Superfund Research Program
Project Summary (2020-2025)
This Center brings together a truly diverse team of biomedical, chemical/combustion engineers and physicists, and non-technical researchers and support staff to conduct interdisciplinary research examining the environmental and health impacts of pollutant particle systems formed during thermal treatment of hazardous wastes. The driving scientific concept and innovation of this Center focuses on these environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs). The team is composed of experts from Louisiana State University (LSU), the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans (LSUHSC), the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (LSUSVM), North Carolina State University, Dominican University of California, and the University of Queensland, Australia. All participating institutions have invested in the success of the Center and have offered significant additional support to provide the Center the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to new opportunities, pursue high-risk/high-impact and transformative research, and attract new faculty/researchers as participants. The Administrative Core (AC) monitors, prioritizes, allocates, and manages resources across these sites. This includes fostering efficient collaboration, data and information sharing, the rapid dissemination of resources, evaluation and management of programmatic performance, and the identification and resolution of problems. Innovations include meetings structured to disseminate information across projects and cores to stakeholders, leveraging of state-of-the-art institutional resources (e.g., LSU’s Center for Advanced Microstructures & Devices and Materials Characterization Laboratory, LSUHSC’s Statistical Analysis Core, LSUSVM’s Inhalation Research Facility) and development of a Web portal (managed by the AC and the Data Management & Analysis Core) for archiving, sharing, and analysis of all data generated by the Center. The integration of research translation (RT) into the Core creates opportunities for even greater cross-Center collaboration and bidirectional RT. The RT component of the Core works with the Research Experience and Training Coordination Core and project and core leaders to involve trainees in community-engagement activities and provide professional development workshops on concepts related to environmental health science and Center research. The RT component is establishing new – and strengthening existing –community, industry, governmental, and SRP partnerships by inviting partners to participate in Center activities, such as the annual Dellinger Symposium. Finally, LSU’s Office of Research & Economic Development has created a supportive environment for multidisciplinary research initiatives, such as the Center offering centralized officers for compliance (IRB, IACUC, etc.), facilitating /organizing scientific reviewers for the application, and assisting with the editing and compilation of the proposal. The Center uses feedback from the External Advisory Committee, which is composed of experts from the Center’s various research fields and from the community and other stakeholders, to fulfill the missions of NIEHS and the Superfund program mandates.