Welcome to the Environmental Health Sciences Center
Supporting basic and clinical research on the modulation of disease processes by environmental and occupational agents
The Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) is one of the "Centers of Excellence" sponsored by the NIEHS (P30 ES01247). The Center was established in 1975 and emphasizes the study of "Environmental Agents as Modulators of Human Disease and Dysfunction." Its major goal is to discover and describe the underlying mechanisms of action of toxic substances. The Center is committed to translating research findings to improve public health. The EHSC’s Community Engagement Core provides a link between community members’ questions, concerns and interests and the center’s environmental health research.
The broad goals of this Center are to establish innovative programs of excellence in environmental health sciences by providing scientific and programmatic support, and to enhance the career development of talented environmental health investigators.
Drawing on the resources of the University of Rochester Medical Center, the EHSC, which is a component of the Department of Environmental Medicine, provides the framework to generate novel research findings and then convert these into critical information, resources, and tools that can be used by public health officials, medical professionals, and the community to prevent disease and improve public health.
The EHSC is also affiliated with the medical school's graduate program in Toxicology. The Rochester Toxicology Program provides state-of-the-art graduate and postdoctoral training in the environmental health sciences and toxicology.
Former Student Claire McCarthy's COPD Research Featured on NPR
Early one morning in the spring of 2017, former Toxicology graduate student Claire McCarthy (Sime Lab) started her day as many don't: rolling dried rhinoceros dung into cigarettes and packing them into a machine that smoked them.
Although it might seem bizarre, McCarthy's purpose was serious: She wanted to know what happens when people breathe in dung smoke.
Dung smoke is no joke. Animal dung is used by millions globally for heating and cooking.
It's a dangerous practice. Burning biomass fuels (including animal dung as well as wood, charcoal, and plant matter) generates indoor air pollution, which caused 4 million deaths worldwide in 2012 according to the World Health Organization. Like cigarette smoke, biomass smoke has been linked to increased risk of lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), lung cancer and respiratory infection.
Read More: Former Tox Student Claire McCarthy, PhD Featured on NPR