SCI Café (where Sciences and Communities Interact) are hosted by the CEC staff and center members at local cafes. Community members are invited to join to informally discuss topics of interest or concern. Example topics include Disaster Research Response, Healthy Homes, Military Exposures and Veterans Health, Environmental Health Policy and Me, and Asthma and Respiratory Disease.  SCI Cafés are hosted at various venues. 

Upcoming Events

Clean Air for Blue Skies

September 7, 2023
The Health Museum, 1515 Hermann Drive, Houston, TX

We are excited to have a conversation featuring Jennifer M. Hadayia, MPA, Executive Director at Air Alliance Houston, who is an esteemed member of our Community Advisory Board, as well as Ebrahim Eslami, PhD, Research Specialist for Air Quality at the Houston Advanced Research Center.

Of special significance, September 7th was designated as the International Clean Air Day for Blue Skies by the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. The purpose behind this designation is to raise awareness about the paramount importance of clean air for our health, productivity, economy, and the environment at large.

Past Events


Microbes, Our Fellow Travelers
December 9, 2022

Where Are We Now? An Update on COVID-19
October 3, 2022

State of the Bay
July 20, 2022

The Eye of the Storm
June 22, 2022

COVID-19, Vacunas y Yo
March 26, 2022

COVID-19, Vaccines and Me
February 28, 2022


SCI Café on Military Exposures and Veterans Health:

The Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health (GC-CPEH), the Health Museum, Mission United, and Combined Arms hosted a virtual conversation on Military Exposures and Veterans Health: Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm.

What exposure concerns and health issues are affecting area veterans?  What has been learned about the health effects of military exposures, from Agent Orange to Gulf War Syndrome, to Burn Pits?  How do military exposures affect future generations?  What programs and activities are underway in the greater Houston area to address these issues?  This conversation featured Drew Helmer, MD, Deputy Director, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and Baylor College of Medicine; John Smith, Southeast Texas Regional Manager, Combined Arms – Texas Veterans Network, and USMC Vet 1999-2008; and Lea Steele, PhD, Director, Veterans Health Research Program, Baylor College of Medicine.  We discussed military exposures from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf War, to Iraq and Afghanistan.

You may email Krista Bohn (krbohn@utmb.edu) with any questions.

SCI Café on COVID 19 Vaccine Development & Deployment-2: On January 19, 2021, we held a virtual Coffee and Conversation SCI Café in partnership with the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science in Houston, Texas.  The discussion featured Community Engagement Core Co-director Stephen Linder, who is nationally recognized for his contributions to COVID-19 research and the development of evidence-based policy for the greater Houston area and the state.  We talked about the challenges, misconceptions


SCI Café on COVID 19 Vaccine Development & Deployment-1: On December 16, 2020, we explored and discussed the current knowledge and research revolving around COVID-19 vaccine research, development, and deployment.  This conversation featured the UTMB’s Alan Barrett, PhD, Professor, Department of Pathology & Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Director, Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences and Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Vaccine Research, Evaluation and Training for Emerging Infectious Diseases Member, Center for Tropical Diseases; and Kathy Barrosso, CPA, Chief Executive Officer, Galveston County Health District.

Coffee & Conversations at the Health Museum: On March 13, 2020, we held a virtual Coffee and Conversation SCI Café in partnership with the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science in Houston, Texas.  The panel included Scott C. Weaver, MS, PhD, Director of the UTMB Institute for Human Infections & Immunity and Scientific Director of the Galveston National Laboratory, which is actively engaged in COVID-19 research, and one of only two National Labs with BSL 4 capabilities located on a U.S. university campus.  It also included Umair Shah, MD, MPH, Local Health Authority, and Executive Director for Harris County Public Health, which includes 700 public health professionals serving 4.5 million people.  The community was able to engage in dialogue in real-time with speakers to address their concerns and questions and continued to do so following the event via the web. The recorded event has since been viewed well over 1,000 times.


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“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P30ES030285. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”