EHS P30 Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES)
The Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) at Wayne State University seeks to understand how living and working in the Detroit urban industrialized area affects human health. Two defining features of this urban environment are (1) exposures to stressors that are especially prevalent in the urban industrialized environment, both chemical (e.g., air pollution, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, maternal alcohol exposure) and psychosocial (e.g., the stress experienced by first responders to emergencies) and (2) the presence of people who are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of these exposures (e.g., children and adults of low socio-economic status, older adults, first responders, and refugees). These defining features are the unifying themes that link the environment to the rising incidence of serious multi-system diseases in our population, such as immune disorders (asthma), metabolic diseases (diabetes, heart and liver disease), cancer, and neurobehavioral disorders that affect mental health and cognition.
Hypothesis: Diseases that compromise the quality of life in an industrialized urban environment, such as Detroit, occur as a consequence of dynamic interactions among an individual's genetic and epigenetic make-up, nutritional status, and environmental stressors, which include chronic low-level toxicant exposures as well as psychosocial and physical stressors that re-program key cellular gene expression and regulatory networks to favor pathogenesis.