Core A Update Archive

2016

Core A managed budget and compliance support to Project and Core Leaders, including current year funding and future budget planning.  The core has also fulfilled its direct ongoing business administration duties for the program that are not included in basic administrative support such as: a) advising investigators on NIH and university-wide policies and ensuring compliance; b) expediting personnel appointments and visa applications; c) managing all SRP financial transactions from purchasing to contracts; d) tracking expenditures and preparing bimonthly financial reports for the principal investigator and project leaders; and e) managing correspondence with the University and the Agency.  The Core planned and coordinated ongoing and specialized discussion and strategy meetings between Program Researchers.  We coordinated logistics for visiting scholars and domestic and international collaborating researchers.  We managed arrangements for our researchers and Trainees to attend scientific meetings.  The Core maintained the UC Berkeley Superfund Research Program website (http://superfund.berkeley.edu).  The Core helped to develop and distribute a newsletter about our Program for distribution to a mailing list we maintain.  Program Director Smith and Center Administrator William Brockett represented our Program at the 2016 Annual Meeting and EHS Fest in Durham, NC, December 5-9, 2016.

Mr. Brockett worked with the Trainees to accommodate their recurring meetings as well as seminar travel.

Program Director Dr. Smith continued to work with NIH, NIEHS, EPA, WHO, and other research institutions to evaluate state of the art research methods and develop plans to incorporate their findings into increasing the impact of our program’s work.  Drs. Smith and Rappaport continued to develop close working relationships with researchers at Imperial College in London and International Agency for Research in Cancer.  They and our other researchers are deeply involved in research organizations related to their SRP work and are frequently called on to present their work at state, national, and international scientific forums, as indicated in the CORE B Update.

2014

Core A managed budget and compliance support to Project and Core Leaders, including current year funding and future budget planning.  The core has also fulfilled its direct ongoing business administration duties for the program that are not included in basic administrative support such as: a) advising investigators on NIH and university-wide policies and ensuring compliance; b) expediting personnel appointments and visa applications; c) managing all SRP financial transactions from purchasing to contracts; d) tracking expenditures and preparing bimonthly financial reports for the principal investigator and project leaders; and e) managing correspondence with the University and the Agency.  The Core planned and coordinated ongoing and specialized discussion and strategy meetings between Program Researchers.  We coordinated logistics for visiting scholars and domestic and international collaborating researchers as well as arrangements for our researchers and trainees to attend scientific meetings.  The Core maintained the UC Berkeley Superfund Research Program website (http://superfund.berkeley.edu).  We also continued to assist Core B in its efforts to develop a cross platform program communication identity.

Program Director Dr. Smith continued to work with NIEHS, EPA, WHO, and other research institutions to evaluate state of the art research methods and develop plans to incorporate their findings into increasing the impact of our program’s work.  Drs. Smith and Rappaport continued to develop close working relationships with researchers at Imperial College in London and International Agency for Research in Cancer.  They and our other researchers are deeply involved in research organizations related to their SRP work and are frequently called on to present their work at state, national, and international scientific forums.

Core A was the lead group in our task to host the 2014 SRP Annual Meeting.  It was held at Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA, November 12-14, 2014.  There were 305 registrants.  Bill Brockett coordinated the logistics of the meeting.  Martyn Smith led the scientific planning committee and managed the overall agenda and meeting details in coordination with NIEHS.  Dr. Smith’s goal for the committee and the meeting overall was to encourage collaborative discussions to understand how we might be able to obtain a larger picture of human exposure through state-of-the-art analytical chemistry, focusing on chemical analyses, new directions, identifying emerging contaminants, and analyzing the human exposome.  It was our intention to include a range of participants in each discussion, from trainees to new and senior scientists, so as to broaden our reach and appeal.  Working with Dr. Amy Kyle, we also developed a plan to incorporate a lay-understandable aspect in our scientific posters and presentations to increase awareness of the need for translation and outreach.

 

2013

Core A provided budgetary coordination and implementation support to Project and Core Leaders, including expenditure and compliance issues for current year funding and for budget development for the upcoming year.  The core has also fulfilled its direct ongoing business administration duties for the program that are not included in basic administrative support such as: a) advising investigators on NIH and university-wide policies and ensuring compliance; b) expediting personnel appointments and visa applications; c) managing all SRP financial transactions from purchasing to contracts; d) tracking expenditures and preparing bimonthly financial reports for the principal investigator and project leaders; and e) managing development and submission of the annual update and progress reports for all six projects and five cores of the UC Berkeley SRP.

