The University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) recently participated in the conference “Connecting Research and Practice: A Dialogue between ATSDR and the NIEHS Superfund Research Program.” The goal of the event was to investigate shared points of research interests and possibilities for collaboration between the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and SRP grantees. The meeting was held at ATSDR’s Chamblee campus in Atlanta, GA, from August 7-8, 2012 and was attended by over 100 scientists from ATSDR and SRPs across the country, including ATSDR Director Dr. Chris Portier, NIEHS Director Dr. Linda Birnbaum, and SRP Director Dr. Bill Suk.
The meeting included four sessions: Legacy Contaminants; Community Engagement; Environmental Fate and Transport; and Emerging Contaminants. The sessions consisted of presentations by SRP scientists, followed by a panel discussion led by ATSDR scientists. UA SRP Research Translation Coordinator Dr. Sarah Wilkinson participated in the Community Engagement session, giving a talk entitled, “The UA SRP: Engaging Arizona Communities near Contamination.” She described outputs of the UA SRP’s research translation and community engagement cores, including informational materials and educational modules, and highlighted examples of how the UA SRP has worked directly with Arizona communities in response to their environmental health concerns. Dr. Wilkinson was also able to provide an overview of the UA SRP projects and cores during a poster session.
This was the first planned meeting bringing together ATSDR and the SRPs, and was a promising start to future collaborations. A full meeting report will be available in the September edition of the NIEHS Environmental Factor.