UAH partners to receive $1M grant for environmental health research training

The partnership is with Emory and Washington State universities and Castner Inc.

UAH College of Nursing Associate Professor Azita Amiri. Photo by Michael Mercier/UAH.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville has partnered with Castner Inc., Emory University and Washington State University to receive a $1 million National Institute of Health’s National Institute Environmental Health Sciences grant.

The five-year grant covers a train-the-trainer program for environmental health research training. The program will encompass 144 faculty, scientists and educators who aim to shape the next generation of environmental health nurse scientists.

“Although the environment plays a vital role in human health, few nurses focus on environmental health research and practices. For this reason, a group of environmental health-oriented nurses in the nation is connected through the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) to inform nurses about this topic,” said Azita Amiri, UAH associate professor in the College of Nursing.

“Environmental health plays a vital role in our health, but our understanding of its role is minimal. So, nurses and other clinicians must investigate those relationships and consider the evidence in their practices,” Amiri said.

The EHRI-NCS will enroll a new cohort each year, with self-paced online courses, a one-week intensive workshop and mentorship support. The program is recruiting clinician scientist participants who have completed at least six academic credits of graduate research and who educate, train and mentor registered nurses in research trajectories.

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“These days, people are paying more attention to environmental exposures and chronic diseases, especially in children’s health,” Amiri says. “But studying environmental factors and their role in chronic diseases is tricky. One study will not take us anywhere; we need to replicate studies to accomplish robust conclusions.”

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