Human Disease and the Interplay Between Genes and the Environment

  • Monks, Terrence (PI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) The University of Arizona (U of A) proposes to establishment of a Human Genes and the Environment Research (HuGER) Training Program. Development of the HuGER training program has been guided by several important realities. Most relevant to the HuGER TG is recognition of the fact that in the coming decades, a more precise determination of the influence of environmental exposures within a given genetic background on disease processes will be required to significantly improve our ability to predict, detect, treat and monitor disease progression and disease response. In addition it is increasingly clear that epigenetic status will emerge as a critical process that is modulated by environmental exposures, leading to the adverse or beneficial manifestation of that exposure. The HuGER will build upon three inter-disciplinary pre-, and post-doctoral training programs integral to the creation of a successful multi-disciplinary training program that trains scientists in environmental genomics/genetics. An (i) NIEHS supported inter-disciplinary training program in Toxicogenomics and Toxicology, an (ii) NSF Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) Program in Evolutionary, Functional, and Computational Genomics, and (iii) a Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP) in Statistics provide the foundation for the evolution of this multi-disciplinary initiative. The HuGER curriculum has been created specifically to address the unique requirements of a multi-disciplinary training program, the cornerstone of which includes two new courses, redesigning additional courses, "industrial" research rotations, and an emphasis on the development of competent and effective communicators. This is especially important for the new generation of scientists who will need to communicate effectively across multi-disciplinary boundaries. The training environment at the U of A also provides trainees with access to appropriate contemporary computing and state-of-the-art technologies. The Training Program Faculty consist of a core of 17 scientists, from 10 departments, with active research programs in the areas of (i) the environmental and public health sciences and engineering, (ii) population and functional genomics/genetics, and (iii) computational biology and statistics/bioinformatics. Six principal units are participating in the HuGER Training Program: [1] the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; [2] the College of Engineering; [3] the College of Medicine [4] the College of Pharmacy; [5] the College of Public Health; and [6] the College of Sciences. Five of these Colleges participate in the BIO5 Institute which brings together scientists from disparate disciplines to solve complex biological problems. The Associate Director of this HuGER application, Dr. Vicki Chandler, is the Director of BIO5. To ensure the program is known for its multidisciplinary emphasis, it will be administratively housed within BIO5.
Effective start/end date7/1/086/30/14


  • National Institutes of Health: $236,677.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $146,070.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $245,308.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $288,203.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $178,033.00


  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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