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Final Progress Reports: Columbia University: Administrative Core

Superfund Research Program

Administrative Core

Project Leader: Ana Navas-Acien
Co-Investigators: Joseph H. Graziano, Alexander F. van Geen
Grant Number: P42ES010349
Funding Period: 2000-2021

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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2020  2016  2010  2005 

General Activities: The Administrative Core continues to function smoothly. Dr. Graziano, the Program Director, and Dr. Van Geen, the Associate Director, have been working together with SRP investigators to plan for the upcoming competitive renewal application in April 2011. The Director and Deputy Director have led weekly meetings among biomedical and non-biomedical scientists, respectively, to develop sets of research aims that would be most appropriate for support by the SRP Program. They communicate continuously with regard to the integration of the biomedical and non-biomedical research programs and hold joint monthly meetings of all faculty to maximize interactions. This communication is evidenced by the number of truly multidisciplinary publications that have come from their program, involving close collaboration between biomedical, earth, and social scientists.

The scientific team has assembled monthly for a joint two-hour meeting, which rotates between the Health Sciences Campus and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Campus; the two campuses are separated by a 20-minute university bus ride. In the past year, many of these sessions have been devoted to discussions and planning for their competitive renewal application. Others have been devoted to seminars, typically one hour for biomedical and one for non-biomedical presentations. Seminars that have occurred in the past year include:

December 21, 2009
Arsenic exposure, cardiovascular disease mortality, and the potential effect-modifiers
Yu Chen
NYU School of Medicine

March 22nd, 2010
Arsenical drugs in food animal production: where we should be, and how we'll get there
Keeve E. Nachman
Science Director for Food Production, Health, and Environment
Center for a Livable Future
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Sources, transformations, and mobility of roxarsone in the environment: implications to risk assessment
Benjamin C. Bostick
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University

October 18, 2010
The role of recharge in both flushing aquifers clean and mobilizing arsenic in Bangladesh
Charles Harvey
Department of Civil Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mechanistic work on Mn neurotoxicity in non-human primates
Tomás R. Guilarte
Environmental Health Sciences
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University

December 6, 2010
Immunotoxic effects of developmental arsenic exposure
Courtney Kozul-Horvath
Department of Immunology
Dartmouth Medical School

The External Advisory Committee continues to provide valuable input to the program. The composition of the committee includes:

  • Chien-Jen Chen, Committee Chair, Chairman of the Graduate Institute of Taiwan
  • Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics, Columbia University
  • Zoltan Szabo, Research Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Margaret Karagas, Chair, Section of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Dartmouth University
  • Allan Smith, Professor of Epidemiology, University of California - Berkeley
  • X. Chris Le, Professor of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta
  • Peggy O'Day, Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, University of California - Merced

Given the thrust of the proposed work in the coming grant cycle, one more committee member has been added: Robert Wright, Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Pediatrics at Harvard University. Dr. Wright is the PI of the Harvard SRP and has expertise related to each of the four biomedical projects that will be presented in Columbia's renewal application.

The External Advisory Committee visited Columbia University twice in 2010 (April and November). At the April meeting, each of the seven research project PIs, as well as the PIs of the Research Translation Core, made presentations to the Committee, and many research issues were discussed at length. At the recent November meeting, each of the PIs of the seven research projects presented a tentative set of Specific Aims and the justification and general approach to those aims. The meeting was enormously helpful in guiding future work; since that meeting, several committee members (particularly Drs. Wright, Karagas, and Szabo) have continued to provide new suggestions and the names of potential collaborators by e-mail and telephone.

In November, the SRP Director, several PI’s, the Business Manager, the RTC Core Leader, and four students attended SRP's Annual Meeting. Finally, this Core is already deeply involved in the preparation of the April 15 application, with regard to budget allocations for each project and core.

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