Core B: Translating Scientific Knowledge for Action to Protect Health and Environment

Summary

The Research Translation Core (RTC) will use effective methods to translate scientific findings and knowledge to those who can take actions to improve public health and protect the environment.  The RTC incorporates partnerships with government agencies and communication strategies for broad audiences.

  1. Addressing the greater susceptibilities of infants and children to environmental exposures —  Research by Berkeley SRP investigators and others demonstrates greater significance of exposures in early life to the development of disease.  Incorporating consideration of critical life stages and susceptibilities into public policy is a critical need.  We plan to collaborate with other researchers, US EPA, Cal EPA, and stakeholders to identify critical interventions that arise from the research to date, to translate findings for risk assessment, and to contribute to stable links between groups to amplify impact.
  2. Improving chemical testing and assessment methods —   EPA Administrator Jackson has made chemical safety one of her priority areas.  New findings and technologies could contribute to better methods to characterize hazards of chemicals at less cost, which would be valuable for assessment of existing Superfund sites and prevention of new ones.  The RTC plans to partner with US EPA and Cal EPA to translate new findings in this context and inform our broad audiences through existing networks.
  3. Reducing cumulative impacts of multiple stressors on communities — This is a key priority for US EPA and the Superfund program.  Most policy interventions for environmental factors focus on single pollutants.  We plan to collaborate with individuals at US EPA Region 9, the Office of Research and Development and the Office of Environmental Justice to contribute to translation of research for methods to consider cumulative impacts of multiple stressors in decisions at the regional and national level.
  4. Improving remediation for mercury — Mercury is a pervasive contaminant ranked third highest among those present at National Priority List sites.  Remediation of mercury at Superfund sites is thus a high priority but has had limited successes due to some of the unique properties and technological challenges of mercury.  We plan to identify ways to over come these challenges.
  5. The research strategy incorporates paths for technology transfer for each research project.  Investigators from Projects will also continue to participate in scientific advisory committees and expert panels and symposia organized by US EPA and other government agencies to transfer and transate scientific results.

The RTC will use best practice for communications with its partners, including collaborative project direction and interactions, and for its broad audiences, including use of social media tools and the development of tools for popular education.  The strategy reflects understanding of the mechanisms of uptake of scientific knowledge by government agencies and of the needs of broad audiences.

This is relevant because RTC engages the Project Scientists in order to help bring our research to application, policy initiatives, and public awareness.  The RTC partners with local, state, and federal agencies and NGOs to design and implement strategies to translate scientific findings and knowledge on cross-cutting topics in ways that are applicable to their needs.

Core Leadership

Martyn T. Smith, PhD

Professor of Toxicology

Environmental Health Sciences,
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Core Update

With the retirement of former Core B Leader Dr. Amy Kyle, Program Director Smith, building on past Core B successes, worked with Program Leaders to develop a path forward to better present our work to stakeholders and at scientific forums in a manner that demonstrated the cohesion, cooperation, and cross discipline communication within our program.  He also encouraged and supported researcher and trainee participation in forums and research-related societies as a vital research translation function of our work.  Selected presentations and outside agency and stakeholder work can be found in our Program Highlights and Activities list below.

In addition, Dr. Smith oversaw the development of our first newsletter to both provide news about our people and research and to better define our own internal communication about our work.  He hired a communication specialist and worked with her on the newsletter.  It is our intention to build on the success of the information gathering work to ensure that we continue to better communicate our work in future recurring newsletters.

Core Update Archive

Core News

Translation Activities

Project 1:

Core Leader Martyn Smith continued in advisory capacity for, and in collaborations with, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the California Breast Cancer Research Program, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).  Smith was an ad hoc member of the NIH Systemic Injury by Environmental Exposure (SIEE) Study Section, October, 2016. Smith was also invited to make the following presentations:

  • “Benzene: The world’s most important chemical.” Invited speaker for ETOX10A at University of California at Davis, Feb 23, 2016.
  • “Exposomics of Breast Cancer”, Speaker at California Breast Cancer Research Program meeting, Berkeley CA, March 1, 2016.
  • “Exposomics and cumulative risk”. Invited Keynote Speaker at Symposium on Environment and Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, June 13, 2016.
  • “Key characteristics of carcinogens”, Invited speaker at Amgen, South San Francisco, CA, October 24, 2016.
  • “Using exposomics to assess cumulative risks from multiple environmental stressors”. Plenary speaker and Invited Chair, 8th Princess Chulabhorn International Science Congress, Bangkok, Thailand, November 14-18, 2016.
  • “Using exposomics to assess cumulative risks from multiple environmental stressors”. Invited Seminar at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta GA, December 9, 2016.
  • “Key characteristics of carcinogens as a basis for organizing data on mechanisms of carcinogenesis”, Invited Speaker at University of California at Davis, Pharmacology and Toxicology Seminar Series, January 10, 2017.

Core Leader Stephen Rappaport continues as Member, External Advisory Committee, Health and Exposome Research Center (HERCULES), Emory University, Atlanta, GA.  Rappaport presented in the following venues:

  • “An Untargeted Adductomics Pipeline for Cys34 of Human Serum Albumin”, Plenary lecture, 32nd International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Microanalysis, Ontario, Canada, 3 April 2016.
  • “Using Metabolomics with Neonatal Blood Spots to Discover Causes of Childhood Leukemia”, NIEHS/EPA Children’s Centers Webinar, 11 May 2016.
  • “The exposome from conception to age 11”, Keynote address, First Emory Exposome Summer Course, Emory University, Atlanta GA,13 June 2016.
  • “Implications of the Exposome and its Applicability in Clinical and Epidemiological Studies”, the European Respiratory Society’s 26th International Congress, London, U.K., 6 Sept. 2016.

