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Environmental Health Sciences
From the effects of pollution, to biological hazards, to the nutritional health of populations, to assessments of workplace hazards and prevention of injuries, and much more, environmental health is integral to every person's life, every day, on this planet.
The environmental health sciences are concerned with the impact of environmental conditions on human health -- in particular the health effects in people that can arise from exposures to agents (chemical, biological, physical, or even behavior) through the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat, and the manner in which they go about their lives and their work. It is an essential component of public health, and includes environmental chemistry, physics and biology, environmental and occupational health, toxicology and human nutrition. Environmental health is a multidisciplinary field grounded in the physical life sciences with applications to the social, management and political sciences.
Mission of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences
The mission of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health is to provide outstanding scholarship across the spectrum of environmental health sciences through its academic programs and research activities, with the aim of improving the quality of the environments in which we live and work.
Why the University of Michigan?
The Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health is a uniquely superb place to train in Environmental Health Sciences. With a large, multi-disciplinary award-winning faculty, major strengths in exposure science (including Industrial Hygiene, and Environmental Quality), Toxicology, Human Nutrition, Environmental Epidemiology Genetics, Epigenetics and Risk Science, and a well-funded portfolio of cutting edge research involving collaborations across the University, the Department offers a curriculum and research base that promotes integration, team-work and high impact science. Faculty are rewarded both for their teaching and their research—placing our students and fellows at the center of the Department’s activities—and students are empowered to participate in the Department’s work in many ways through a number of venues, such as the EHS Student Organization.
Amongst the most recently re-invigorated programs are an outstanding Human Nutrition unit, which allows our faculty to address the many core issues at the interface of nutrients and toxicants---is fish safe to eat during pregnancy? do toxicants interfere with nutrition and growth to cause obesity? Our robust collaborations with other SPH faculty and scientists at Michigan’s top-ranked Medical School and our new epigenetics laboratory allow our faculty and trainees to explore the molecular basis of toxicant impacts on cancer, heart disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and other important diseases of our time. A long-running, recently renewed federally-funded training program in Occupational Health and collaborations with faculty in engineering allow our graduates to compete for the very best jobs in industrial health and safety. Research projects around the world, new endeavors on global climate change and sustainability and a major partnership with the University’s new Center for Global Health create many opportunities for trainees to work abroad and on the biggest environmental health issues of our time. And, of course, there are the many other advantages of being a student at the Big Blue---see the Chair’s top reasons for studying in our Department.