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Environmental Factor

December 2011

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SRP grantees gather in Lexington for annual meeting

By Rebecca Wilson
December 2011

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Bugler from Keeneland, KY

Meeting attendees received a call to the post by a bugler from Keeneland, one of Kentucky's historic racetracks. (Photo courtesy Joseph Rey Au)

At the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) annual meeting, more than 250 researchers, trainees, and colleagues gathered in Lexington, Ky., Oct 24-25 to share the latest in research and technology advances. The meeting featured the talents of veteran and trainee SRP researchers, who were able to communicate their findings and learn from others' efforts.

The scientific sessions, on topics ranging from systemic impacts of pollutants on humans to sustainable remediation techniques, were flanked with satellite meetings on the days before and after the main meeting. Researchers, who have received research project (R01) grants, gathered the day before to update program staff and their fellow researchers on their work in nanotechnology and phytoremediation. After the main session, Research Translation and Community Engagement Core leaders gathered to learn more about risk communication and strategies for interacting with the media, and effectively communicating the results of their research.

Trainees taste life beyond the bench

The meeting also showcased the program's commitment to training graduate and postdoctoral researchers in cross-disciplinary research that is at the heart of the SRP strategic plan. Three sessions featured presentations by trainees and postdoctoral researchers and, at the end of each session, a Research Translation Core leader summarized the implication of the presenters' work for research translation and community engagement.

In addition to presentations, trainees were invited to participate in a panel discussion featuring NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., and other professionals from academia and industry. Trainees were able to talk about their careers and learn that there is life beyond the bench (see story(

The meeting wrapped up with awards given to several trainees. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona, was named the winner of the 14th annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award (see story (

Six students also received prizes for their efforts in the annual student poster contest. In the non-biomedical poster session, the winners were Corin Hammond, University of Arizona SRP Center; Dena Cologgi, Michigan State University; and Richard Meggo, University of Iowa SRP Center. In the biomedical category, Fabian Grimm, University of Iowa SRP Center; Lauren Tetz, University of Michigan-Northeastern University SRP Center; and Bei Zhang, University of Kentucky SRP Center, were awarded top places.

(Rebecca Wilson is an environmental health information specialist with MDB, Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Superfund Research Program and Worker Education and Training Program.)

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