Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Hazards and Opportunities (ECHO)
The course focuses on the chemical, biological, and societal challenges of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and new opportunities for moving forward.
Numerous chemicals invented for agricultural, industrial and consumer products are now known to interfere with hormone-regulated events in development, reproduction, metabolism, and behavior. Exposures to many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have pronounced adverse effects in animals (including transgenerational effects), and increasing evidence suggests human populations also are affected. The field has attracted increasing scrutiny, bringing EDC researchers into contact with the press, regulatory agencies, industry, and consumer groups. Thus, expertise across a wide range of disciplines is required to understand and deal with the full impacts of EDCs. The course focuses on the chemical, biological, and societal challenges of EDCs and new opportunities for moving forward. The course will provide an immersion experience designed to foster deeper understanding of key questions, state-of-the-art approaches, and intersecting needs of the biologists from many sub-disciplines, chemists, public health researchers, epidemiologists, clinicians, industry, and federal regulatory agencies involved in the field. Designed for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, clinicians, and established investigators transitioning into the EDC field, the course format will include labs (including work using model organisms like mouse and C. elegans), lectures, discussions, and communication training sessions. The ultimate goal is to bring together individuals across the entire field to broaden their understanding and forge cross-disciplinary collaborations with the goal of advancing the field and training future leaders.