Please refer to archived issues of the newsletter for the most recently published noteworthy reports.
New Collaboration on Dietary Assessment in Canada
The Partnership for Advancing Nutrition and Dietary Assessment in Canada (PANDA-C) is a collaborative venture, formed in the spring of 2014, to support the evolution of nutritional and dietary assessment in Canada. Its longer-term goal is to ensure that valid and reliable assessment tools and strategies are available for use by Canadian researchers. Amy Subar is a member of this group along with a number of nutrition researchers across Canada. PANDA-C meets by teleconference monthly. At its first in-person meeting on September 12, 2014, in Toronto, meeting participants developed a set of priorities for supporting dietary assessment in Canada.
European Conference on Visual Perception
Todd Horowitz attended the European Conference on Visual Perception in Belgrade, Serbia, August 24-28, 2014. Dr. Horowitz presented a paper entitled "From tools to tumors? A meta-analysis of the prevalence effect in visual search experiments and medical image perception." The European Conference on Visual Perception is a traveling, annual meeting of vision researchers. It brings together researchers and students from various backgrounds to present and discuss new developments in our understanding of human vision and multisensory processes, as well as their applications in the health sciences.
European Meeting on Survey Methodology
Gordon Willis attended the Sixth European Congress of Methodology, which is the biennial meeting of the European Association of Methodology, on July 23-25, 2014 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Dr. Willis presented the paper "Analysis Models for Cognitive Interviews" as part of a panel he organized on analysis and reporting in cognitive interviewing. The presentation was focused on a forthcoming book authored by Dr. Willis and also was a follow-up to previous work he had published with Hennie Boeije at Utrecht University to develop a common framework for reporting results of questionnaire testing and evaluation: Boeije H and Willis G. The Cognitive Interviewing Reporting Framework (CIRF): towards the harmonization of cognitive interviewing reports. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. 2013; 9(3): 87-95. doi: 10.1027/1614-2241/a000075.
International Congress on Applied Psychology
Heather Patrick presented as part of an invited symposium at the International Congress on Applied Psychology (ICAP) in Paris, France, July 8-13, 2014. Dr. Patrick’s talk, entitled “A Critical Examination of Theory Application in Health Behavior Change Research,” centered on the current state of the evidence of the utility of theory in health behavior change research, common criticisms of theory, and the need for more systematic characterization of theory-consistency of and active ingredients within health behavior interventions.
NAACCR Annual Conference
Several Surveillance Research Program (SRP) staff made presentations at the annual conference of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) in Ottawa, Canada, June 21-27, 2014. SRP Associate Director Lynne Penberthy spoke at the opening plenary session on the future of cancer surveillance.
International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) Conference
Brenda Edwards contributed to the scientific program planning for the IACR conference, June 26-28, 2014, which was held in conjunction with the NAACCR meeting. NAACCR was one of the hosts for the IACR meeting and shared similar themes and program activities, with an overlap day of presentations. Several SRP staff participated in the NAACCR/IACR conference and contributed with oral and poster presentations. A special session was held to address opportunities for international networking. Betsy Kohler (NAACCR Executive Director), Vivien Chen (Louisiana State University SEER Program), and Brenda Edwards co-chaired the meeting, which engaged more than 60 participants in the discussion.
Chinese Children and Family Study Meeting
NCI and CDC are working with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) to conduct the Chinese Children and Family Study (CFCS), to evaluate the feasibility of prospectively evaluating the role of peri-conceptional folic acid supplementation and other postulated risk factors in risk of developing pediatric leukemia and other pediatric cancers. Two pilot studies have been completed and one is underway. Five investigators from the China CDC traveled to the US for a follow-up meeting held at NCI on June 17-20, 2014. Additional collaborators from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and Center for Global Health also participated in this meeting. The focus was on data cleaning, analyses, and progress on publications. Drs. Nancy Potischman, Susan Krebs-Smith, Jill Reedy, TusaRebecca Schap, David Berrigan, Richard Troiano, and Joseph Su gave presentations on topics including US guideline development pertaining to diet and physical activity, new approaches and technologies for diet and physical activity assessment, and molecular mechanisms relevant to the study. On June 23, Wang Yu, Director of the China CDC, visited with the NCI pilot study team.
Hong Kong Meeting Spotlights Geospatial Health Research
David Berrigan presented a keynote address at the High Level Forum on Fostering International Geospatial Health Research Collaborations: Challenges and Opportunities, held June 16-18, 2014, in Hong Kong, China. His keynote, “Geospatial and Contextual Approaches to Energy Balance and Health,” discussed research activities focused on environmental factors that influence physical activity, diet, and obesity that are being conducted by DCCPS scientists and grantees. Additionally, Dr. Berrigan chaired a session concerning space, spatial targeting, and health and spoke during the panel session “Building an International Research Network: Research Agenda and Policy.” The meeting was attended by researchers from Europe, China, and the US. Major foci included air pollution, avian flu, and spatial correlates of health behaviors and health services. Air pollution is a known carcinogen. Short papers by Dr. Berrigan and other presenters are forthcoming. Additional meetings are planned in Chicago and Utrecht in 2015.
The forum highlighted four aspects of spatial research on health that cut across national borders: 1) Disease knows no boundaries. Several discussions focused on relationships between avian flu outbreaks and transnational bird migration routes. 2) Air and water pollutants move across borders. Attention was focused on the urgent need to share new analytical and modeling techniques to help formulate rational approaches to air pollution in multiple countries. 3) There was great interest in the potential for transnational comparisons of relationships, especially causal relationships, between the built environment and cancer-related health behaviors (e.g., diet, physical activity). The absence of within-country variation in the built environment can pose challenges for studying such associations in one country at a time. 4) Meeting attendees discussed the potential need to coordinate individual-level, spatially located health and behavioral data, especially detailed data being collected on physical activity, social context, and, increasingly, biological parameters such as heart rate. Such crowd-sourced data could be of great utility for both research and policy setting.
Cancer in Primary Care Research International Network Conference
Carrie Klabunde and Stephen Taplin attended the Ca-PRI conference “New Partnerships in Primary Care Cancer Research,” June 10-14, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This is an annual international meeting of researchers and clinicians who are interested in the intersection of cancer care and primary care. A considerable European focus includes consideration of factors that affect early detection. Research on primary care and the role of transition from treatment to long-term survivorship care and palliative and end-of-life care were also discussed. The conference was strongly supported by the Canadian research establishment and will take place next on May 20-22, 2015, in Aarhus, Denmark.
First Indonesia Conference on Tobacco or Health
Mark Parascandola attended the First Indonesian Conference on Tobacco or Health, May 29-31, 2014, in Jakarta, Indonesia, organized by the Indonesia Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, and the Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. The conference was attended by more than 300 participants from throughout Indonesia and included dozens of oral and poster presentations, demonstrating the growing attention and support for tobacco control in Indonesia. At the meeting, Dr. Parascandola participated in a panel discussion on capacity building for tobacco control research and met with Ministry of Health staff and researchers.
International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
The International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) 2014 Annual Meeting was held May 21 – 24 in San Diego.
- Linda Nebeling presented on the development, conceptual framework, and design of the FLASHE study in the poster, “The Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study: a comprehensive approach to evaluating family dyads and their cancer prevention behaviors.”
- Cancer Prevention Fellow, Leigh Greathouse, and BRP staff Frank Perna and Rick Moser presented a poster linking CLASS school policy scores, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation state-level tax information, and NICHD student survey data in an analysis predicting adolescent soda consumption.
- Heather Patrick chaired, organized, and spoke in the symposium “Mobile health interventions: bringing health behavior theories into the 21st century.” This symposium brought together leading researchers in the US, New Zealand, and Australia to discuss the ways in which health behavior theories have been applied to mobile health interventions targeting diet, physical activity, and/or weight management. Dr. Patrick presented preliminary results from a study using the diet, physical activity, and weight management content currently used on the Smokefree Women website as part of the Smokefree.gov initiative.
- Dr. Patrick was also a presenter in the symposium “Engaging behavior change and maintenance: differing perspectives on self-regulation.” Her presentation focused on two distinct perspectives on self-regulation: ego-depletion and mindfulness. The presentation addressed the basic premises of each perspective, the evidence in support of each perspective, and a brief discussion of how the two perspectives could be used to further advance self-regulation theory in the context of diet and physical activity interventions.
- April Oh presented a Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) analysis of menu labeling use and helpfulness, “US trends in adult reported utilization and helpfulness of menu labeling in restaurants.”
Controlling Cancer Summit
Mukesh Verma chaired the Day 2 sessions at the Controlling Cancer Summit on May 12-14, 2014, in London. Day 2 of the Summit focused on Cancer Biomarker Discovery and Assay Development; participants discussed the further discovery and assay development of genetic, epigenetic, proteomic, glycomic, and imaging biomarkers that can be used for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and epidemiology. During Day 2, Dr. Verma also gave a talk on epigenetic biomarkers in cancer risk assessment, screening, and prevention.
Mark Parascandola participated in the 2014 conference of the Asia Oceania Research Organization on Genital Infections and Neoplasia in Beijing (AOGIN), in China, April 25-27, 2015. He gave an invited talk on “Tobacco Use as a Risk Factor for Cervical Cancer,” emphasizing the enormous burden of secondhand smoke exposure among women in China and neighboring countries, and its contribution to cancer. The meeting was attended by cancer research experts and practitioners from throughout the broader region.
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South East Asian Regional Workshop on Using Cancer Registry Data to Inform Cancer Prevention and Control
Brenda Edwards has been working with Ann Chao of the Center for Global Health (CGH) to hold a 3½ day workshop, September 15-18, 2014, on the role of cancer registries in cancer control and health surveillance. The CGH is supporting travel for the faculty who are current or past SEER leaders and an EGRP grantee, as well as four leaders from each of three countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Over 60 participants are being supported by the National Chinese Cancer Registry and by the China Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Hosts for the meeting are the Shanghai CDC; the workshop is structured around didactic lectures and workgroup sessions that consider development of actions needed to strengthen within-country cancer registration and to develop a national framework for cancer reporting.
Caribbean Grant Writing and Scientific Review Workshop
The National Cancer Institute, in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and St. George’s University (SGU), will hold a Grant Writing and Scientific Review workshop for Caribbean investigators on September 17-19, 2014, on SGU campus in Grenada. The objectives of the workshop are to increase the participation of Caribbean scientists in the grant writing and review process, to develop strategies for sustainable research support and collaborations, and to encourage the use of competitive grant writing skills as a tool to fund research that addresses global health problems. Experienced extramural investigators who have demonstrated success in grant writing will be on hand to provide mentorship to attendees. Damali Martin is working with Avareena Cropper and Catherine Hidalgo from NCI’s Center for Global Health to plan and coordinate workshop lectures and activities.
NCI/CICAMS Joint Meeting
Mark Parascandola and Brenda Edwards will participate in the upcoming joint meeting between NCI and the Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CICAMS), September 20-21, 2014, in Beijing, China. The conference will focus on building international scientific networks. NCI has provided technical assistance to CICAMS towards developing a network of smokefree cancer hospitals.
Indo-US Cancer Epidemiology Workshop
Brenda Edwards has been invited to speak at an epidemiology workshop hosted at the Cancer Institute (WIA) in Chennai, India, October 7-9, 2014, on cancer surveillance. She will also attend the October 6, 2014, stakeholders meeting for the Chennai Cancer Registry, as well as provide a consultation visit to the cancer registries in Mumbai and in Trivandrum.
MECC Training Course and Steering Committee Meeting
Brenda Edwards will participate in a 2-day course, “Uses of Cancer Registry Data in Cancer Control Research,” October 21-22, 2014, followed by a meeting of the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MEEC) Steering Committee, October 23, 2014, in Ankara, Turkey. The MECC cancer registries receive limited funding support from the NCI Center for Global Health and are in transition to working within the IARC GICR Hub. The meetings will also consider planning for future collaborations. Brenda continues as the subject matter expert for NCI on the MECC Steering Committee.
UICC World Cancer Congress
The 2014 UICC World Cancer Congress will be held December 3-6, 2014, in Melbourne, Australia. Stephen Taplin is working with the Programme Committee and is co-chair for a series of talks in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. Ted Trimble will be a sub-plenary speaker regarding the ethics of research in low-resource settings. Brenda Edwards is working with the International Agency for Research on Cancer and their Global Initiative on Cancer Registry (GICR) development in low- and middle-income countries to finalize a special session, which will include a presentation by Lisa Stevens on the Center for Global Health’s support of the GICR.
Call for Abstracts Open! International Cancer Screening Network Meeting in 2015
The scientific program for the next International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) triennial meeting is being developed. The meeting is being co-chaired by Carrie Klabunde (DCCPS) and Harry de Koning (Erasmus Medical Center) and will be held on June 2-4, 2015, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The meeting will bring together experts in cancer screening delivery and evaluation from around the world to discuss timely issues and topics in breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer screening. A meeting website displays information about the call for abstracts, scholarships for early-stage investigators to support travel to the meeting, and other details. Abstract and scholarship application submissions are open through October 10, 2014.
17th World Congress
Julia Rowland recently joined the planning committee for the joint American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) 12th Annual Conference and the International Psychosocial Oncology Society (IPOS) 17th World Congress, which will be held July 28-August 1, 2015, in Washington, DC.
2015 Diet and Activity Methods in Australia
Amy Subar and Rick Troiano are serving on the planning committee for the 9th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM9), to be held September 1-3, 2015, in Brisbane, Australia. The abstract submission deadline is April 13, 2015.
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Ongoing Global Health Projects
WHO-ITU Mobile Wellness and Smoking Cessation mHealth Initiatives
Heather Patrick and Erik Augustson have continued to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on the development of Planning Implementation Documents (PIDs) across multiple behavioral risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases. The PIDs are undergoing final revisions and will be used by the WHO-ITU collaboration to guide the development of a number of mWellness projects. At this time, WHO-ITU collaboration has identified eight mWellness projects that it will attempt to move into the field in 2014.
DCCPS Advising on Canadian Health Services Research
Joan Warren serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Health Services Research Program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). The board meets annually to provide feedback on the progress of research activities, the focus of which changes each year. The next meeting will take place on October 29, 2014. Dr. Warren has provided particular input on work relating to data linkages and data release issues. To support cancer-related health services research, the OICR has linked the Ontario Cancer Registry to provincial health claims, using SEER-Medicare as their model.
New Physical Activity Research Collaboration
In May 2014, the Sensor Methods Collaboratory was launched, bringing together nearly 100 researchers who are interested in accelerometer-based physical activity measures. Entirely web-based using Basecamp, the Collaboratory provides a vehicle for communication across a diverse range of areas required to facilitate discussion and sharing of data and research/analytic methods. The project will also facilitate the generation of richly characterized data sets for use in developing or benchmarking analytic methods. Participants will be able to discuss needs, develop shared resources, propose standard protocols and metadata requirements, pilot new tools, and disseminate methodological research for further evaluation or implementation. Five working groups have been established, each with US and overseas co-leads. Richard Troiano and James McClain are the NCI leads for the Sensor Methods Collaboratory. An overview paper describing the Collaboratory was published in July 2014 inthe British Journal of Sports Medicine.
ASA24-Canada Diet Assessment Tool Available Soon
The NCI Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall (ASA24™) has been used in a range of research studies to collect almost 200,000 dietary recalls since the release of a Beta version in 2009. A Canadian adaptation (ASA24-Canada), led by the Food Directorate at Health Canada in collaboration with NCI, makes use of the program’s interface, with modifications reflecting the Canadian food supply. Many changes reflect differences in terminology, brand name and fast food restaurant items between the two countries. ASA24-Canada will be freely available to researchers soon via the NCI ASA24 website. Work is underway to incorporate Canadian nutrient data into the ASA24 analytic modules for computing energy and nutrient intakes from foods and beverages reported on ASA24 recalls. The adaptation of ASA24 for use in different contexts is a promising step toward enhancing the comparability of nutrition research conducted across countries, helping to advance our understanding of how diet influences cancer.
Australian Diet Assessment Tool Being Developed
Agreements are in place to create an Australian version of the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall (ASA24™) through a collaboration among Deakin University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Work on this project will begin in the fall of 2014. Efforts will focus primarily on modifying the food and nutrient databases to be compatible with Australia. The Australian version is expected to be available in 2016. Amy Subar is the primary DCCPS scientific collaborator involved in this effort.
South Africa Behavioral mHealth Intervention Projects
Erik Augustson and Heather Patrick traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, with support from NCI’s Center for Global Health (CGH), to further the development of mHealth cessation projects. They met with US Embassy and South Africa Ministry of Health staff. The primary collaborator within South Africa is Vitality/Discovery Health, an international wellness company. Three projects have been identified to move forward in the next few months. The first is pilot project of the NCI SmokefreeTXT and HealthyYouTXT programs within an existing worksite wellness program. The second is an expansion of this pilot to a larger-scale randomized control trial (RCT) in support of broader efforts to deliver interventions for health behaviors that are risk factors for non-communicable diseases within worksites. The final project will focus on the integration of mHealth resources into existing clinical settings to improve continuity of care and delivery of behavioral intervention focused on maternal and child health. Potential target behaviors include smoking cessation, reduction of secondhand smoke exposure, diet, physical activity, and engagement in prenatal care.
China Smoking Cessation Program using Text Messages
A study in China, in collaboration with a team from Emory University, is underway exploring the possible benefit of including cessation text messages as part of an intervention to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in infants. For more information, please refer to the May 2014 issue of the newsletter.
US Embassy Beijing “Health Right Now” Campaign Launch
On August 12, 2014, the US Embassy in Beijing launched an education and smoking cessation program – Health Right Away! – for employees and family members. The kick-off meeting was led by embassy staff and local experts, including representatives from the Embassy Health Unit, Chaoyang Hospital, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and both Chinese and American colleagues who have successfully stopped smoking. The program uses NCI’s text messaging smoking cessation program in English and Mandarin. Mark Parascandola and Erik Augustson contributed to the program, including development of factsheets, informational and motivational posters, and planning the rollout and timeline.
Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub
The National Cancer Institute (DCCPS and CGH) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be leading the implementation of a cancer registry hub under the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development. The Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development (GICR) is a concerted, multi-partner action with the aim of markedly increasing the coverage of populations in low- and middle-income countries by high-quality population-based cancer registries. Damali Martin, Brenda Edwards, and Lisa Stevens (CGH) are leading this effort for NCI.
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Global Health Research and Training Initiatives
Dietary Methods and Patterns Instruction in London
Amy Subar and Jill Reedy were invited instructors for the 5th International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology offered at Imperial College in London from September 1-12, 2014. Dr. Subar provided instruction in validation of dietary assessment methods. Dr. Reedy taught a section on dietary patterns.
