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Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Air Pollution, Fetal Growth, and Child Neurodevelopment

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Dr. Kristina W. Whitworth, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) under the Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award (ONES) program to explore potential sensitive windows of exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution child cognitive and behavioral outcomes and to investigate the role of fetal growth in these associations.

Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health receives P30 award and $1 million grant

The Gulf-Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health (GC-CPEH) is a NIEHS Core Center of Excellence in environmental health sciences.  It represents a multi-institutional effort jointly led by Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) (Cheryl Walker, PhD, Director), The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health (George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD, co-Director) and the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston (UTMB) (Cornelius “Kees” Elferink, co-Director). The vision of the GC-CPEH is to promote precision environmental health research at the intersection of genetics/epigenetics, environmental health, and data science to understand individual- and place-based determinants of disease risk. The three thematic research areas of the GC-CPEH are:  Early Life Genetic and Epigenetic Environment (GE2) Interactions, Disaster Research Response (DR2), and Mechanisms and Interventions in Human Environmental Disease. 

Children's Health and Research on Metals (CHaRM)

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CHaRM, led by Dr. Mary Ann Smith, was launched to assess metal exposure among children in three underserved Houston neighborhoods residing near heavy industrial activity as well as to evaluate the impact of flooding on exposure.  In conjunction with its community-focused mission, researchers aim to increase the capacity of parents to understand and minimize their children’s metal exposure.

Metal Air Pollution Partnership Solutions (MAPPS)

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MAPPS is a collaborative research-to-action project designed to study and address health risks associated with emissions from metal recycling facilities in Houston. 

Dairy Farm Safety

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Researchers at the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences (EHGES) at UTHealth School of Public Health have a 15+ year history of safety and ergonomics research in the U.S. dairy industry. Researchers have conducted dairy parlor ergonomics research focused on the identification and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among large-herd dairy farm milkers. Researchers are currently developing, delivering and evaluating a safety leadership and management training intervention for dairy farm front-line supervisors.

Working Conditions and Health in Central America

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Researchers at the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences (EHGES) at UTHealth School of Public Health are conducting 9000 household interviews on working conditions and health in six Central American countries, in an effort to guide policies that could improve the region’s health.

Investigadores del Centro Suroeste de Salud Ocupacional y Ambiental (SWCOEH) del Departamento de Epidemiología, Genética Humana y Ciencias Ambientales (EHGES) de la Escuela de Salud Pública de UTHealth están llevando a cabo 9.000 entrevistas en hogares sobre condiciones de trabajo y salud en seis países centroamericanos, un esfuerzo para orientar las políticas que podrían mejorar la salud de la region.

NIOSH Education and Research Center (ERC) Pilot Projects Research Training Program (PPRTP)

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The goal of the pilot projects research training program (PPRTP) is to enhance the SWCOEH’s regional outreach efforts in research training and to foster stronger inter-institutional ties in occupational health research within Public Health Region 6, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Asthma in Texas Healthcare Workers II

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Asthma in Texas Healthcare Workers II is a CDC-NIOSH funded R01 research project to study associations between occupational exposures and asthma among healthcare workers (HCWs), and to assess its burden in this worker population. Results will be compared to a similar study, performed by the same researchers, in 2003, to measure the impact of any new workplace practices and potential risk factors.

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