ChicAgo Center for Health and EnvironmenT (CACHET)
1. OVERALL ABSTRACT This is a new submission to establish the ?ChicAgo Center for Health and EnvironmenT (CACHET)? ? the first NIH P30 Environmental Health Sciences Core Center in the Chicago area and a partnership between the University of Chicago (UofC) ? a leading private university in the nation and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) ? the leading public university in Illinois. CACHET will be comprised of 69 members from 18 Departments across 7 colleges/institutes at the two complementary partner Universities. CACHET will promote synergistic, multidisciplinary environmental health research between the clinician, laboratory and population scientists to evaluate, delineate and ultimately reduce environmental health related disparities among residents of Chicago and beyond. The need for a dedicated environmental health research center in Chicago is highlighted by a disproportionate racial/ethnic health imbalance observed for multiple diseases and outcomes. In this context, the CACHET mission is to ?elucidate the biological, social and economic underpinnings between relevant urban environmental exposures and human disease and translate the findings to reduce health inequities within our communities.? As such, our overarching theme is ?Mitigating Disparities in Environmental Health.? To accomplish our mission, CACHET will organize five multidisciplinary focus groups: Air, Water & Soil Pollution- to address diseases related to poor air, soil and/or water quality; Biomarkers of Exposure, Susceptibility and Risk- to elucidate how environmental exposures confer risk for disease due to individual genetic and epigenetic differences; Environmental Carcinogenesis- to elucidate specific mechanisms of environmental effectors that promote cancer; Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases- to determine how environmental exposures act at windows of susceptibility to drive disequilibrium in endocrine and metabolic homeostasis; and Economic and Social Determinants of Environmental Effects and Policy- such that the economic impacts and social factors are considered in assessing exposure mitigation and informing policy. This structure will permit the development of integrated research themes that cut across focus groups, with a particular emphasis on urban issues and racial/ethnic health imbalances. CACHET multidisciplinary research will be supported through four facility cores that will leverage the expertise and facilities from the two institutions. This includes the required Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) and Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) combined with the Biomarkers Core (BC) and the Statistics & Modeling Facility Core (SMFC) created in response to the research needs of CACHET investigators. CACHET will build capacity in EHS by funding pilot projects and promoting career development in environmental research. Overall, research orchestrated by CACHET will inform the decisions of policy makers and reduce health disparities in Chicago and beyond.