African Leadership Forum
Cynthia Vinson and colleagues from NCI’s Center for Global Health served as faculty and facilitators for a Cancer Control Leadership Forum held in Lusaka, Zambia, June 16-18, 2014. Similar to previous leadership forums, country teams from Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia participated. The goal of the forums is to increase capacity in cancer control in the countries. The country teams consisted of leaders from government, academia, and non-governmental organizations. New areas of focus for this forum included developing leadership, workforce capacity building, and implementation science. The country teams participated in group discussions to learn about success and barriers for developing and implementing national cancer control plans and worked within their teams to develop action plans for moving their country’s efforts forward for the next 6 to 12 months.
Embassy Science Fellowship
Mark Parascandola completed a 3-month (February – April, 2014) Embassy Science Fellowship at the US Embassy in Beijing, China. He contributed to China/US partnerships in tobacco control and to the embassy’s public diplomacy efforts around public understanding of health science. A central focus of his work was co-leading the China-US Smokefree Workplace initiative (CUSW), including program planning and working with Chinese partners to develop Smokefree training workshops for businesses (in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Qingdao). He also provided expertise to support the embassy’s air quality monitoring program, contributing to data analyses and communication strategies around the impact of air pollution on health. Dr. Parascandola developed tobacco control research connections between NCI and cancer research institutions in China, including the National Cancer Hospital of CICAMS, China CDC, and Peking Union Medical College. While in Beijing, he gave several presentations to specialist and general audiences about tobacco control and cancer risk factors (venues included the Beijing American Center, China CDC, WHO China country office, and Renmin University).
USAID and NIH Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health
USAID and NIH Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health supports developing-country researchers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and has a focus on “implementation science.” NCI participated in the Cycle 2 (2014) solicitations for Philippines and Indonesia, with an interest in funding research on tobacco use in relation to tuberculosis and maternal and child health. The review of grant proposals was held July 21-22, 2014, at the National Academies in Washington, DC. NCI brings expertise in behavioral science, environmental exposures, and tobacco control interventions.
The USAID missions will fund several awards in the two countries. Additionally, three highly ranked proposals were identified for NCI support, two in Indonesia and one in the Philippines:
- Prabandari (Indonesia) - Impact of reduced in-home secondhand smoke exposure on low birthweight prevalence and neonate health ($368,483)
- Sablan (Philippines) - Effect of a Smoking Cessation Intervention Program for Families of Children Diagnosed with TB ($365,000)
- Idris (Indonesia) - Effects of air pollution in early life on infant and maternal health ($419,900)
Both DCCPS and CGH have committed funds for the first year of these awards.
Tobacco Control Detail in Jakarta, Indonesia
Mark Parascandola was on assignment in Jakarta, Indonesia, for the month of May 2014, to work on tobacco control research capacity building. Activities included 1) working with the USAID Indonesia team on the PEER Health initiative, including providing guidance to applicants and planning for application peer review; 2) discussing tobacco control research opportunities and needs with the US CDC Indonesia country team and Indonesian Ministry of Health Cancer Subdirectorate; 3) meeting with tobacco control research teams at academic institutions, including University of Indonesia, Muhammadiyah Tobacco Control Center, and Universitas Gadjah Mada; 4) participating in the First Indonesian Conference on Tobacco or Health; and 5) work with NIAID-funded investigators and Persahabatan Hospital on incorporating tobacco use questions into ongoing tuberculosis studies. Kalina Duncan from NCI’s Center for Global Health is detailed to Indonesia for 3 months and will be continuing to build tobacco control research activities.
Global Environmental and Occupational Health Program
The National Cancer Institute is participating in two recently published funding opportunities to create hubs of disciplinary research and training in low- or middle-income countries (RFA-TW-14-001 and RFA-TW-14-002) as part of the Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) program. The overall objective of the GEOHealth program is to support the development of institutions in the low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) that will serve as regional hubs for collaborative research, data management, training, curriculum and outreach material development, and policy support around high-priority local, national, and regional environmental and occupational health threats. The Fogarty International Center (FIC), in partnership with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are also participating in these funding opportunities.
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