Started by Tisch College, the Tufts Community Research Center (TCRC) fosters collaboration between Tufts faculty researchers and community partners. Through seed funding, TCRC kick starts community-engaged research projects selected jointly by community partners and Tufts faculty. The center also provides an important forum for substantial discussions about research partnerships and shared interests.
Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) initiative is one of several projects TCRC has helped launch. The study began after community members from the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) approached Doug Brugge, professor of public health and community medicine, School of Medicine, about the effects of living near highways.
“Annually, in the United States alone, somewhere over 100,000 people die from fine particulate air pollution,” said Brugge. “This is an issue the public isn’t aware of and our research will help raise awareness and generate solutions to this problem.”
CAFEH partners with the School of Engineering, the Chinese Progressive Association, the Chinatown Resident Association, the Committee for Boston Public Housing and the City of Somerville. The study has gone on to receive $2.5 million from the National Institute of Health, $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over $1 million from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and an Environmental Protection Agency STAR Graduate Fellowship for the work of engineering Ph.D. candidate Allison St. Vincent, EG11.
“When community members hear about this research they want to know the solution to the problem,” said Ellin Reisner of STEP. “As a result of the initial study, we’ve received additional funding to put air filters in people’s homes and explore real solutions.”
Download the pdf of the Tisch College 2010-2011 annual report.