West Virginia University (WVU) is launching a new training program focused on the community health impacts of air pollution.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded WVU $1.7 million for a toxicology training program which will bridge the disciplines of toxicology and systems-based medicine.
“One of my big concerns with modern science is that students don’t fully appreciate how our body systems work,” said Timothy Nurkiewicz, director of the WVU Inhalation Facility, in a press release.
He said students will study the various systems of the body and determine how inhalation of specific toxicants impacts their function and health.
According to the university’s press release, toxicologists who have that blend of expertise can be especially important to public health in Appalachia, where chronic conditions and exposure to airborne toxicants often overlap.
Over a five year period, 40 doctoral students will collect air samples in the local environment and analyze them in WVU’s Inhalation Facility to assess their toxicity.