The Core planned and coordinated ongoing and specialized discussion and strategy meetings between Program Researchers.  We coordinated logistics for visiting scholars and domestic and international collaborating researchers as well as arrangements for our researchers and trainees to attend scientific meetings and the NIEHS SRP Annual Meeting.  We coordinated planning and logistics for a daylong forum entitledSEEING THE WHOLE PICTURE: MOVING TOWARD METHODS THAT CAN DETECT MORE CHEMICALS”.  This meeting brought together academic researchers with interested stakeholders to understand how we might be able to obtain a much larger picture of human exposure through state-of-the-art analytical chemistry.  We focused on chemical analyses, where the field is going, and its potential for identifying emerging contaminants and analyzing the human exposome.  The meeting included our researchers and trainees and federal, state, and local agency officials and other interested parties.

The Core maintained the UC Berkeley Superfund Research Program website (http://superfund.berkeley.edu).  We also continued to assist Core B in its efforts to develop a cross platform program communication identity.

Program Director Dr. Smith continued to work with NIEHS, EPA, and other research institutions to evaluate state of the art research methods, tools, and foci and to develop plans to incorporate their findings into increasing the impact of our program’s work.  Drs. Smith and Rappaport have developed close working relationships with researchers at Imperial College in London, International Agency for Research in Cancer and the World Heath Organization.  They and our other researchers are deeply involved in research organizations related to their SRP work and are frequently called on to present their work at state, national, and international scientific forums.

At the time of our last competitive renewal, a formal Training Core was not required.  We believed that each Project and Core Leader would separately oversee the supervision and mentoring of their individual Trainees.  We have since come to the realization that a more formal Trainee Program is both desired by NIEHS and would prove to be advantageous to the UC Berkeley SRP. As a result, I have directed Bill Brockett to work with the Trainees to document the specific training in their groups and develop a cohesive overall training program meant to bring our Trainees together collaboratively. Bill has convened several working lunch Trainee meetings to bring our diverse Trainees together in a social setting to foster open discussion. Trainees have shared their research work and agreed to a number of short and longer term goals. Monthly meeting are being held and additional meetings or subgroups are being set as needed.  Trainee meetings are being used to advance CareerTrac compliance and promote SPAN.  Each monthly meeting is to have a short research presentation so that each becomes familiar with the work of other parts of the UCB SRP.  One immediate goal is to develop a plan for improving communication and presentation skills.

Significance

The Core continues to provide necessary support to the Program Director, Associate Director, and Project Investigators.  We facilitate communication, cooperation, and integration across the Projects and Cores, helping to unify the Program.  We coordinate the operation of the Program within the framework of the University.  We work with the Program Investigators to aggregate and disseminate findings to NIEHS, the University, other Superfund research programs, and the public at large.  To ensure the continued success of our Program, given its size and complexity, it remains essential to have a strong core coordinating overall operations to ensure that all agency and university procedures and policies are met in a timely fashion.  A strong core further relieves the project investigators of as much of the administrative burden as possible, thus enabling them to concentrate more fully on their research.

Future Plans

The Core will continue to coordinate administration of the UC Berkeley SRP.  We will work with Core B to implement new communication formatting and a media plan to increase the visibility of the program.  We will organize meetings of the program leads and the boards to discuss progress and strategic planning.  We will continue to expand our trainee activities to provide a space for growth, sharing, and support.  We will coordinate planning and logistics for the 2014 NIEHS SRP Annual Meeting to be hosted by UC Berkeley and held in the bay area in November.

 

2012

Currently under review.

 

2011

Currently under review.

 

2010

Overall goal
To provide a centralized staff to unify the research program under the Program Director’s guidance and facilitate the coordination of the research projects to fulfill the research, translation, and training goals of the grant.

