Environmental Health Partnerships
Environmental Influence Project Funding
In 2011 the University Research Corridor (URC) awarded more than $750,000 for two three-year grants to support collaborative and potentially transformative research in environmental health science. The two award-winning projects, which include UCARE Asthma and the Michigan Bloodspot Environmental Epidemiology Project (BLEEP).
Both projects are completed, and have yielded findings that have led to academic publications and outside funding for larger project. (Read about the Environmental Influences of Child Health and Outcomes, or ECHO program.) Each project has successfully integrated their URC-supported work with related research, and identified and attracted external funding to enable ongoing research efforts.
The project received nearly $317,000 to study the effects of air pollution on asthma in the Dearborn area Arab American population, specifically young and elderly members. The project seeks 1) to align with the target community’s needs, 2) to conduct original and valuable scientific discovery as a pilot research project while maintaining the original project goals of the project, and 3) to fit within the objectives and activities of team members’ larger, ongoing integrated projects.
The project has yielded successful gathering of data from the target population, expansion of the initial inquiry to include investigation of seasonal differences in asthma related air pollutants, and an increase in opportunities for publishing and external funding.
To date, the team has identified more than $11.5M in external grant funding that either directly supports the Asthma study or leverages the Asthma team and research activities as part of larger, integrated research projects. The team has also had one article published in a peer-reviewed journal and its first manuscript accepted at an international conference.
Michigan Bloodspot Environmental Epidemiology Project (BLEEP)
To generate insights into the impact of prenatal environmental exposure on adverse health outcomes, BLEEP seeds early stage epidemiological research that utilizes the State of Michigan's newborn blood spot repository – the Michigan Neonatal BioBank – to investigate whether researchers can obtain environmental exposure and genetic information from the available bloodspots.
The $450,000 award from the URC has been distributed to 12 early stage epidemiological research projects through two competitive rounds of funding. Preliminary results from a number of these projects have yielded academic publications and external funding.
Michigan Sea Grant
Michigan Sea Grant is a joint program of U-M and MSU. It is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 30 university-based programs in coastal states across the country. Michigan Sea Grant currently funds research projects and educational activities related to the program’s strategic plan. Federal funds are matched with funds from state, tribal, business, and other sources to carry out scientific and educational programs as well as programs working with businesses and state agencies.
Children and Environment National Study
Researchers from the three research universities are collaborating with Henry Ford Health System and Children’s Hospital of Michigan as part of the National Children’s Study, a massive federal effort to examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 U.S. children, following them from before birth until age 21.