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Biological Response to Environmental Health Hazards

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To focus on understanding how chemical and physical agents cause pathological changes in molecules, cells, tissues, and organs and become manifested as respiratory disease, neurological, behavioral and developmental abnormalities, cancer, and other disorders. Understanding biological responses to environmental agents is one key to understanding the human health effects of exposure to environmental agents, and is the cornerstone to identifying those exposures that pose a hazard and threat of disease, disorders and defects in humans. A first step in understanding biological responses is identifying and characterizing those biological, chemical and physical environmental agents that are hazardous to health. By understanding the relationship between environmental exposures and the subsequent development of disease or biological injury, human health may be better protected. These studies are conducted in the hope that they will lead to the development of effective disease prevention strategies. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) grants also support studies of the mechanisms of toxicity of such ubiquitous agents as metals, natural and synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and materials such as asbestos and silica, and natural toxic substances. Specific attention is paid to the effects of these agents on various human organ systems, on metabolism, on the endocrine and immune systems, and on other biological functions. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program: To expand and improve the SBIR program; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; to increase small business participation in Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation. Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program: To stimulate and foster scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research and development carried out between small business concerns and research h institutions; to foster technology transfer between small business concerns and research institutions; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation. Environmental Health Sciences Education Program: To improve the understanding of environmental health sciences research and services occupations by developing educational materials and training instructors to implement the newly developed materials for Grades K-12.