Under the original program, the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center (BCERC), each of four centers, University of Cincinnati, Michigan State, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), included epidemiology, animal study, and community outreach and translation cores (COTC) that addressed hypotheses on pubertal development and breast cancer. In addition to the center-specific aims, the BCERC project as a whole also had overarching aims. Center groups and individual investigators and outreach experts collaborated across projects, forming transdisciplinary teams to address complex questions. Similarly, in the new Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) (2010-2014), all the research projects, Community Partners (CP), COTCs, and the Coordinating Center (CC) are encouraged to perform as a transdisciplinary/multidisciplinary network.
The BCERP representa a new paradigm for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a project supporting transdisciplinary research on the interaction of chemical, physical, biological, and social environmental factors with genetic factors during specific windows of susceptibility.