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Final Progress Reports: University of California-Davis: Research Translation

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation

Research Translation Coordinator: Justin B. Siegel
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 2005-2023
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2014  2009 

Research Translation activities in 2009 may be broken down into several areas. Firstly, the RTC Coordinator attended three NIEHS-sponsored meetings that focused on strategies to enhance the export of SRP research to governmental Agencies such as the US EPA and ATSDR. Representatives from these two federal agencies provided insights as to how we can more effectively translate SRP research such that it becomes a part of their daily decision-making processes. Key to this is the formation of networks with staff at the federal agencies and a broader and clearer understanding of the activities in the federal agencies were SRP research would be most applicable.

Another activity that occurred during this time was the development of a newsletter for government regulators and legislatures that describes briefly the research activities of the SRP program at UC Davis. Access to technical information by these to sectors of government is some times difficult as they and their staff may not be aware of information that could impact on decisions that could be useful either in the legislative arena or in regulatory processes. Information that they use may be from entities that have vested interests. One other purpose of this newsletter is to serve as possible introduction and conduit for further discussions relating to to the translation of SRP-supported research to their venues. The partnering with government is one translation activity that is considered relevant to the NIEHS efforts to successfully translate research results to entities so that there may be improvements to public health.

The UC Davis continues to support the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy (GTEA) that was held at the Tahoe Center at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, CA from July 6-10, 2009. The Superfund Research Program (SRP), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) funded SRP trainee’s participation in this year’s GTEA. The 2009 Academy included 48 participants from 23 different universities and colleges as well as one foreign country. The Superfund Research Program attendees were Danielle Tietze, Texas A&M, Cawas Engineer, Timothy Jobe and David Mendoza-Cozatl, UC San Diego and Stephen Richardson, University of North Carolina. We obtained supplement funding for the travel expenses for these four attendees through supplemental funding from NIEHS SRP.

The week long program was led by Professor Andy Hargadon, Graduate School of Management, University of California, Davis. Lecture and discussion topics covered: business development (evaluation of appropriate business models), intellectual property (IP) patenting and licensing options and strategies, generating action plans, interdisciplinary teamwork, assembling management teams; identifying and pursuing funding options, prototyping strategies, market analysis and customer interviews, the origins of innovation, developing and using networks; as well as mentoring sessions with entrepreneurs and other invited guests including role models from the academic community.

Finally, the Research Translation Coordinator selected two areas for potential SRP Research Briefs and drafted text for submission to NIEHS SRP for finalization. One Research Brief, Research Brief 179, Program Scaling up from Local Deterministic Measurement to a Regional Probabilistic Model. This research developed a model based on runoff of herbicides on highway right of ways cause by rain events. The related the runoff concentrations in the rainwater to toxicity endpoints determined in bioassays. This research will be applicable to more complex mixtures of toxic substance that may have been improperly disposed or may have leaked into the environment from decaying storage facilities. Another Research Brief submitted in December 2009 to NIEHS SRP, “Lower detection of toxic substances by phage library-enhanced immunoassays” details improvements in immunoassay that provides increased sensitivity. This research derives from a collaborative effort between UC Davis and Professor Gualberto Gonzalez at the University of the Republic of Uruguay. More sensitive and more specific detection of analytes are the advances provided by this methodology. It is anticipated that this brief will be published sometime next year.

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