Few clinical practitioners receive training in environmental health. Yet growing research shows that pregnant women, the developing fetus, children and adolescents bear a disproportionate burden of environmental exposures and are susceptible to adverse developmental health impacts. There is a need for clinically focused environmental health research and translation of results at the individual, community and national levels in pediatric and reproductive health.

The new University of Washington Pediatric and Reproductive Environmental Health Scholars (UW PREHS) K12 program is designed for early-career clinicians interested in academic environmental health research training (MD, DDS, DMD, DO, DC, OD, ND, DVM, PharmD, DNP or PhD in clinical disciplines). Of high interest are clinicians and subspecialists in fields related to pediatric medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, nursing practice and family practice.

The UW PREHS K12 program will equip clinically trained scientists with expertise in environmental health, the science of environmental exposures and their health effects in the child life-course from fetal development to adolescence. The scholars will conduct research with senior mentors and develop skills in translation of science to answer real-life questions regarding the role of environmental factors on pregnancy health and child health and how to reduce these risks.

The UW PREHS K12 program is based within the University of Washington Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and partners with core University of Washington School of Medicine primary care clinical departments (Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Family Medicine) as well as the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Program directors are Catherine Karr, MD, PhD, MS, and Sheela Sathyanarayana, MD, MPH, faculty-scientists with expertise and NIH grant funding focused on pediatric and reproductive environmental health.

This National Institutes of Health-funded program will support three scholars annually for a consecutive two- to three-year appointment period in which the scholars bridge clinical training to research independence through a mentored research experience in pediatric and reproductive environmental health.Graduate-level coursework can be taken at the UW School of Public Health and can lead to a master’s-level Public Health degree, if desired.

The UW PREHS program provides salary support for the appointees plus associated fringe benefits. Trainees are expected to spend a minimum of 75% of annual full-time effort on research and training (i.e., at least 30 hours per week). Appointees have the opportunity to continue clinical activities for up to 25% effort based on individual department clinical needs. In addition, the program provides support for research supplies and for travel to scientific meetings and trainings. Tuition support will be available for MPH or similar program.

Individuals from under-represented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply.