Superfund Research Program
Project Leader: Kelly G. Pennell
Co-Investigator: Bernhard Hennig
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2000-2025
Final Progress Reports
The University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) promotes problem-based, solution-oriented research that seeks to reduce exposure and/or negative health impacts associated with exposure to a subclass of persistent halogenated chemicals (e.g. PCBs, TCE, and PFAS). This is accomplished by using an innovative transdisciplinary research approach that brings together biomedical and environmental scientists, engineers, and trainees using an integrative administrative structure that links together individual projects and cores. The Administrative Core provides high level coordination of transdisciplinary scientific interactions across biomedical and environmental science domains, associated interdisciplinary research training and multi-directional translation efforts across diverse sectors – federal government, state agencies, the private sector, and other stakeholders at community and individual levels. To provide an optimal support environment and the requisite infrastructure to accomplish the Center’s goals, the Core focuses on four specific aims:
- Implement high level planning and coordination of research activities by implementing effective leadership, identifying emerging research, facilitating complementary approaches and establishing processes for dissemination, translation and engagement;
- Integrate diverse cross-disciplinary areas of research by promoting intra- and extra-Center communication and fostering collaboration and cooperation across projects and cores;
- Provide effective fiscal management processes and oversight of core resources;
- Facilitate high quality management processes that promote continuing research productivity, effective mentoring, accurate documentation/reporting and capacity to meet future challenges.
During the last year, UK-SRC scientists have produced scholarly research in both biomedical and environmental sciences, resulting in over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles with one patent pending and two provisional patent applications to be submitted soon. The Administrative Core continues to be involved with the broader SRP community and has helped organize and coordinate multiple international conferences on SRP-related issues, such as the Central and Eastern European Conference on Health and the Environment (CEECHE), which was held in Krakow, Poland (2018). Publications resulting from this conference appeared in a Special Issue of the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, entitled Environmental Problems and International Solutions.
The UK-SRC has a strong history of multi-directional engagement with impacted communities both within Kentucky and other states. The Administrative Core has also supported several training events. For example, UK-SRC hosted trainees from the University of Louisville SRP Center for a two-day event that included information exchange among trainees from both centers, group presentations and discussion, tours of some of UK's labs, and a full day visit to Whitesburg, Kentucky, where the Community Engagement Core has worked for many years.
UK-SRP trainee Jazmyne Barney was featured recently as one of the UK College of Medicine success stories. After graduation, Barney, who was mentored by Bernhard Hennig, accepted a position with Proctor and Gamble. Michael Petriello, a former trainee in Hennig’s lab, was awarded a K99/R00 from NIEHS and accepted a faculty position at Wayne State University.