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Brown University

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Eric M. Suuberg
Grant Number: P42ES013660
Funding Period: 2005-2021

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Project Summary (2015-2021)

Because of the Research Translation Core (RTC) and Community Engagement Core (CEC), the scientific results of the Brown SRP are linked continually to both Rhode Island and national stakeholders. The RTC provides a bidirectional communication interface between the SRP and state partner agencies (the Rhode Island Departments of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and Health (RIDOH)), as well as with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other SRPs. The nature and structure of the RTC is fully aligned with the overarching scientific theme of the Brown SRP, Integrated Biomedical & Engineering Solutions to Regulatory Uncertainty. Through its regular contacts with RIDEM and RIDOH (and analogous agencies at the federal level), the RTC (in collaboration with the CEC) assures that Brown SRP’s work on environmental engineering and science topics is always informed by health considerations.

The RTC works closely with individual project leaders to offer mechanisms by which their results find broad and appropriate audiences. The RTC offers technology transfer and development mechanisms. It ensures that NIEHS/SRP staff members are regularly informed of research, translation, and other activities related to the Brown SRP.

The RTC maintains principal responsibility for communication with all environmental science and engineering-oriented professional and governmental groups, whereas the CEC is principally responsible for communication with community-based organizations and health professional groups. To ensure a full integration with the academic portions of the program, core leadership for both the RTC and CEC is drawn from regular faculty members, who work in partnership with those from government. To ensure that communication with the full range of stakeholders is continuous and properly managed, the RTC relies on a unique State Agencies Liaison. The individual holding this position serves as the principal liaison between the activities and research of the SRP and its stakeholder community in Rhode Island and nationally, which includes other SRPs across the country. He/she works closely with the Environmental Health State Agencies Liaison, Marcella Thompson, Ph.D., who is his/her counterpart in the CEC.

The proposed RTC activities foster two-way communication between the SRP and its stakeholders in many ways. The RTC responds to requests for technical advice from governmental agencies, develops and hosts relevant educational and training workshops for stakeholders, facilitates communication of research findings to relevant scientific and other professional communities, and supports technology transfer initiatives. Additionally, the RTC will continue to support contaminated site investigation and restoration projects at the Centredale Manor (NPL), Gorham/Textron, Industrial Lane, and Fisherville Mill sites, and work closely with the Training Core to develop environmentally relevant coursework and practical training for SRP trainees.

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