Superfund Research Program
- Project Summary
The overall objective of the Administrative Core (AC) of the University of New Mexico Metals Exposure and Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands in the Southwest (UNM METALS) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center is to provide leadership, strategic planning, and support to facilitate the success of the Center. The Center’s overarching goal is to understand how metal mixtures from legacy uranium mine wastes move through the environment; identify environmental exposure pathways including those unique to traditional practices, and associated health outcomes; and to seek interventions that relieve the burden of disease through culturally respectful, readily implemented methods for prevention, environmental and health-based interventions, or early diagnosis of disease or disease risk.
The AC ensures projects are aligned with the goals of METALS and facilitates interactions among project and Core leaders as well as the internal and external advisory boards and other stakeholders, including the Center’s community partners, Navajo Nation council delegates, Navajo Nation EPA, and USEPA. The METALS AC assists in planning across the Training, Community Engagement, and Research Translation Cores to support multi-directional environmental health and cultural literacy and dissemination of activities and findings to communities and stakeholders. The AC also administers institutional support funds for pilot projects to advance metals research and foster interdepartmental collaborations for early career scientists. The Center received institutional support to maintain a Trace Metal Analysis Laboratory for clean-room analysis of biological specimens for metals. This facility is seen as a hub, attracting a range of metals-focused researchers to expand METALS collaborations, and supporting expansion of analytical facilities.