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Boston University

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Wendy J. Heiger-Bernays
Co-Investigators: David M. Ozonoff, Madeleine Kangsen Scammell
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 2005-2021

Project-Specific Links

Project Summary (2017-2021)

The goal of the Research Translation Core (RTC) in the Boston University Superfund Research Program (BU SRP) Center is to make research from the Center’s projects and activities accessible to other SRP Centers, governmental organizations, the broader scientific community, and the lay public. Within the BU SRP Center, the RTC integrates and coordinates research translation throughout every level, from staff, to trainees, and to project and core leaders, in order to first connect personnel to a broad and increasing range of stakeholders, and then to assist them in translating their work into useful, actionable information.

RTC- and investigator-initiated research translation is accomplished by: (i) leveraging the resources and reach of robust research translation partners, including the Zephyr Education Foundation, the NOAA Woods Hole Aquarium, the Museum of Science, Boston, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, the New England Society for Risk Analysis, Hands Across the River (New Bedford), the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, and the Mystic River Watershed Association, and (ii) long-cultivated relationships with city, state, and national level government organizations including, but not limited to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Massachusetts congressional delegation, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, many individual Massachusetts town Boards of Health, the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, and regional and national offices of the USEPA.

The RTC has four specific aims:

  1. Promote research translation-oriented communication within the NIEHS SRP. This aim is met by improving the communication skills of project leaders, trainees, and staff, and by the use of strategies to improve information sharing within and outside of the SRP.
  2. Deepen collaborations with governmental organizations responsible for protecting public health, with a focus on impacts of early life exposures to Superfund chemicals. This aim is met by actively engaging relevant governmental agencies in activities that inform agency staff of emerging developments in environmental health, toxicology, and risk assessment that are important to their decision-making process.
  3. Facilitate technology transfer by providing tools and resources to end-users. This aim is met by making outcome data, computational models, reagents, and other resources accessible to the scientific community.
  4. Design and implement research translation to broad audiences. This aim is met through multiple tools including podcasts, newsletters, blogs, and other web-based platforms, opinion pieces, national conference calls, forums, workshops, seminars and community/agency meetings.

These initiatives are accomplished in collaboration with the Community Engagement Core and Training Core, and will be orchestrated by RTC leadership with documented expertise in laboratory and regulatory toxicology, risk assessment, and science communication and with long-nurtured community and regulatory organization relationships.

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