May 3, 2013 (Issue 112)
EPA PTAP MOU deadline extended to May 10th
Thank you to the twelve programs who have joined the Partners in Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) Pilot! EPA is looking forward to working with you!
For anyone else interested, the deadline has been extended to Friday, May 10th. If you are an SRP Grantee interested in working with EPA to provide voluntary technical assistance to communities impacted by Superfund sites, please consider joining the team by reviewing and returning a signed MOU to Anna Abbey. For more information, visit the PTAP website.
Save the Date: 2013 Annual Meeting October 15-17, 2013
The 2013 SRP Annual Meeting will be held in Baton Rouge, LA this year! The reception is planned for the evening of Tuesday 10/15, and the science sessions will conclude on Thursday 10/17. Research Translation, Community Engagement, and Training sessions are still being scheduled.
Mark your calendars and look forward to a great meeting hosted by LSU SRP!
Join the @SRP_NIEHS Knowledge Network on Twitter!
NIEHS uses Twitter, an increasingly popular social media tool, for information sharing. A "microblogging" service, Twitter allows users to distribute substantive content through messages called Tweets. SRP has escalated its Twitter posts and hope that you will join us as a follower. You will get routine Program updates and announcements. Several SRP Centers are leading the way, and it would be great if all participated! Follow us: @SRP_NIEHS to instantly hear about news around the Program, events, and job opportunities for trainees.
IN THE NEWS
SRP in the Environmental Factor
This month, the NIEHS E-Factor featured four stories about the SRP and its grantees! Take a moment to read about some of our colleagues' latest activities.
Superfund Research from UCSD and Dartmouth Highlighted in Nature Paper
A paper, published in Nature on May 2, highlights 12 leading plant biologists from around the world whose laboratories recently discovered important properties of plant transport proteins that, collectively, could have a profound impact on global agriculture. Out of the 12, two SRP labs were involved!
UCSD SRP grantee Julian Schroeder and Dartmouth SRP grantee Mary Lou Guerinot were co-authors. One of Schroeder's research advances led to the discovery of a sodium transporter that plays a key role in protecting plants from salt stress, which causes major crop losses in irrigated fields. Guerinot's work has contributed to an understanding of how plants absorb and distribute metals, such as iron and arsenic. Check out the press release for more information.
Great work Mary Lou and Julian!
Folt named chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill
Carol Folt, interim president of Dartmouth College and member of the Dartmouth SRP, was elected the 11th chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill on April 12, 2013. Folt, who will assume her new role July 1, will be the first woman to lead UNC.
A press release about Folt's appointment is available through the UNC-Chapel Hill website.
Welcome to North Carolina, Carol! We are so happy to have you here.
Maier Presents at International Conference
UA SRP Center Director Raina Maier traveled to Armenia in April to present at the American University of Armenia and the Collegium Ramazzini's scientific symposium, Emerging Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health – Mining and Construction in Transition Economies.
Thanks for sharing SRP research internationally, Raina!
Hornbuckle in the News
Iowa SRP scientist Keri Hornbuckle was featured in an Environmental Health News story on the prevalence of cyclic siloxanes in the air in Chicago.According to her study, concentrations of cyclic siloxanes in the air were 10 times higher in Chicago than in West Branch, Iowa, and four times higher than in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Although these chemicals can be toxic to aquatic life, whether there are any risks from breathing the chemicals is unknown. Hornbuckle's study demonstrations the dire need to investigate the potential health effects of this chemical and the need to continue studies on the behavior of the chemical in the environment.
Nice work, Keri!
Jimenez Featured in Local News Story in Puerto Rico
Northeastern SRP PROTECT researcher Braulio Jimenez was interviewed in a recent news story on the rate of preterm birth in Puerto Rico. The story, presented by WAPA-TV, discussed PROTECT's investigations into the role of environmental contamination and preterm birth.
Nice research translation, Braulio!
Norma Torres Torres, Northeastern University SRP
Northeastern SRP grantee Norma Torres Torres, received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year. Torres is currently a master's student at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez (UPRM) with Northeastern SRP investigator Ingrid Padilla.
