The overarching goal of the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) is to reduce risk from exposure to environmentally persistent chlorinated organics, which are prevalent at Superfund sites, using polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as a model pollutant. The UK-SRC proposes to address this goal through an integrated program of biomedical and environmental science research focused on pro-inflammatory health impacts of PCBs and innovations in environmental remediation technology. Further, the Center uses the combined understandings from these two complementary areas of study to explore positive lifestyle practices (e.g., nutrition-based approaches) to modulate health effects as well as environmentally benign nano-based approaches to mitigate the environmental threat.
To achieve these goals, the Administrative Core provides high level coordination of transdisciplinary scientific interactions across biomedical and environmental science domains, associated interdisciplinary research training and multi-directional translation efforts across diverse sectors—federal government, state agencies, the private sector and other stakeholders at community and individual levels. To provide an optimal support environment and the requisite infrastructure to accomplish the Center’s goal, Core researchers focus on four specific aims to:
- Implement high level planning and coordination of research activities by implementing effective leadership, identifying emerging research, facilitating complementary approaches and establishing processes for dissemination, translation and engagement;
- Integrate diverse cross-disciplinary areas of research by promoting intra- and extra-Center communication and fostering collaboration and cooperation across projects and cores;
- Provide effective fiscal management processes and oversight of core resources;
- Facilitate high quality management processes that promote continuing research productivity, effective mentoring, accurate documentation/reporting and capacity to meet future challenges.
The focus of the Administrative Core on the establishment and maintenance of iterative program development processes, along with multidirectional internal and external relationships, positions the UK-SRC to contribute not only important scientific findings but also collaborative processes, stakeholder-derived information, and innovative endeavors to the national Superfund Research Program.