Welcome to the Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center!

EHSC logoSupporting basic and clinical research on the modulation of disease processes by environmental and occupational agents

Established in 1975, the Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) is one of  the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Core "Centers of Excellence." Our mission is to improve public health through the discovery of the ways by which environmental exposures, singly or in combination, contribute to health risk across the lifespan, and to translate discoveries into strategies to mitigate risks and improve human health.

The central theme that guides and integrates our Center is understanding that cumulative exposures and interactions of environmental factors affect health and disease across the lifespan.

Center research and other activities are guided by the following interrelated concepts:

  • Many diseases and disorders cannot be explained by genetics alone. Environmental factors contribute to disease development and progression, and hold the key to discovering ways to prevent and cure disease.  
  • Environmental exposures include chemicals, microorganisms, psychological and physical stressors, as well as nutritional and dietary factors, which act in conjunction with age, sex, and the presence of other disease states.
  • Environmental exposures vary by geographical location, urban or rural environment, lifestyle, and occupation. These can enhance or lessen the impact of an environmental exposure, and appreciating that both are possible is centrally important to improving health.
  • Environmental exposures do not occur singly but as mixtures of risk and protective factors, with potential interactive effects. Understanding human health and disease, and developing better intervention and prevention strategies requires new thinking and systematic approaches that includes consideration of mixtures of factors and that there are vulnerable populations.
  • Success requires collaboration among diverse teams of basic, clinical and translational scientists coupled with a multi-directional and iterative approaches that include experimental models and human populations.

The EHSC provides the framework to generate new information, resources, and tools used by scientists, public health officials, medical professionals, and the community to prevent disease and improve public health. The broad-based scientific diversity of our center members ideally positions us to use effective, integrative, and innovative strategies to address critical questions in environmental health sciences

We hope you find that as you visit our website you learn more about center research, community engagement activities, cores and facilities, and our collaborative team of members.

Best regards,

Paige Lawrence

B. Paige Lawrence, PhD
Center Director
Wright Family Research Professor
Chair, Department of Environmental Medicine