On September 25, 2023, over 30 attendees gathered for the School of Public Health and Desert Research Institute (DRI) networking event to discuss pressing environmental challenges with the goal of improving overall human health. Among those in attendance was Executive Director of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences at DRI Dr. Naresh Kumar who was pleased with the high level of participation at the event. Dr. Kumar foresees “many potential opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions in the area of public health.”
There are a multitude of opportunities for the School of Public Health and DRI to work together. Dr. Vic Etyemezian listed the many ways for the two entities to combine their expertise. “I see a lot of opportunities for collaboration with DRI, from epidemiological studies to toxicology to behavioral and cognitive health – all of these have a strong nexus with issues of environmental exposures and stimuli,” Dr. Etyemezian said.
Dr. Etyemezian expressed excitement about the idea of teaming up on projects that will make a positive impact on local and national communities.
Additionally, Senior Associate Dean for the School of Public Health Dr. Wei Yang highlighted the current and ongoing projects between the institutions stating, “Currently, we have several collaborative projects and student advisories between our School and DRI, but we have much more potential in the future.”
Dean of the School of Public Health Muge Akpinar-Elci was especially pleased with the event and how enthusiastic everyone was about the potential collaborations. “Creating safe and healthy environments is a collaborative effort in the world of public health," Akpinar-Elci said. "It’s important that we take advantage of opportunities like this to make positive impacts on our communities, especially when we are all working towards the same goal.”