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University of Kentucky

Superfund Research Program

Superfund Inter-Disciplinary Training Core

Project Leader: Yinan Wei
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2000-2020

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Project Summary (2008-2014)

The environmental challenge posed by Superfund chemicals is of high magnitude and affects several aspects of human life. The aim of the University of Kentucky Superfund Basic Research Program is studying the effects of nutrition on the toxicity of Superfund chemicals, detection of these chemicals, and their remediation. To solve any environmental problems, the emerging researchers should have specific scientific training, broad knowledge of different disciplines, and be effective communicators. The Training Core plans to address this need through cross-disciplinary graduate education and a training program in environmental sciences. The collaboration of the Training Core with the individual projects and the other Cores of the UK-SBRP will expose trainees to both basic and applied research. In addition to the trainees involvement in individual projects, they will also be introduced to:

  1. proteomics, EPA methods, and Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in Toxicology though workshops organized by the Research Support Core
  2. Research Translation strategies through workshops and participation in the activities of the Research Translation Core, and
  3. real environmental problems through participation in the activities of the Community Outreach Core in communities residing close to Superfund sites

The goals of the Training Core are:

  1. to provide thorough training of students in their specific field,
  2. to instill basic knowledge about socioeconomic, law, engineering and science aspects, and
  3. to enhance the ability of students to communicate with scientists, as well as non-scientists. In addition to providing student stipends, the Training Core will make travel funds available to student trainees and postdoctoral scholars to present their Superfund-related research at scientific conferences.

Emphasis will be placed on identifying and recruiting motivated individuals and students from underrepresented groups through brochures, web page, and presentations at minority institutions. The Training Core program will be evaluated on a regular basis to assess the progress in meeting the goals of the program. This will be accomplished by, first, evaluating the progress of the trainees toward their educational goals, and second, in terms of how the trainees view and value the program.

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