Phil Brown Wins NIEHS Training Grant for Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Social Science

Phil BrownDr. Phil Brown, Director of the Research Translation Core and Co-Director of the Community Engagement Core, has received a highly competitive T32 training grant from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Social Science. The program is co-directed by Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and Silent Spring Institute, an environmental science and community-based participatory research non-profit organization that is part of the Community Engagement Core. Over its five-year initial period, the training program will support 6 doctoral students and 3 postdoctoral fellows.

This program will train future leaders by providing transdisciplinary training in how to operate at the intersection of environmental health science, social science, and basic science, while fostering collaborations with community organizations. The program arises from the need for professionals who understand how complex combinations of genetics, environments, everyday exposures, and industrial, historical, social, and cultural contexts shape our health. The training of pre- and post-doctoral trainees will be done through existing and specialized new coursework, externship training at community-based organizations, relationships with primary and secondary mentors, research with faculty on funded projects, extensive ethics training, participation in several seminar series, laboratory and other site visits, and development of new research opportunities.

PROTECT will play a significant role in the Training Program by virtue of its resources, and by the participation of its Director Dr. Akram Alshawabkeh as a Core Faculty; four PROTECT team members will serve as mentors to the trainees (Dr. Ferdie Hellweger, Dr. Roger Giese, Dr. Philip Larese-Casanova and Dr. April Gu).  PROTECT will facilitate training opportunities in the following areas: developing and implementing report-back of personal environmental health data to participants in the protect cohort; working on citizen science water monitoring projects; engaging in outreach work with March of Dimes, Citizens of the Karst, and other disease-based and community organizations. T32 trainees will additionally join ROUTES (a new NIEHS training program, co-directed by PROTECT Director Akram Alshawabkeh, for undergraduates from underrepresented populations) scholars as they participate in the PROTECT Training Core’s regularly scheduled activities that include SRP webinars, guest lectures, participation in annual Northeast regional SRP gatherings, and the annual SRP meeting. Trainees will also visit PROTECT labs conducting research on xenobiotics associated with preterm birth, pollutant activation of cell pathways in gestational tissues, the transport and exposure pathways of contaminants in karst groundwater systems, and green remediation by solar energy conversion into electrolysis in groundwater.


Congratulations, Phil!