Research and research training play a central role in COEH activities. The opportunities for graduate research range across the spectrum of disciplines represented at COEH. In the Lung Biology Center, which is affiliated with the Occupational Medicine Program at UCSF, research is conducted on the mechanisms of cellular damage to the lung arising from exposure to toxic agents in the environment. Programs affiliated with COEH on the Davis campus have made important contributions to the understanding of environmental risks to human reproduction. At Berkeley, research activities associated with the Superfund Health Effects program range from the biochemical and cytogenetic aspects of benzene toxicity, to engineering approaches, to the remediation of hazardous waste sites.
In all of these activities, the emphasis is on research excellence in the basic disciplines within the wider societal context in which these problems arise. In this regard, research opportunities in policy aspects of occupational and environmental health problems available at UC Berkeley and in the behavioral dimension of these issues at the School of Nursing at UCSF. While an attempt is made to provide students with coursework that addresses these broader issues, the interdisciplinary research environment provided by COEH is the most effective mechanism to introduce the advanced student to the role of research in addressing problems of societal concern.