Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology Training Grant - Curriculum

Supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

Responsible Conduct of Research

All trainees -- predoctoral and pospostdoctoral -- are required to participate in both training and coursework on responsible conduct of research.

This includes online certification training through the University PEERRS system as well as classroom training. This training is required regardless of previous training.

To meet the coursework requirement for responsible conduct of research, predoctoral and postdoctoral students complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS) which includes face-to-face sessions discussing 8 topics on ethics in research.

Predoctoral Curriculum

Predoctoral trainees specialize in either environmental molecular epidemiology or mechanistic toxicology. Because this program aims to provide transdisciplinary research training in which mechanistic toxicology and environmental epidemiology inform each other, predoctoral trainees are required to take a foundation course and an advanced course in the non-specialization area. In addition, trainees take a common core curriculum that includes coursework in translational research and bioinformatics.

The training grant course requirements described here are in addition to EHS department course requirements.

Foundation Course in Toxicology

EHS 506 Principles of Toxicology (3 credits, Fall Term)
Principles underlying the chemical, physiological and anatomical basis of toxicity, including dose-response relationships, toxicokinetics, biotransformation, mechanisms of cellular injury and death, organ system toxicity, developmental toxicology, genotoxicity, toxicogenomics, and chemical carcinogenesis. Principles are illustrated with specific examples of toxicity from environmental contaminants and pharmaceutical agents.

Foundation Course in Epidemiology

Select one (1) of the following:

EPID 503 Strategies and Uses of Epidemiology (3 credits, Winter Term)
An introduction to the principles, concepts, and methods of population-based epidemiologic research. It is intended to be the introductory course for students who are NOT majoring in Epidemiology. The course will be divided into three primary sections. The first section will serve as an introduction to the basic principles of epidemiology and the measures used in epidemiology. The second section will discuss epidemiologic study design (including case-control, cohort studies) and analysis (including bias, confounding, effect modification). The third section will cover special topics that are important to an introductory understanding of epidemiology (including outbreak investigations, screening, and the role of epidemiology in public health.

EPID 601 Principles and Methods in Epidemiology (4 credits, Fall Term)
A comprehensive course in the basic concepts, principles, and methods of population-based epidemiologic research, which serves as a foundation for subsequent courses in epidemiology, biomedical research, and quantitative methods. Class topics expand on those covered in Epid 600. Emphasis is given to study design, quantitative measures, statistical analysis, data quality, sources of bias, and causal inference. The general approach of this course is both theoretical and quantitative, focusing on the investigation of disease etiology and other causal relations in public health and medicine.

Options for Advanced Coursework in Toxicology for Epidemiology Specialization

Select one (1) of the following:

EHS 616 Toxicologic Pathology (2 credits, Fall Term)
Chemical-induced pathologic outcomes on mammalian cells, tissues and organs with an emphasis on methods used for investigative toxicologic pathology; integration of toxicologic mechanisms and pathologic outcomes. Lectures, student-led discussions and slide-reading sessions.

EHS 612 Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology (3 credits, Winter Term)
In-depth analysis of the biochemical and molecular pathways altered in cells and organisms by exposure to environmental and therapeutic chemicals. Topics focus on how chemicals disturb cellular processes through interaction with cellular receptors, ion channels, transporters, signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, metabolic pathways, enzymes, cytoskeletal elements and other macromolecular targets. Regulation and initiation of cell death, mediation of toxicity through redox status and oxidative stress, mechanisms of carcinogenesis, genotoxicity and immunotoxicology are also discussed. Readings from the current literature.

EHS 622 Mechanisms of Developmental Toxicology (2 credits, Fall Term)
Integration and analysis of scientific information to enhance understanding and elucidate biochemical and molecular mechanisms in developmental toxicology. Course emphasis is on student discussions of the theoretical and practical aspects of embryology as related to biochemical, physiological and molecular mechanisms of embryotoxicity based on readings from the scientific literature.

EHS 623 Mechanisms of Reproductive Toxicology (2 credits, Fall Term)
Analysis and integration of scientific information to enhance understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms of reproductive toxicity. Emphasis is on student discussion of theoretical and practical aspects of mechanistic studies based on assigned reading from the scientific literature.

