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NIEHS Director unveils new strategic plan for environmental health sciences

atient clinical research unit at its facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Another major area identified as critical is the need to develop sensitive, quantitative markers to assess levels of environmental exposures at the individual level. One way this will be accomplished is through the new Genes and Environment Initiative http://www.niehs.nih.gov/oc/news/gei.htm, a research effort at NIH to combine a type of genetic analysis and environmental technology development to understand the causes of common diseases.

To ensure a more integrated approach to research, the NIEHS has developed an Office of Translational Research and has initiated several new opportunities in integrated research. NIEHS has recently announced the Director's Challenge for in-house scientists and a new research program called DISCOVER (Disease Investigation for Specialized Clinically Oriented Ventures in Environmental Research) for scientists outside NIEHS. Both the Director's Challenge and the DISCOVER program are designed to support teams of researchers focused on integrating environmental health research with patient-oriented and population-based studies.

Another goal articulated in the plan includes fostering the development of partnerships with other Institutes, agencies, academia, industry and community organizations.

"I am pleased to see that advocacy groups will continue to have a voice at the NIEHS," said Lisa M. Greenhill, Associate Executive Director for Diversity, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and a member of the NAEHSC. "Forming partnerships early on and sustaining those relationships with community members will enhance the design of many of the research projects NIEHS is undertaking."

"We see this plan as an evolving document that reflects the current collective thinking about the direction the field of environmental sciences needs to go," s
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Contact: Robin Mackar
rmackar@niehs.nih.gov
919-541-0073
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
1-May-2006


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