STCU News and Announcements
Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Network Meeting in Washington267/372
18 Mar 2014
February 25-26, 2014, the Ukrainian delegation from the Institute of Occupational Health (IOH) of the of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences and STCU staff participated in Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Network Meeting organized by the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland to discuss environmental and occupational health issues.
Biological research has become increasingly data-rich, computational, interdisciplinary, and collaborative. This transformation has the potential to greatly advance understanding of the environmental and occupational health and to solve societal problems, but it also presents challenges to a field that is inherently cross-disciplinary. Integration of multiple data streams, monitoring networks, geospatial data, climate information, and epidemiological data at different spatial and temporal scales and with various degrees of uncertainty can be very complex. GEOHealth Hubs have the potential to become global leaders in the collection, management, synthesis, and integration of data on environmental and occupational health issues.
Given the priority concerns on building international GEOHealth hubs, the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health awarded a two-year planning grant to Ukrainian research institutes, in partnership with the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), to plan for the development of a regional research hub in environmental and occupational health. The hub, which will be based in IOH in Kyiv, will focus on “Energy Security and Human Health Protection,” and will include regional partner institutes in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Serbia, and the United States. The co-principal investigators of this grant are Dr. Yuri Kundiev, the Vice President of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences, and Dr. Daniel Hryhorczuk from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Ukrainian partners include the Marzeev Institute of Ecohygiene; the Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology (IPOG); the Institute of Radiation Medicine (IRM), and the Institute of Endocrinology (IOE). These institutes have had long-standing bi-national research programs with U.S. research institutes. IPOG, in partnership with UIC, has been conducting the Family and Children of Ukraine longitudinal birth cohort study for the past twenty years. IOH, in partnership with Columbia University, has conducted the U.S. Department of Energy-funded study on Radiation and Ocular Toxicity in Chernobyl Liquidators. IOE, in partnership with the U.S. National Cancer Institute and IRM, has conducted the cohort study of Thyroid Cancer in Children Exposed to Chernobyl Radiation. The GEOHub proposal plans to create an international research consortium based on the expertise and experience of the scientists engaged in these international research programs.
The STCU staff will be working further with the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health as well as with the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences, the University of Illinois in Chicago, and other members of the international GEOHealth hub to continue and develop project proposals so as to meet the expectations and recommendations of the program experts to address environmental and occupational health issues in Ukraine and the region.