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Superfund Research Program

Administrative Core

Project Leader: Ana Navas-Acien
Co-Investigator: Steven N. Chillrud
Grant Number: P42ES033719
Funding Period: 2022-2027
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Project Summary (2022-2027)

The Administrative (Admin) Core serves as the central resource of the Columbia University Northern Plains Superfund Research Program (CUNP-SRP). The CUNP-SRP center is establishing a partnership between scientists and tribal communities to advance science and technology to address hazardous chemicals in drinking water and their related health effects in the Northern Plains. It is led by Ana Navas-Acien, a physician-scientist and environmental epidemiologist who has been working with tribal communities for more than a decade, and Steven Chillrud, an environmental geochemist with longstanding experience in exposure sciences, remediation of Superfund sites, and research translation. The Tribal Communication Specialist is Rae O’Leary, a public health expert centrally located at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in the Northern Plains with experience in policy development working with tribal leadership.

The CUNP-SRP Administrative Core’s main objective is to facilitate the interaction and success of each project and core and to maximize the impact of all its activities, including translation and communication with our tribal partners in the Northern Plains, in collaboration with the Community Engagement Core. The Administrative Core supports research translation of CUNP- SRP activities by: a) partnering with tribal and governmental agencies to promote and facilitate water testing, connecting houses on wells to community water systems, and educating communities on legislative options; b) coordinating technology transfer, including local commercialization of research designs developed by CUNP- SRP investigators; c) communicating within SRP and to NIEHS SRP staff results of those translation activities, as well as findings from projects and cores; d) fostering and reporting investigator-initiated research translation; and e) providing information dissemination to other end-users. The specific aims are as follows:

  • Foster interdisciplinary collaboration through collective leadership and strategic vision and coordination of seminars and webinars, meetings (including the monthly steering committee meeting and the monthly research seminar), annual progress reports, evaluations, and other activities.
  • Enable multidirectional research translation among investigators, NIEHS, other SRPs, tribal, state, and federal government agencies, other organizations, community partners, and the broader public.
  • Facilitate career development of early-stage scientists, including Native American investigators, through mentoring and networking activities and the support of applications in response to program announcements, awards, and diversity supplements.

Overall, the Administrative Core promotes integration of projects and cores to inform the CUNP-SRP on the best methods and strategies to reduce hazardous water contaminants (with a focus on metals), facilitate remediation in contaminated Superfund sites and tribal lands, and mitigate the health effects of water contamination long-term.

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