prevention and creating cleaner living and working environments, all of which are important building blocks to improving this great city."
The award number for this National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health grant is P30ES020957.
Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.
Photos: (Top) Bengt Arnetz; Melissa Runge-Morris