PROTECT Team Participates in 2018 Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting

PROTECT researchers, trainees, and administrators traveled to Sacramento, CA, in late November to participate in the 2018 Annual Superfund Research Program meeting. The theme for this year’s meeting, which was held November 28-30th, was “The Next Generation of Superfund Training, Translation and Research.”

Phil Brown speaking at SRP Annual Meeting 2018
Phil Brown presenting at the RTC/CEC meeting on November 28th, 2018

Thirteen PROTECT trainees participated in the Trainee Program on November 28th, which featured Dr. Tyrone Hayes as keynote speaker. Hayes spoke about how his interest in amphibians led to research on endocrine disrupting chemicals and health care disparities. Subsequent sessions focused on Big Data, non-academic careers, and networking.

Also on Wednesday, members of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores participated in the RTC/CEC sessions. Dr. Phil Brown, RTC leader and CEC co-leader, presented as a panelist during the first session, “Landmark Successes of Historical RT/CE Programs.” His presentation focused on the importance of public health in environmental health, long-term collaborations with community organizations, social science frameworks for environmental health, and CEC/RTC research and publication. The presentation particularly highlighted the PROTECT Report Back phone app, response after the Zika virus and Hurricane Maria, and major CEC/RTC publications.

The main program began later in the day on Wednesday and continued through Friday morning. Several PROTECT researchers and trainees presented at the main meeting. Amber Cathey, trainee with Project 1, presented during the “Connecting Exposures to Health Outcomes” session. Her presentation focused on “Longitudinal associations between biomarkers of urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and serum hormones among pregnant women in Puerto Rico.” Later in the same session, CEC trainee Nancy Cardona presented on her 2017 KC Donnelly externship and the resulting community based participatory research project she conducted in an underserved community in Puerto Rico.

PROTECT Trainee presenting at SRP Annual Meeting 2018
PROTECT Trainee Yishan Lin presenting at the poster session on November 28, 2018

PROTECT CEC co-leader Dr. Carmen Vélez-Vega was co-moderator on Session 5, “Environmental Impacts of Natural Disasters.” Dr. Michael Welton, a postdoctoral researcher with the Human Subjects and Sampling Core at UGA, presented on the “Impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on Puerto Rico Maternal and Child Health: Research Programs and Strategies for the Future.” The presentation highlighted his ongoing R21 research project, which will focus on how the traumatic experiences of the hurricane and its prolonged aftermath affected birth outcomes. He also discussed Dr. Deb Watkins’ related R21 study, which will investigate both chemical exposures and stress related to the hurricane, and how they may impact birth outcomes and early child development.

Twelve PROTECT trainees and researchers also presented during the two poster sessions: Pahriya Ashrap (Project 1), Shi Dong (Data Core), Stephanie Eick (HSSC), Elana Elkin (Project 2), Zlatan Feric (Data Core), Sean Harris (Project 2), Yishan Lin (Project 5), Rafael Rios-McConnell (HSSC), Elienisse Rodriguez-Medina (Project 4), Anthony Su (Project 2), Deb Watkins (Project 1), Yuwei Zhao (Project 5).

As always, PROTECT is grateful for the opportunity to network with other SRP Centers and learn more about cutting edge research in environmental health fields.

PROTECT Researchers at SRP Meeting poster session
PROTECT students and researchers at SRP Meeting poster session. From left to right: Amber Cathey, Pahriya Ashrap, Akram Alshawabkeh, Anthony Su, Deb Watkins

To see more photos from the meeting, please view our Google photo album.