What we have done
Minerva Reyes, Program Manager, provides oversight on all financial and compliance issues and prepares specialized financial budgets, activity reports, and projections for the Project and Core Leaders, counseling them as needed to ensure that they have sufficient resources to meet their specific aims.  William Brockett, Business Manager, manages administrative support functions for the program and each project and core.  He acts as liaison with Agency and University administrative personnel; assists the Program Director in coordinating the activities of the Projects and Cores; coordinates travel and arrangements for necessary Superfund staff and collaborator meetings; provides other logistical and support functions not covered by basic administrative support, and drafts, edits, and submits correspondence, reports, and responses to information requests.  The Core provides day-to-day administrative assistance to the Director and Deputy Director, ensuring leadership continuity.  The Core maintains an informational web site, aggregating recent information and publications from the research projects and cores and archiving historical records.

Core A assisted in the planning and coordination of a presentation and discussion by Dr. Roel Vermeulen, a professor in molecular epidemiology at the University Medical Centre of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, entitled “How informative are human observational studies on the possible association between benzene and hematopoietic cancers?”  The event on September 16, 2010 was attended by UCB SRP investigators and other University researchers.  The Core also coordinated research review and strategic planning meetings for Program Investigators.

Core A coordinated travel arrangements for researchers, students, and trainees to attend scientific meetings and seminars related to SRP research.  The core provided planning and logistical support for UC Berkeley’s participation in the 2010 Superfund Annual Meeting, held November 10th – 12th, organizing the participation UC Berkeley’s investigators, students, and personnel.  Core A also represented the program at Project Management sessions.

Core A provided budgetary coordination and implementation support to Project and Core Leaders, including expenditure and compliance issues for current year funding and for budget development for the upcoming year. The core has also fulfilled its direct ongoing business administration duties for the program that are not included in basic administrative support such as: a) advising investigators on NIH and university-wide policies and ensuring compliance; b) expediting personnel appointments and visa applications; c) managing all SRP financial transactions from purchasing to contracts; d) tracking expenditures and preparing bimonthly financial reports for the principal investigator and project leaders; and e) managing development and submission of the annual update and progress reports for all six projects and five cores of the UC Berkeley SRP.

 

2009

The primary goal of Core A: Administration is to provide a centralized staff to unify the research program under the Program Director’s guidance and facilitate the coordination of the research projects to fulfill the research, translation, and training goals of the grant.

Core A’s administrative staff continues to provide strong logistical and meeting support to the program and to the Program Director.  Minnie Reyes, Program Manager, provides oversight on all financial and compliance issues and prepares specialized financial budgets, activity reports, and projections for the Project and Core Leaders, counseling them as needed to ensure that they have sufficient resources to meet their specific aims.  William Brockett, Assistant Program Manager, provides correspondence and report drafting, editing, and submission; acts as liaison with Agency and University administrative personnel; assists the Program Director in coordinating the activities of the Projects and Cores; coordinates travel and arrangements for necessary Superfund staff and collaborator meetings; and provides other logistical and support functions not covered by basic administrative support.

Core A assisted in the planning and coordination of a day-long Multi-Sector Research Translation Workshop in Oakland, CA on March 30, 2009 entitled,Children & the Environment: What have We Learned and What Do We Need To Do?”. This meeting was attended by University, federal, state, and local agency staff and researchers.

The Core planned and coordinated ongoing and specialized discussion and planning meetings between Program Researchers.  The Core also coordinated logistics for visiting Researchers and began initial planning for a meeting of the Working Group in Predicting Chemical Carcinogenicity.

The core provided planning and logistical support for UC Berkeley’s participation in the 2009 Superfund Annual Meeting, held from November 3rd and 4th, organizing the participation UC Berkeley’s investigators, students, and personnel.  Core A also represented the program at Project Management sessions.

Core A provided budgetary coordination and implementation support to Project and Core Leaders, including expenditure and compliance issues for current year funding and for budget development for the upcoming year. The core has also fulfilled its direct ongoing business administration duties for the program that are not included in basic administrative support such as: a) advising investigators on NIH and university-wide policies and ensuring compliance; b) expediting personnel appointments and visa applications; c) managing all SRP financial transactions from purchasing to contracts; d) tracking expenditures and preparing bimonthly financial reports for the principal investigator and project leaders; and e) managing development and submission of the annual update and progress reports for all six projects and five cores of the UC Berkeley SRP.