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Texas A&M University

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Thomas J. McDonald
Co-Investigator: Weihsueh A. Chiu
Grant Number: P42ES027704
Funding Period: 2017-2022

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Project Summary (2017-2022)

The Texas A&M University Superfund Research Program (TAMU SRP) Center focuses on comprehensive solutions for addressing human health risks during and after environmental emergency-related contamination events, by developing novel approaches to rapidly and comprehensively evaluate and reduce the potential health hazards of exposures to complex chemical mixtures. Achieving the Center’s ultimate goal of improving decision-making after an environmental emergency requires communication, partnerships, technology transfer, and broad-based information dissemination to a wide range of stakeholders, including academia, government agencies, the private sector, and as well as potentially affected individuals and communities. Natural and man-made disasters may occur anywhere across the country, and a broad-based communication, dissemination, and technology transfer strategy is needed into order to encourage accurate and timely use of Center research products.

The overall goal of the Research Translation Core is to improve the identification, characterization, and remediation of chemical contamination from natural and man-made disasters through communication and technology transfer of TAMU SRP Center research findings to multiple stakeholders, including: the NIEHS; industry, research, and non-governmental organizations; federal, state, local, and tribal agencies and elected officials; and individuals and communities that may be affected.

The Research Translation Core coordinates its work closely with the Decision Science Core and Community Engagement Core and facilitates these interactions through a comprehensive suite of activities that target the greatest opportunities for improving environmental health decision-making. Key technology transfer opportunities include methods being developed for chemical detection, exposure mitigation, in vitro testing of organ-specific toxicity, and in vitro testing for endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Additionally, the Research Translation Core is developing a suite of modular online decision-support tools in the form of user-friendly "Dashboards" to provide access to and visualization of data and predictions of fate and transport, exposure (including analytical chemistry), toxicokinetics, hazards, and risks. A broad-based communication strategy includes "passive" (web-based) dissemination of research findings, as well as "active" communication through partnerships with local communities. Ultimately, the Research Translation Core aims to facilitate the broader impact of TAMU SRP Center research in the planning for, response to, and recovery/remediation of contamination after environmental emergencies, as well as to create a broad awareness of Center activities across a wide range of audiences and stakeholders.

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