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Public health doctoral program adding second concentration

by Chris DeFrancesco - November 26, 2007

A concentration in occupational and environmental health sciences is a new option for UConn public health Ph.D. students starting next fall.

It is the public health doctoral program’s second approved concentration area. The other, in social and behavioral health sciences, is in its first full year.

Review of applications for the concentration in occupational and environmental health sciences will start in January.

“This new concentration within the Center for Public Health and Health Policy represents an important and exciting step forward in public health training,” says Nicholas Warren, an associate professor at the UConn Health Center, and co-creator of the Health Center’s Ergonomic Technology Center.

“The joint focus on occupational and environmental exposures, their health effects, and their control recognizes that health hazards do not start or stop at the factory or office door. Rather, public health research and policy must address the additive and interactive effects of exposures from multiple sources. The joint resources of the Storrs and Farmington campuses are well matched, and necessary to provide training in this crucial area.”

This interdisciplinary, cross-campus doctoral program is designed to train future public health leaders to enhance health in the human population.

Warren and Lawrence Silbart, professor and head of the allied health sciences department in Storrs, are co-directors of the new concentration.

“We are excited about bringing together the diverse talents of faculty at both campuses to help address the public health needs of the state and beyond,” Silbart says.

“Not only will the new collaboration provide excellent educational and research opportunities for our students, it undoubtedly will spawn new research initiatives that will attract extramural funding aimed at identifying and solving a variety of occupational and environmental health issues.”

UConn has internationally recognized faculty who will support the occupational and environmental health sciences concentration, as well as research programs in that area. Areas of study include ergonomics, indoor air quality, occupational reproductive risks, occupational health psychology, agricultural exposures, and toxicology.

The program requires students to complete a minimum of 45 credits, pass a general exam, and write and defend a doctoral dissertation.

More information is available at http://publichealth.uconn.edu/acprgms_OE_overview.php

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