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Environmental Factor, March 2013

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Birnbaum visits Northeastern SRP partner in Puerto Rico

Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.

Birnbaum discussed transdisciplinary research such as work supported by PROTECT as a key driver in public health that not only identifies treatments but also preventive measures. (Photo courtesy of El Vocero and Dennis Jones)

Braulio Jimenez, Ph.D.

UPRMC lecture host Jimenez (Photo courtesy of Braulio Jimenez)

NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., visited the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Medical Sciences Campus Feb. 4 to discuss the importance of transdisciplinary research in the environmental health sciences. Braulio Jimenez, Ph.D., a lead researcher in the Northeastern University Superfund Research Program (SRP) human subjects and sampling core, located at UPR, coordinated the talk.

During Birnbaum’s visit, she gave a lecture on “Future Research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,” where she discussed the Northeastern SRP Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) program. The PROTECT program, supported with NIEHS SRP funding, studies exposure to environmental contamination in Puerto Rico and its contribution to preterm birth.

Birnbaum highlighted the PROTECT program as an excellent example of transdisciplinary research that not only identifies treatments, but also works to understand and communicate preventative measures. Birnbaum also focused on the need to better understand the interaction between chemical and physical environmental factors, and the potential synergistic effects individuals are subjected to with a number of exposures.

Birnbaum previously highlighted PROTECT program research in a February 2011 Statement for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Hearing on Drinking Water Contaminants. For more information about the Northeastern SRP and Birnbaum’s talk, visit the PROTECT website. Read the Spanish language story in the digital periodical El Vocero.

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