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Texas A&M University

Superfund Research Program

Research Experience and Training Coordination Core

Project Leader: Candice L. Brinkmeyer-Langford
Grant Number: P42ES027704
Funding Period: 2022-2027
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Project Summary (2022-2027)

The Texas A&M University Superfund Research Center aims to characterize and manage both existing and environmental emergency-created hazardous waste sites through the development of tools that can be used by first responders, affected communities, and government bodies involved in site management and cleanup. The complexities of hazardous chemical exposures that occur because of environmental emergencies, their potential adverse health effects, and the need to evaluate and mitigate the potential hazards of exposures to complex mixtures call for a highly interdisciplinary and cohesive research program rapidly and comprehensively. The center brings together a team of scientists from biomedical, engineering, data science, and social disciplines to design comprehensive solutions to complex exposure- and health hazard-related risk assessment and hazard reduction challenges. Given the diversity of the disciplines involved, the excellence of the investigators, and the tight integration of the fundamental and applied research, the Center forms an outstanding training environment for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and creates ample opportunities for integration and professional development of the next generation of researchers and practitioners.

The Research and Experience Training Coordination Core (RETCC) serves as a central hub for science and practice learning in the center by focusing on the following objectives:

  • Promote interdisciplinary learning via collaborative projects across multiple projects/cores;
  • Augment trainees’ existing graduate and postdoctoral programs with targeted skill-building workshops;
  • Provide opportunities for interactions with diverse audiences (scientific and layperson) in support of the research translation functions of the Community Engagement and Administrative and Research Translation cores; and
  • Track and evaluate trainee development and success.

The core works closely with existing training programs at participating institutions and is tightly integrated with the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology and T32 program, Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology, at Texas A&M University. The core coordinates research and learning of postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students in all projects and cores. Distinctive features of the core are topic-specific, interdisciplinary boot camps and a trainee exchange program across center components or with outside stakeholders involved in emergency response to environmental disasters, modeled after the K.C. Donnelly Externship Award. These activities receive support from Texas A&M administration. It is expected that center trainees will continue to be highly successful in academia, industry, governmental agencies, and other professional settings and will improve public health protection through innovative and rigorous research and practice in support of decision-making.

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