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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Superfund Research Program

Data Management and Analysis Core

Project Leader: Stuart S. Levine
Co-Investigator: Forest M. White
Grant Number: P42ES027707
Funding Period: 2022-2027
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Project Summary (2022-2027)

N-Nitrosamines are a family of chemicals that include some of the most potent mutagens known. Many N-nitrosamines have been shown to be potently carcinogenic in animal models, and some have been deemed probably human carcinogens. N-Nitrosamines are a major concern for people who live near the Olin Chemical Superfund Site because N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) has been found in nearby municipal and private wells. NDMA is also a concern of the Passamaquoddy Tribe because the methods used for water treatment are known to lead to formation of NDMA. Biomedical research (BMR) projects reveal the health effects of N-nitrosamines, to predict and prevent disease, and the environmental science and engineering (ESE) projects create technology to sense and destroy N-nitrosamines, so as to protect people from these hazardous chemicals. The mission of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Data Management and Analysis Core (DMAC) is to build and improve data management, to foster and enable cross-disciplinary collaborations, and to leverage computational modeling to gain new knowledge.

Aim 1 is to continue to improve the MIT-SEEK data management platform and to create and continuously improve a Comprehensive Data Management Plan. These efforts will ensure that MIT SRP data are findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). Aim 2 is to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and data integration among projects and cores and to share best practices for a broader impact. Aim 3 is to leverage computational modeling techniques in order to reveal mechanistic understanding of disease and provide important information about risk.

Importantly, the major goals of the MIT SRP are made possible by a Systems Approach of interactions and interdependencies among all projects and cores. The DMAC is essential to the Systems Approach because it unifies the team to focus on data and results from all components, so that effective collaboration is fostered. Constant updating also provides agility, since researchers can embrace collaborative opportunities as they arise in real time. The DMAC also brings advanced computational modeling techniques so that data streams can be merged across the program. Integrating knowledge of what, where, and how much N-nitrosamines are in water with new knowledge of their biological effects contributes to the understanding of risk and enable prevention strategies. All research is made possible by trainees, and their success rests on the Research Experience and Training Coordination Core (RETCC). Results from sensors and analytical methods are analyzed by the DMAC, and these are made possible by the Community Engagement Core, which works with community members to obtain water samples. Finally, through meetings and enrichment activities, the Administrative Core supports the DMAC both in terms of connectivity within the program, and via interactions with local, state, and national and tribal organizations. Through “Team Science,” a system of values that nurture collaborations, the DMAC is propelling the MIT SRP's mission to protect people from hazardous environmental chemicals.

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