Padilla's group works on the fate and transport process for the release, mobility, persistence, and possible pathways of mixtures of organic contaminants in karst groundwater systems. Torres plans to characterize the effect of hydrologic conditions on the variations of groundwater contamination in the karst aquifer of northern Puerto Rico. Her NSF fellowship provides funds for Torres to finish her master's degree and to continue as a doctoral student.
Her graduate work will contribute to the development of relationships between contaminant exposure and adverse reproductive outcomes, particularly preterm birth in Puerto Rico, which is the highest in the Nation and the 2nd highest in the world.
Remediation of PCB-impacted Sediment by Bioaugmentation with Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacteria
Researchers from an SRP-funded R01 project at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County found that bioremediation of sediments, contaminated with commercial PCBs, is potentially achievable by concurrent bioaugmentation with aerobic degrading and anaerobic dechlorinating bacteria. Scientists investigated an in situ treatment employing the simultaneous application of anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms as an effective and environmentally sustainable strategy to reduce PCB levels in contaminated sediment.
The results, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, suggest that bioaugmentation has potential as a lower cost and environmentally sustainable alternative to dredging impacted sediments.
UK Research Award Recognizes Bhattacharyya
Congratulations to UK SRP grantee Dibakar Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., who is one of seven winners of the inaugural UK Dean's Award for Excellence in Research. The award recognizes and rewards outstanding research accomplishments of lasting impact on engineering and computer science at UK.
In recent work, Bhattacharyya extended his fundamental membrane research to develop new functionalized membranes and nanostructured materials for enzyme catalysis, ultra-high capacity metal capture, and other environmental and bio-based applications. Bhattacharyya has also been a pioneer in the application of green synthesis techniques for membrane functionalization, leading to new membrane supports for a range of water remediation applications.
Alison Sanders Receives 2013 NC Impact Award for SRP Research
SRP trainee Allie Sanders was selected as a 2013 recipient of the UNC Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) Impact Award. This award recognizes UNC graduate students whose research will benefit the citizens of North Carolina.
Allie is being recognized for her research on prenatal exposure to toxic metals through a study of pregnant women in six North Carolina counties. Her work represents a step towards the use of prenatal biomonitoring to protect newborn health in North Carolina and has also influenced a statewide screening program for prenatal lead exposure.
Larkin Wins Second Place Presenting Research Impact
OSU trainee Andy Larkin communicated the impact of his research at the OSU Scholars' Insight event and won second place. At the event, graduate students had the opportunity to give a three minute presentation on the impact of their scholarly work to a non-specialist audience at OSU and the Corvallis community. Visit the OSU website to watch Andy's three-minute video on Air, Asthma, and Apps.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
SETAC North America 34th Annual Meeting
Abstracts are invited for two SRP-coordinated sessions at SETAC for the 34th Annual Meeting being held in Nashville, TN on November 17-21.
The "Bioavailability Tools for Assessing Effectiveness of Contaminated Sediment Remediation" SETAC Session, chaired by SRP Program Administrator Heather Henry and EPA Superfund and Technology Liaison Kira Lynch, will focus on new tools that assess the effectiveness of sediment remediation strategies in reducing human exposures to toxicants. The session will feature new technologies that are being developed for proof of concept as well as those undergoing field-testing. Stable isotope, microarray, modeling, toxicity biomarkers, and antibody-based tools are encouraged.
The NIEHS SRP "Communities, Ecology, and Health – Making the Connection" session highlights the importance of engaging communities in bi-directional partnerships for communicating the linkages between the environment and human health. Platform presentations may explore success stories and learning experiences for working with communities to communicate risks exposures to hazardous substances. Presentations may introduce new tools and strategies for risk communication and for evaluating the effectiveness of working with communities in urban settings, rural settings, and in developing countries. The co-chairs for the session are SRP staff Heather Henry and Beth Anderson, EPA Superfund and Technology Liaison Felicia Barnett, and UK RTC leader Anna Hoover.
Please submit abstracts for platform and poster presentations for both sessions by May 28, 2013. For details and to submit an abstract, please visit the SETAC website. Also, feel free to contact Heather Henry (email@example.com) to discuss your interests.
EPA Announces University Challenge to Find Innovative Uses for Toxics Data
The EPA launched the TRI University Challenge in March, a new initiative designed to use academic partnerships to find innovative uses for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. TRI is a tool that gives all Americans access to information about toxic chemicals in the environment.
