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Michigan State University

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Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: James E. Trosko
Co-Investigator: Brad L. Upham
Grant Number: P42ES004911
Funding Period: 2006-2020

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Project Summary (2006-2013)

The Research Translation Core has planned a series of activities that include collaborations with government agencies, meetings and new websites providing technology transfer and communication to a broad audience as suggested by the SBRP RFA. They have initiated the recruitment of a group of cooperators that include federal and state agencies in Michigan and New Jersey and industrial consortiums in the same states. These documented cooperating units have indicated their interest in participating in technology transfer and core staff continue to recruit new cooperators using the same methods the core have employed to date. An annual one-day meeting with representatives of the cooperating institutions is held in which selected projects present highlights of their research progress. Cooperators are asked to present their views of research needs in the areas of site remediation and health risk analysis. A generous amount of time is set aside for individual and group discussions in an attempt to foster agreements and resolve differences. In addition, an international symposium on computational and modeling approaches is held to enhance the understanding and extent of the health threat from environmental contamination. This activity is supported using funds from a variety of sources. The meeting enriches this research program which emphasizes the computational system biology approach spanning from molecule to intact organisms. This approach promises more accurate predictability of impacts on human health resulting from exposure to TCDD-like environmental contaminants. In a different and innovative approach to research translation, a set of molecular tools for use in identifying the capacity of microbial consortia to degrade hazardous chemicals in the environment is being developed in specific projects and cores of the research program. These molecular tools are being placed in a data repository including a website open for public use. The website contains a variety of tools developed by investigators in this and other programs. These tools are maintained and kept up to date by incorporating new information as it emerges from this effort as well as that of others. A tutorial is being produced to inform users and instruct them on the use of the tools and information in the repository. This activity serves research scientists, biodegradation engineers and administrators to make more rapid progress in developing strategies to decontaminate and detoxify sites containing hazardous chemicals.

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