EHS 624 Mechanisms of Neurotoxicology (2 credits, Winter Term)
Analysis and integration of scientific information to enhance understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurotoxicity. Emphasis is on student discussion of theoretical and practical aspects of mechanistic studies based on assigned reading from the scientific literature.

EHS 625 Environment and the Immune Response (2 credits, Winter Term)
Environmental and occupational exposures to pollutants and toxicants in air, water, and food, whether synthetic or natural, influence human health by interacting with the host's immune system. The course will consist of detailed evaluations of papers, chosen by the students, that explore the impact of environmental and occupational exposures on immunosuppression, autoimmunity, or hypersensitivity.

EHS 660 Genomics and Epigenomics in Environmental Health (2 credits, Winter Term)
Major components of genetic and epigenetic gene regulation, with an emphasis on mechanisms and endpoints important for Environmental Health Sciences. Throughout the course we will emphasize the processes of scientific discovery and analysis that are essential to our modern understanding of molecular biology and genetics.

Options for Advanced Coursework in Epidemiology for Toxicology Specialization

Select one (1) of the following:

EHS 608 Environmental Epidemiology (3 credits, Winter Term)
An introduction to topics in environmental epidemiology, covering major areas of current inquiry in this field. It will convey the basic tools required to critically read the literature and to develop appropriate study designs in light of intended applications. Topics include lectures on methodology and major environmental exposures, discussions based on review and critiques of current literature, and presentations by outside experts on specific environmental epidemiology issues of current interest, followed by primary instructor-led discussion on the paper.

EHS 657 Advanced Exposure Assessment (3 credits, Winter Term)
Introduction to classical, contemporary, and cutting-edge approaches to the estimation of human exposure to environmental and occupational agents as it relates to epidemiology studies as well as risk science, regulatory compliance, exposure source/route apportionment, and susceptibility factors. Qualitative and quantitative methods in exposure science will be covered, including surrogate measures, exposure modeling, and biological markers of exposure, in addition to statistical concepts such as exposure measurement error and efficient study design.

EPID 675/EHS 675 Data Analysis for Environmental Epidemiology (3 credits, Winter Term)
Introduction to non-parametric smoothing methods, such as splines, locally weighted polynomial regression (LOESS) and generalized additive models (GAM), and focus on continuous environmental exposure variables. It will also deal with analysis of correlated data, including longitudinal analysis and time-series analysis that are widely used in environmental epidemiology. It will provide an opportunity to analyze actual population data to learn how to model environmental epidemiologic data, and is designed particularly for students who pursue environmental epidemiologic research. R, a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, will be used.

EPID 673/EHS673 Epidemiology of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (3 credits, Fall Term)
Survey of classic and emerging literature describing the DOHaD paradigm from an epidemiological perspective. Discussions will emphasize methodological issues on DOHaD research, including study design, biases, data analyses, and scientific writing.

Bioinformatics

Select one (1) of the following:

BIOINFO 527 Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (4 credits, Fall Term)
Introduction to the fundamental theories and practices of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology via a series of integrated lectures and labs. These lectures and labs will focus on the basic knowledge required in this field, methods of high-throughput data generation, accessing public genome-related information and data, and tools for data mining and analysis. The course is divided into four areas: Basics of Bioinformatics, Computational Phylogeny (includes sequence analysis), Systems Biology and Modeling.

BIOINF 545/BIOSTAT 646/STATS 545 High-Throughput Molecular Genomic and Epigenomic Data Analysis (3 credits, Winter Term)
The course will cover basic analysis of microarrays, RNA-Seq, and ChIP-Seq data including hands-on lab sessions. The class also covers an introduction to the underlying biology and the technologies used for measuring RNA levels, transcription factor binding and epigenetic modifications, and quality control of microarray and deep sequencing data. Topics: technologies, experimental design, data preprocessing, normalization, quality control, statistical inference (group comparisons, peak detection), multiple comparison adjustments, power calculations, clustering, functional enrichment testing.

For More Information:

Rita Loch-Caruso
Director
Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology Program
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
1415 Washington Heights
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Phone: 734-936-1256
rlc@umich.edu