Wayne State University Receives $7.5M NIH Renewal for Environmental Center

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The Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) at Detroit’s Wayne State University has announced a five-year renewal following a $7.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). The previous NIH grant for CURES totaled $2.4 million for three years.

CURES — one of 22 core centers funded by the NIH ­— is located in Detroit with the goal of understanding the integrated health impacts of environmental exposures to complex chemical and non-chemical contaminants in the city’s urban landscape.

CURES is focused on establishing a cleaner and healthier living and working environment throughout Detroit and the region.

“Our goal is to provide leadership that will identify, evaluate, and mitigate environmental health concerns in close collaboration with the community and environmental policy makers,” says Dr. Melissa Runge-Morris, director of CURES and the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at WSU.

“Detroit has an overabundance of industrial and post-industrial environmental toxicants, socioeconomic strains, violence, and decay of housing and urban infrastructure, and we have assembled a unique interdisciplinary team of established and new environmental health scientists and community partners to address major environmental health challenges facing Detroit’s racially and ethnically diverse population.”

Dr. Runge-Morris adds that diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes can compromise the lives of residents in industrialized urban environments, including Detroit, and are the consequence of interactions between an individual’s genetic makeup, nutritional status, and environmental stressors, which affect key cellular networks causing disease.

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