The EPA is challenging the academic community to find innovative and creative uses of TRI data and related information to promote more informed decision-making and action on the part of communities, manufacturers, and government. Priority will be given to projects related to one or more of the following four topics: pollution prevention and sustainability, stakeholder engagement, technology and data mashups, and environmental education.
EPA will accept TRI University Challenge applications until May 13, 2013 for projects that will begin this fall. Visit the EPA website for more information and to apply.
Funding Opportunity for Research Related to Hurricane Sandy
Much of the important scientific research that could improve public health can only be done during the response to and recovery from a major disaster, or the window of opportunity is lost. To advance this mission, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) plans to fund research grants that will inform the ongoing response to, and recovery from, Hurricane Sandy.
Some areas that could inform long-term recovery include resiliency, decision making, the health system response, adverse health outcomes (including behavioral health), communications, and the use of social media. Grants will be awarded for up to $500,000 in direct costs.
The closing date for applications is May 20, 2013. For more information and to apply, visit the grants.gov website.
Communication Research PEPH Webinar
Communication research focuses on how social, behavioral, and cultural factors influence risk communication. Learn about how information is received, understood, and applied in the next PEPH webinar, "Communication Research," on May 23, 2013 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET.
Request for Methods for Cumulative Risk Assessment
The U.S. EPA Office of the Science Advisor published a notice in the Federal Register (May 1, 2013) requesting information on methods for cumulative risk assessment (CRA). The notice requests information on and citations for CRA methods that have been employed to date, and approaches that could assist the Risk Assessment Forum (RAF) Technical Panel on Cumulative Risk in the development of CRA methods. The information will be used to inform the Panel in development of guidelines for CRA.
EPA will be accepting submissions to the docket until June 28, 2013. For more information and to submit a comment, visit the Federal Register website.
Request for Comments: Involvement of Communities in the Superfund Enforcement Process
As part of the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) Community Engagement Initiative (CEI), OSWR seeks and encourages feedback from communities, stakeholders, local governments, tribes and states on the CEI and their proposed activities for engaging communities near Superfund sites.
For more information on the CEI initiative and to provide feedback, visit the OSWER Community Engagement Initiative website. The EPA seeks public comment from community engagement practitioners until May 31, 2013.
Many of you are involved in communities near Superfund sites around the country. This is a great opportunity to share what you have learned and comment on possible activities for involving the public in Superfund enforcement!
Oregon State University Assistant Professor – Computational Toxicology
The qualifications for the ideal candidate will include a PhD, or equivalent, in toxicology or related field and demonstrated research experience in computational toxicology and experience or interest in risk analysis. For more information and to apply, visit the OSU jobs page, posting #0010372.
Position officially closes May 30, but will remain open until filled.
Northeastern University Chairperson in Department of Health Sciences
In partnership with the faculty, the Chair is expected to take the Department to the next level of excellence in research, scholarship and academic program quality.The Chair will play a leadership role enhancing Northeastern's standing in community and public health and further strengthening a strong research oriented faculty.
Position is open until filled.
CURRENT RESEARCH BRIEF
Research Brief #221: "Novel Method Identifies Potential Key Pathway in Arsenic-Induced Birth Defect" (Rebecca Fry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is available online.
Past Research Briefs are available on the SRP's website.
To receive the monthly Research Briefs in your e-mail, please send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have ideas for future Research Briefs, please submit them to: email@example.com.
SRP SUPPORTED EVENTS
13th International Congress on Combustion By-Products and Their Health Effects
International Symposium on Electrokinetic Remediation
PEPH Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice Meeting
2013 International Symposium on Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds
15th International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health
10th International Phytotechnology Society Conference
OTHER CONFERENCES OF INTEREST
EDRA44Providence: Healthy + Healing Places
EPA Community Involvement Training Conference
246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition
GET OTHER SRP UPDATES
The e-Posted isn't the only way you can find out about news and events from the SRP Centers. The SRP Grantee Newsletters and Pages website has links to SRP Center electronic newsletters and Facebook pages and the SRP News Page has recent grantee news. Check them out to see the latest SRP news!
Information on NIEHS SRP Program Contacts can be found here: NIEHS SRP Program Staff and Contacts.