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Harvard School of Public Health

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Superfund Research Program

Safety and Health Management of Hazards Associated with Emerging Technologies

Project Leader: Gary Adamkiewicz
Grant Number: R25ES023635
Funding Period: 2013-2020

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Summary (2013-2016)

The Harvard University TH Chan School of Public Health, in partnership with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are developing a comprehensive program of research, education, and training in the management of hazards associated with emerging technologies. This project includes two new graduate level Master of Public Health degree programs, internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate trainees, support for pilot research projects on hazards of new and emerging technologies, research in development and application of new detection technologies, and professional continuing education and distance learning programs. The program will prepare professional practitioners and researchers to address the evaluation, handling, and management of hazardous substances and conditions associated with emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology, electronic waste, drug delivery in healthcare, and sustainable remediation.

The overall objectives of the proposed research education program are fourfold: to develop an academic curriculum on occupational health and safety and hazardous substances and leadership in sustainability and environmental management related to emerging technologies; to train a cohort of students in graduate (MPH degree) programs, as well as executive and professional continuing education and distance learning on hazards associated with emerging technologies; to disseminate the results and findings of this research and education; and to evaluate the effectiveness of the training provided. The research education program provides traineeships to program participants recruited from undergraduate institutions with particular emphasis on under-represented populations, as well as full-time trainees in the graduate (MPH) programs. Research opportunities on hazards associated with new and emerging technologies are supported through the pilot project program, and they are researching development and application of new detection technologies through the Harvard Sensors for Health project.

The research education program is being developed in consultation with and evaluated by the HSPH Office of Educational Programs and the Committee on Educational Policy, as well as an external advisory board comprised of stakeholders in health and safety considerations of emerging technologies including academics, business and industry, government, labor, and not-for-profit organizations. This consultation and evaluation will assure that the research education is relevant to the Superfund Research Program’s commitment to short courses, continuing education, and graduate training on health and safety management practices for emerging technologies.

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