University of California-San Diego
Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core: Applying Toxicogenomics and Biomolecular Technologies to Environmental Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Bioremediation
Project Leader: Keith Pezzoli
Grant Number: P42ES10337
Funding Period: 2005-2017
The Research Translation Core (RTC) of UC San Diego's Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP) has four objectives:
- Build partnerships with government agencies and Tribal science labs to advance the practical contributions of toxicogenomics in environmental policy and planning;
- Evaluate the utility of molecular biomarkers/biosensors, microtechnologies and bioremediation as new biological models/methods for improving environmental monitoring, risk assessment and remediation;
- Organize technology showcases, entrepreneurs/innovators forums and educational workshops to foster the commercial development and utilization of innovative SBRP technologies; and
- Communicate complex research findings to broad audiences through periodic workshops; symposia; participation in regional, national and international conferences; publications, and Web-based systems.
The broad long-term objective is to apply toxicogenomic knowledge and biomolecular technologies to real-life problems concerning hazardous substances and environmental health. Along these lines, biomarkers developed by SBRP scientists are being evaluated, in partnership with the San Diego Baykeeper, Tribal labs and government agencies responsible for water quality monitoring, as potentially effective new cellular and analytic tools for detecting Superfund toxicants in contaminated watersheds. At the same time, SBRP-industry partnerships are promoting the experimental development and commercialization of novel bioremediation technologies (e.g., transgenic plants that can hyper-accumulate heavy metals out of contaminated soil), and microtechnologies (e.g., labson- a-chip that can be used as biosensors for detecting exposure to pesticides). The RTC's approach leverages strong working partnerships and information/visualization technologies already developed by the Regional Workbench Consortium (RWBC) in partnership with the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The RWBC was established as part of UCSDs SRRP Outreach Core (2000-2005); it is a Web-based research and learning network for sustainable development. The RTC's toolkit includes on-line geographic information systems (GIS), decision support systems (DSS), multimedia interactive stories, and 3D visualization.