Follow the visit of the Scientific Attaché for Cooperation and Higher Education
Following up on a previous visit to North Carolina in March 2010 by Scientific Attaché for Cooperation and Higher Education, this second visit was to prepare the Symposium of the International Research Group (GDRI) named iCEINT (International Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology), a consortium of French and U.S. laboratories and the leader in the studies of the environmental impacts of nanotechnology, with its director, Professor Mark Wiesner (James L. Meriam Professor of Civil and Engineering) at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.
French-American research studying the environmental implications of NanoTechnologies
In 2008, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at Duke University gave an endowment of $14.4 million for the creation of the Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) directed by Mark Wiesner. The research concerns interactions of nanomaterials with living organisms, their potential effects on the bio-geochemical functioning of ecosystems and risk assessment. To this end, 30 mesocosms, to date, (experimental recreatiion of an artificial aquatic ecosystem) are placed in the forest adjacent to the Duke University campus, enabling to setup laboratories for exposure, observation and measurement for the transfer and transformation of natural or manufactured nanoparticles in the environment.
The CEINT includes several American universities: Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, Virginia Tech, University of Kentucky and Stanford University (36 faculty members and 76 undergraduate and graduate students). The international dimension, iCEINT, has reinforced already active French collaborations since 2001, especially with Jean-Yves Bottero’s CEREGE team (European Center for Research and Education in Environmental Geosciences, Aix-en-Provence) and includes on the French side, 9 laboratories (CNRS, CEA, Aix-Marseille I and III Universities, Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, Paul Verlaine University in Metz, Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) in Paris, and University of Strasbourg). These laboratories are currently involved in numerous programs funded by the ANR (National Agency for Research) and the European Commission.
These photos show the alignment of the mesocosms, now covered with a plastic tarp to prevent ecosystems from freezing.
The tarp covering the 30 mesocosms
Inside the experimental platform in the Duke forest
A mesocosm: artificial aquatic ecosystem
Mark Wiesner surrounded by Espinasse Benjamin, a researcher at CEINT (to his right), and François Birgand, Assistant Professor of bio-geochemistry and ecology of engineering from North Carolina State University
The three experimenters
Launching in fall 2011 of a joint doctoral program between the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of Chapel Hill (North Carolina) and the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health in Rennes and Paris (EHESP), for training executives of public health, technical and administrative, with a double curriculum in French and English.
Exemplary in Franco-American collaboration in public health policy
The Gillings School of Public Health (GSGPH) of Chapel Hill University is consistently ranked among the top three schools of public health, along with Harvard and John Hopkins.
The School for Advanced Studies in Public Health of Rennes and Paris, the only French School of Engineering and Environmental Health, has, since January 1, 2007, been officially created by decree of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Health and Social Affairs and is a member of the Network of Schools of Public Service.
The EHESP has collaborated with GSGPH for a number of years, notably with the Department of Health Management and Policy (Tom Ricketts is a visiting professor at EHESP), and also with the Water Institute, the Center for Nutrition and Chronic Diseases and the Global Health Institute for Infectious Diseases. This fall (October 29 – November 1, 2011), at the annual meeting of the Association of Schools of Public Health in Washington D.C. (of which EHESP is currently the only member European partner) they will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding, sealing a privileged partnership between the two institutions.
- New teaching methods for the establishing a European network of public health schools.
The doctoral program is aimed at health professionals in positions of leadership, management, inspection or control in health, social or medico-social. It is taught remotely, in French and English.
- Meetings with key leaders and teachers from the doctoral program at the Franco-American GSGPH: Tom Ricketts, Professor of Health Management and Policy; Gretchen Van Vliet, Director of the Office of Global Health; Peggy Bentley, Professor of Nutrition, Associate Dean; Alice Annemann, Director of the Center of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Dr. John Buse, Professor of Medicine, President of the American Diabetes Association (ADA); Dr. Renae Stafford, Epidemiologist; Edwin Fisher, Director of the Department of Health Behavior & Health and of the Peers for Progress Program.
Gretchen Van Vliet, Jacqueline Signorini and Peggy Bentley
Dr. John Buse, President of the American Diabetes Association