Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
Project Leader: Kathleen Gray
Co-Investigator: Frederic K. Pfaender
Grant Number: P42ES005948
Funding Period: 2006-2018
Project Summary (2011-2018)
The Research Translation Core (RTC) focuses on improving scientific and public understanding of how Superfund chemicals harm human health and how to reduce exposure to those chemicals, enabling government officials and the public to make informed decisions about reducing risk. The UNC RTC emphasizes the high priority Superfund chemicals studied within their research program, and the RTC's specific aims are to:
- Build partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies to raise awareness of UNC SRP research and assist agencies in addressing their related research and community engagement needs;
- Advance the practical contributions of UNC SRP research through development of decision making tools, intellectual property protection, and an active partnership with the UNC Office of Technology Development;
- Raise awareness of SRP research findings and general environmental health concepts related to hazardous chemical exposure among teachers, visitors to local science centers and other broad audiences;
- Increase SRP-funded students' knowledge of research translation concepts; and
- Communicate RTC activities and outcomes to NIEHS and other SRPs.
The RTC is continuing current efforts to raise awareness of SRP research and extend them to new state agency partners. They are also implementing new initiatives designed to respond to research and outreach needs identified by state agencies and local health departments in communities with hazardous waste sites. They are continuing to assist NCDENR and NCDHHS in creating decision making tools that index cumulative exposure to pollutants and health outcomes, refining beta versions of these tools and training agency staff in their use. In addition, the researchers are working with the Office of Technology Development (OTD) to assist in the commercialization of intellectual property. In addition, they are continuing and expanding their teacher professional development activities and initiating new projects with local science centers, enabling them to effectively share Superfund related science with broad audiences in appropriate ways.