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U of L launches 'Envirome Institute' With $5 Million Gift

University of Louisville
J. Tyler Franklin
University of Louisville

The University of Louisville formally unveiled a new institute Tuesday that will focus on the intersection of health and the environment.

The Envirome Institute will take a 'holistic approach' to researching the relationships between humans, their communities and the environment, according to a news release.

It will incorporate all disciplines within the university in addition to bringing under its wing what was formerly known as the Institute for Healthy, Air Water and Soil.

Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar will oversee the new institute as director. Last October, Bhatnagar began an ambitious project to plant trees and shrubs in neighborhoods in south Louisville.

His experiment, known as the Green Heart Project, is to learn how improving the environment can influence human health.

Bhatnagar said the newly formed institute is dedicated to this emerging field of research.

“The institute embodies an idea that we need to understand the environment as a whole and not as piecemeal different domains,” he said.

The institute will serve as the capstone organization over several existing centers including the Diabetes and Obesity Center, the Superfund Research Center, and the Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center.

The new Envirome Institute launched with the support of a $5 million donation from Christina Lee Brown and the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation.

“Your family’s commitment to the University of Louisville will enable us to create a new vision of health a vision that explores every factor that impacts a person’s life and impacts a person’s health,” said University President Neeli Bendapudi.

Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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