Research Translation Core

Translating Research to Detect and Bioremediate Superfund Toxicants

​The Research Translation Core (RTC) works with our Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center scientists and partners to identify ways in which cellular bioassays, chemical sensor-based technologies, and genetically engineered plants can be used to improve the detection and bioremediation of Superfund toxicants in water, sediment and soil. Our partnership approach builds on close working relationships we already have in place with tribes; industry; federal, state and regional government agencies, and SRP network colleagues nationally. The overarching objective is twofold: first, increase the capacity of government, industry and nonprofit organizations to use cutting-edge biomolecular and chemical sensor-based technologies for detecting and bioremediating Superfund toxicants; and second, identify SRP science and technology applications through a process of learn-by-doing that have potential for commercial use by tribes as well as others concerned about protecting environmental and human health. The RTC has four specific aims: 

  1. Strengthen our partnership with Alter Terra, an organization that operates a field research station focused on applied environmental science and health in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region;
  2. Field test and fine-tune new SRP technologies under real world conditions; 
  3. Create a publically accessible web application for scientific mapping and spatial analysis of Superfund toxicants; and 
  4. Effectively disseminate emerging knowledge and technologies to broad audiences to accelerate social learning and practical applications of SRP research findings. 

To achieve these Aims we will identify and coordinate research translation opportunities with each SRP project, communicate with SRP staff at NIEHS, and do joint ventures with other SRP Centers nationwide (including a forum about tribal science and the value of university-tribal science partnerships). The RTC will work with the San Diego Industrial Environmental Association, and other partners, to host a series of Forums (Frontiers in New Biology) that encourage public discussion around the knowledge and technologies emanating from UCSD’s SRP and from the national SRP network. We will systematically evaluate our progress toward meeting these aims using a logic model with input from our Center’s internal advisory committee. We will share our progress and lessons learned with industry, the U.S.EPA, ATSDR, PEPH, and the NIEHS Research Translation network. 

For updates see News

Research Site at the US-mexico Border: Los Laureles Canyon draining into the San Diego and Pacific Ocean


PubMed Central ID: 

Al-Delaimy, W. K., Larsen, C. W., Pezzoli, K. (2014) Differences in health symptoms among residents living near illegal dump sites in Los Laureles Canyon, Tijuana, Mexico: a cross sectional survey. In.t J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 11(9), 9532-52.

PubMedID: 25226411
PubMed Central ID: 

Pezzoli, K., Tukey, R., Sarabia, H., Zaslavsky, I., Miranda, M. L., Suk, W. A., Lin, A., Ellisman, M. (2007) The NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Data Resource Portal: placing advanced technologies in service to vulnerable communities. Environ Health Perspect. 115(4), 564-71. doi: 10.1289/ehp.9817

PubMedID: 17450225

Keith Pezzoli, Ph.D., Core Leader
Director Urban Studies and Planning Program
Professor, Communications Department
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail code 0503
La Jolla, CA 92093-0503
P: 858-534-3691 F: 858-534-1691
E- Mail:

Ilya Zaslavsky, Ph.D., Core Co-Leader
San Diego Supercomputer Center
Spatial Information Systems Laboratory (Director)
P: 858-534-8342

Wael Al-Delaimy, MD, Ph.D., Co-Core Leader
Professor & Chief, Division of Global Health Family & Preventive
Medicine Cancer Prevention & Control Program
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail code 0628
P: 858-822-6515


UCSD Superfund Research Center
University of California, San Diego
Pharmacology Department
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0722
La Jolla, CA 92093-0722