Center for Environmental Health Sciences
The Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) consists of approximately 40 research groups across MIT and one group at the Harvard School of Public Health that work to address the effects of hazardous agents in the environment on humans and the human ecosystem. A signature element of our research portfolio is the integration of science, engineering and policy to solve complex problems in environmental health. The center is funded primarily by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
The CEHS program encompasses five research themes: DNA damage, DNA repair, and genomic stability; microbiomes and environmentally induced disease susceptibility; inflammation chemistry and biology; bioengineering for environmental health; and chemistry and transport of pollutants in the atmosphere, water, and soil. Traction on our research themes is enabled by four Facilities Cores, which provide state-of-the-art technology or approaches to research problems in the following areas: genomics; bioimaging and chemical analysis; animal models; and integrative health sciences. The CEHS runs a robust pilot project program that stimulates integration of new ideas and early-stage investigators into the CEHS mission. The center also has a global environmental health program, several seminar and poster presentation activities, a career development program, and a responsible conduct of research training program. Lastly, a central component of our mission is to engage our local community bi-directionally in our activities through our Community Outreach Education and Engagement Core.
Graduate and undergraduate courses dealing with toxicology and environmental health are offered mainly through the Department of Biological Engineering, which also manages MIT undergraduate minor in toxicology and environmental health. The CEHS also partners with many departments in the Schools of Science and Engineering to create cross-disciplinary opportunities in environmental health science and engineering. The PhD program offered by the Department of Biological Engineering integrates chemistry, molecular biology, and genetics with bioengineering approaches to the understanding of how organisms respond to environmental agents. The CEHS also manages a T32 Training Grant in Environmental Toxicology, which supports graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.