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New Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health established

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have joined together to form the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health (COHH). The new Center, with administrative offices at WHOI, will serve as a focal point for research on issues at the intersection of oceanographic, biological and environmental health sciences, such as harmful algal blooms and organisms in coastal waters and estuaries that cause human illness and death.

This new Woods Hole Center and three others being established around the country are the first in a new collaboration between the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The four joint Centers for Oceans and Human Health (COHH) will be located at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the University of Miami, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Washington. More than twenty proposals were submitted from around the country for similar centers, with four selected for funding. The federal agencies expect to invest a combined total of $5 million annually for the next five years to support the four centers. The centers are expected to sponsor research by a large number of investigators, students and scholars in the next five years.

The mission of the Woods Hole COHH is to improve public health through understanding how oceanic processes affect the distribution and persistence of human pathogens or products of toxin-producing organisms. The major research focus of COHH projects will be the distribution of biological organisms like bacteria and algae with potential human health consequences in the temperate coastal ocean, including bays, harbors and estuaries.

The two federal agencies are providing about $6.25 million in support to establish the Woods Hole COHH and fund
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Contact: Shelley Dawicki
sdawicki@whoi.edu
508-289-2270
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
22-Apr-2004


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