Boston University Superfund Research Program

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Training Core

Training Core
2008 NUTMEG Conference
Distance Learning
Project Leader, Michael McClean (Boston University School of Public Health)
Facilitating student training, coursework, and distance learning for graduate students in these areas.


The long-term objective of this core is to train new professionals with appropriate skills to deal with health related research questions at the intersection of environmental health, developmental and reproductive biology, and endocrine disruption. Bioinformatics approaches to hormone/xenobiotic ligand receptor/enzymatic interactions will be employed in the context of reproductive/developmental problems of xenobiotic exposure at the mechanistic level. Thus, cross disciplinary training is integral to the application. The Training Core builds on an existing Training Program on Endocrine Mechanisms in Reproduction in the Department of Biology and the Intercollegiate Program in Bioinformatics, involving faculty members from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and the Medical School. All programs have in place procedures for the recruitment of under-represented minorities. Three predoctoral students per year will be recruited from these programs for support at the second year or beyond once committed to a research program within the Boston University SRP. Supported students will be required through appropriate core courses to develop knowledge of the application of computational biology in the context of biological problems of xenobiotic exposure and their modes of action as disrupters of developmental, endocrine and immune function. Appropriate courses are offered in the graduate programs of the participating colleges and departments. Each student will have a primary mentor (from bioinformatics or the biological fields) and an additional secondary advisor to ensure exposure to both areas, There will be required rotations for students in laboratory and computational settings. A monthly advanced research seminar program will be offered, as well as graduate student current status 1 weekly seminar reports. Both of these will have a distance learning component to enhance the integration and spread of relevant bench-level knowledge within the program. Students will also be required to participate in a weekly seminar in Responsible Conduct of Research.

Project Leader: Michael McClean, Boston University School of Public Health

See the Training Core Website for more information.