PROTECT Participates in and Supports Planning of 30th NIEHS SRP Meeting

PROTECT team members from all of the Center’s partner institutions attended the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program (SRP) 30th Annual Meeting held from December 6th through 8th, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The meeting was hosted by Penn SRP Center with support from PROTECT and Dartmouth SRP Centers. The theme of the meeting was “Fundamental Research for Innovation and Health,” with a mission of sharing ways in which interdisciplinary collaboration within, outside of, and across SRP centers “has generated innovation in environmental health science research.”

The first day of the meeting was especially busy for PROTECT team members; the agenda prominently featured three team leaders: Carmen Vélez-Vega and Phil Brown, co-leaders of the Community Engagement Core (CEC), as well as Thomas Sheahan, leader of the Training Core. Carmen Vélez-Vega, a University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus researcher who also co-leads PROTECT’s Human Subjects and Sampling Core (HSSC), participated in a panel on “Disaster Preparedness and Public Health Challenges,” speaking in depth on PROTECT’s Community Engagement response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico. Phil Brown, a Northeastern University researcher who also leads PROTECT’s Research Translation Core, moderated this panel, which also featured Jennifer Horney of Texas A&M University, Aubrey K. Miller of the NIEHS, and Joseph “Chip” Hughes Jr. of the Worker Education and Training Program and the NIEHS.

PROTECT Trainees Elana Elkin (Project 2) and Amira Aker (Project 1) Presenting at the Annual NIEHS SRP Meeting poster session

PROTECT Trainees Elana Elkin (Project 2) and Amira Aker (Project 1) Presenting at the Annual NIEHS SRP Meeting poster session

During the Trainee Program, trainees (graduate students and postdocs) heard from Lisa Marshall, MA, a communication professional and author, on “Effective Science Presentations.” Her presentation was followed by a talk on “Effective Science Communication and Writing,” from Dr. Judith Swan, Associate Director of Writing in Science and Engineering from Princeton University. Trainees then participated in a panel of SRP Alumni on their career paths, and a “Professional Introduction and Networking Session,” moderated by Thomas Sheahan, leader of the PROTECT Training Core, and Bruce Stanton of Dartmouth SRP. The Training and RTC-CEC Programs wrapped up with a joint panel focused on “Advancing Risk Communication.”

On the second day of the meeting, Reneé Wurth, a KC Donnelly Externship winner, presented on her work developing new skills in water quality analysis, model and tool development, and dissemination of information at the University of California, Berkeley SRP Center.  The KC Donnelly Award was created in 2009 to support SRP graduate students and postdoctoral fellows pursuing transdisciplinary research in environmental health. Several PROTECT Trainees have received the award in the past, including Nancy Cardona-Cordero (HSSC and CEC) in 2017 and Marvic Carmona de Jesus (Project 4) in 2015.

In addition, the SRP Meeting featured a poster session for researchers and graduate students to present on their work. This poster session gave team members an opportunity to display their research and meet other innovative scientists in their field. Overall, 34 team members associated with the PROTECT Center attended the Meeting. PROTECT is thankful for being given the opportunity to come together for a week of learning and idea-sharing in such a driven and energized community.

PROTECT team members in Philadelphia, PA following the Annual SRP Meeting

PROTECT team members in Philadelphia, PA following the Annual SRP Meeting