The ChicAgo Center for Health and EnvironmenT (CACHET) is an Environmental Health Sciences Center in the Chicago area and an equal partnership between the University of Chicago (UChicago) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). CACHET promotes synergistic, multidisciplinary environmental health research between the clinician, laboratory and population scientists to evaluate, delineate and ultimately reduce environmental health related disparities among residents of Chicago and beyond.
The need for a dedicated environmental health research center in Chicago is highlighted by a disproportionate racial/ethnic health imbalance observed for multiple diseases and outcomes. In this context, the CACHET mission is to “elucidate the biological, social and economic underpinnings between relevant urban environmental exposures and human disease and translate the findings to reduce health inequities within our communities.” As such, the overarching theme is “Mitigating Disparities in Environmental Health.”
To accomplish our mission, CACHET is organized into five multidisciplinary focus groups: Air, Water & Soil Pollution- to address diseases related to poor air, soil and/or water quality; Biomarkers of Exposure, Susceptibility and Risk- to elucidate how environmental exposures confer risk for disease due to individual genetic and epigenetic differences; Environmental Carcinogenesis- to elucidate specific mechanisms of environmental effectors that promote cancer; Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases- to determine how environmental exposures act at windows of susceptibility to drive disequilibrium in endocrine and metabolic homeostasis; and Economic and Social Determinants of Environmental Effects and Policy- such that the economic impacts and social factors are considered in assessing exposure mitigation and informing policy. CACHET research is supported by Cores that leverage the expertise and facilities from the two partner institutions.