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Northeastern University

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Phil Brown
Grant Number: P42ES017198
Funding Period: 2010-2020
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2014-2020)

The Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats Center (PROTECT) uses an integrated, cross disciplinary approach to study the fate, transport, exposure, health impact, and remediation of contaminants commonly found at Superfund sites, with particular attention to phthalates and chlorinated solvents as both are suspect and model agents in the high preterm birth rates in Puerto Rico. The Research Translation Core (RTC) serves the overall interests of PROTECT and NIEHS by translating and disseminating PROTECT research results to a wide variety of governmental agencies, scientific communities, industry, and other stakeholders.

The RTC does this through five aims:

  • Aim 1: Publicize and emphasize to EPA, ATSDR, and other stakeholders the significance and/or relevance of program findings for public policy, public health, and prevention
  • Aim 2: Build partnerships with stakeholders to respond to requests, develop capacity, and improve understanding of Center findings
  • Aim 3: Serve as the bridge between investigators, partners and stakeholders to foster commercial development, utilization and translation of the knowledge gained by the SRP program into tools, strategies or technologies, in an efficient and timely manner
  • Aim 4: Collaborate with other PROTECT cores for enhanced sharing of information, materials and best practices outside of PROTECT
  • Aim 5: Communicate PROTECT work to SRP Headquarters and to the national SRP community

These aims are realized through activities that solidify internal communications within PROTECT, communications with other SRPs and the national office, and communication with a wide range of professional, governmental, public health, and community organizations. The RTC works with each project leader to develop translational activities, and it offers training sessions for faculty, postdocs, and students to facilitate research translation. The RTC develops mechanisms for technology transfer, such as patents, commercialization, and intellectual property. It facilitates consultations of expertise and new collaborations, particularly outside the SRP community. The RTC helps investigators to increase NIEHS and other grant submissions, thus expanding the environmental health capacity of the constituent campuses. It offers webinars and conferences to share findings and for communities to share experiences/needs with the university researchers, especially by collaborating with the Training Core and Community Engagement Core. The RTC has a strong website presence and is the central clearinghouse for collating and disseminating PROTECT results and materials. The RTC also develops publications that highlight the overall sum of PROTECT’s research translation outcomes.

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