Project 2:

Project Leader Luoping Zhang, appointed by the governor, continues as a Member of California Carcinogen Identification Committee to assist the California EPA’s OEHHA evaluating carcinogenic effect of toxic chemicals in the environment. Zhang has also been selected by the US EPA on the FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide ACT) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to review the agency’s Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate. Zhang is also going to join the IARC Working Group to evaluate and update the carcinogenicity of benzene (IARC Monograph Volume 120) and to chair a CRISPR symposium at EMGS (Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomic Society) annual conference in 2017.  Zhang presented in the following venues:

  • “Using New Approaches to Study Exposures to Toxic Chemicals”, Distinguished Chinese Toxicologist Lectureship Award, Society of Toxicology (SOT)-American Association of Chinese in Toxicology (AACT): SOT Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 14, 2016
  • “Biomarkers, Systems Biology and Exposome”, College of Life Sciences at Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China, November 8, 2016.
  • “Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Toxicity of Mixed Exposure to the Chemical Leukemogens Benzene and Formaldehyde”. Platform speaker and Invited Chair, 8th Princess Chulabhorn International Science Congress, Bangkok, Thailand, November 14-18, 2016.

Project 4:

Project 4 Leader Lisa Alvarez-Cohen continues as a Member of the Board of Scientific Councilors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as the Division 4 Liaison to NRC committees, National Academy of Engineering.

Project 6:

Project Leader David Sedlak is a Panel Member, State of California Expert Advisory Panel for Evaluation of the Feasibility of Developing Uniform Water Recycling Criteria for Direct Potable Reuse. Sedlak is also a Science Advisory Board Member, National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Nanoenabled Water Treatment (NEWT).  He continues as Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Environmental Science & Technology”.

Sedlak was the invited keynote speaker at the Health and Environment Funders Network 2016 Annual Meeting, Oakland, CA, November 14-16, 2016.  He was also invited to present “The Next Frontier: Integration of Natural and Engineered Water Treatment Systems” at the U.S. Department of Energy Workshop on Basic Research Needs at the Energy-Water Nexus, Bethesda, MD, January 4, 2017.

Core C:

In 2016, Core Leader Dan Nomura served as a study section member for an NIH Scientific Review Group, Special Emphasis Panel ZRG1 BSTU  50.  Nomura was a 2016 invited speaker and delivered his presentation, “Mapping Metabolic Drivers of Cancer using Chemoproteomic and Metabolomic Platforms”, at these venues:

  • Gilead Medicinal Chemistry Seminar Series, Foster City, CA.
  • Gordon Conference on Bioorganic Chemistry, New Hampshire.
  • AACR National Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • University of Pavia, Italy.
  • Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
  • Keystone Science Lecture Speaker at National Institutes for Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Core D:

Core Leader Alan Hubbard presented in the following two workshops:

  • 2016 Workshop on Targeted Learning. 2-day workshop sponsored by Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 2016 Workshop on Targeted Learning. 3-day workshop for development economists sponsored by Inter-American Development Bank. Berkeley, CA.

Hubbard was also an invited speaker at the 2016 Statistical Inference for Data Adaptive Target Parameters at Statistical Causal Inference and its Applications to Genetics, Montreal, Canada.

News Archive

Selected Publications

2012

Su JG, Jerrett M, Morello-Frosch R, Jesdale BM, Kyle AD (2012) Inequalities in cumulative environmental burdens among three urbanized counties in California. Environ Int. Apr;40:79-87. PMID: 22280931. (PMC Journal – In Process). [PDF]

2009

Johnson BE, Esser BK, Whyte DC, Ganguli PM, Austin CM, Hunt JR (2009) Mercury accumulation and attenuation at a rapidly forming delta with a point source of mining waste.Sci Total Environ. Sep 1; 407(18):5056-70. PMID: 19539980. PMCID: PMC2747606. [PDF]

Guyton KZ, Kyle AD, Aubrecht J, Cogliano VJ, Eastmond DA, Jackson M, Keshava N, Sandy MS, Sonawane B, Zhang L, Waters MD, Smith MT (2009) Improving prediction of chemical carcinogenicity by considering multiple mechanisms and applying toxicogenomic approaches. Mutat Res. Mar-Jun; 681(2-3):230-40. PMID: 19010444. [PDF]

2008

Woodruff TJ, Zeise L, Axelrad DA, Guyton KZ, Janssen S, Miller M, Miller GG, Schwartz JM, Alexeeff G, Anderson H, Birnbaum L, Bois F, Cogliano VJ, Crofton K, Euling SY, Foster PM, Germolec DR, Gray E, Hattis DB, Kyle AD, Luebke RW, Luster MI, Portier C, Rice DC, Solomon G, Vandenberg J, Zoeller RT (2008) Meeting report: moving upstream-evaluating adverse upstream end points for improved risk assessment and decision-making. Environ Health Perspect. Nov; 116(11):1568-75. PMID: 19057713. PMCID: PMC2592280. [PDF]

2005

Chu W, Choy WK, Hunt JR (2005) Effects of nonaqueous phase liquids on the washing of soil in the presence of nonionic surfactants. Water Res. Jan-Feb; 39(2-3):340-8. PMID: 15644242. [PDF]