Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
Project Leader: Richard Pepino
Grant Number: P42ES023720
Funding Period: 2014-2020
Project Summary (2014-2020)
The primary goals of the Penn SRP Center’s Research Translation Core are to translate the knowledge and discoveries of the Center into actionable items that will remediate asbestos waste and reduce its adverse health effects, by forging productive partnerships with the public and private sectors. These partnerships will provide for technology transfer of substantive research outcomes to specific end-users that will benefit from this knowledge in addressing the myriad of remediation, ecological challenges, and public health aspects that asbestos cleanups present to regulatory agencies even to this day. Currently ten states still have active hazardous waste sites that present significant risk from asbestos exposure. The Core’s long term goal is to implement a new approach to risk assessment using biomarker panels to distinguish between asbestos exposed individuals that are disease free and those that may succumb to asbestos related disease.
To enable these technologies the Core is forming partnerships with government agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The Core promotes the application of technologies based on the environmental and environmental health sciences research of the Penn SRP that are consistent with EPA‘s Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS) and may be used as a model approach to enhance Volume I: Parts A-F of RAGS.
These goals will be met under the following four Specific Aims:
- Communicate scientific advances within the Penn SRP as well as to the greater SRP community. The Core works with project and core investigators to identify deliverables and coordinate research translation opportunities. It is pursuing research translation opportunities emanating from the goals of the overall Center and reports its activity within the SRP to SRP staff at NIEHS and other SRP Centers.
- Form partnerships with government agencies. The Core strengthens the capacity of U.S. EPA decision-making officials in both the Superfund Program and the Office of Research and Development by conducting peer-reviewed scientific investigations that will enhance human and ecological safeguards in the public and private sectors. It develops active partnerships and communication tools with staff at the headquarters and regional offices of the EPA & ATSDR (HHS) to promote technical and policy applications on how the researcher’s remediation strategies and biomarker work can help remediate asbestos containing sites and enhance risk-assessment.
- Translate findings into products through use of Technology Transfer. The Core uses its Technology Development and Transfer Committee to identify the non-biomedical and biomedical technologies that should be advanced through the intellectual property process into products and patents.
- Disseminate information to other end users. To promote innovative and cost-effective alternatives to protect the environment and public health the Core develops communication tools and strategies to inform communities, hazardous waste practitioners and public health professionals, and the lay public of advances made by the Penn-SRP.