November 18-20, 2015
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Superfund Research Program (SRP), held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, brought together researchers, trainees, and administrators from SRP Research Centers, Research Translation Centers, and Community Engagement Cores from the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The annual meeting brings together researchers, trainees, and administrators supported by the program, representatives from partner agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and other interested individuals to discuss new research, technology, communication, and community engagement in critical areas related to the SRP mission.
The theme for this meeting was: “SRP Collaboration for Innovation” or “SRP C4I”. The objective of this meeting was to identify how collaboration across disciplines within SRP centers, across different SRP centers, or even with external partners has generated innovation in biomedical and environmental basic and applied research, training, community engagement and research translation activities. In addition, discussions were developed on how best to foster innovative research activities relating to the identification of contaminants of emerging concern, and also how environmental, genetic, epigenetic, and psychosocial exposures interact to affect the health of individuals living or working near SRP sites.
The goals of the meeting were:
- Share research findings and engender collaborative exchanges between SRP Center personnel
- Discuss research translation, community engagement, and trainee activities
- Present innovations in community engagement approaches and research discoveries
- Provide a forum and networking opportunities for junior investigators
There were also Superfund realted field trips arranged and each attendee was invited to join 1 of 4 with priority given to trainees:
- Caño Martin Peña Community Tour (Urban Waterway Pollution Tour) - A walking tour through the community living at Caño Martin Peña. Visits at different points throughout the community will be held to show actual conditions of the area. The history of the contaminated site, the problems faced by the community, and their engagement to solve the problems will be explained. These low income communities have been working very hard to get all governmental and non-governmental agencies to work together in one same goal: the dredging and restoration of the Caño Martín Peña. The local guide will help understand what these thousands of family have to struggle with every day, see the worst of the present condition and the hope of a better future.
- San Juan Bay Estuary Water Tour - The tour consists of traveling in a boat through San Jose, Corozos, and Torrecilla lagoons within the eastern part of the San Juan Bay Estuary. Learn about the flora and fauna present in the area as well as the environmental conditions of the estuary. Also, you can learn and see the community living surrounding the Estuary Bay and Caño Martin Peña.
- Superfund Site Tour -The superfund site is an active superfund site undergoing remedial action. It is located in the northern karst region of Puerto Rico. The tour includes exploring a living community directly affected with highly toxic pollutants. An EPA site manager will lead the tour within the superfund site, and will describe the history, current status of the site, and remedial activities. The interaction between the agency, the potential parties and the affected community will be discussed. Some members of the communities will interact with the tour participants and will and discuss their participation and involvement in the process and potential future of the site.
- Cueva Ventana Tour - Located between Arecibo and Utuado municipalities, Cueva Ventana is a limestone cave part of the northern karst area of Puerto Rico. The cave is almost on the summit of an 800-foot high cliff. The tour consists of brisk hiking trail showing little caves on the side. Then, you enter to the main cave where you follow a path to the large opening view (approximately 35 feet of diameter) where you can see Arecibo River Valley approximately 700 feet below.
Local community organizations in Puerto Rico:
Coalition for the Northeast Ecological Corridor Reserve – Promote the conservation of the Corridor’s socio-ecological value as a nature reserve
Comité Timón de Calidad Ambiental, COTICAM - community-based, non profit organization that has worked for the conservation of water resources in the northern part of Puerto Rico, with their base in Manatí, for more than 25 years.
Puerto Rico’s Sierra Club’s Zero Waste campaign - focuses on educational outreach to schools and communities to create recycling plans, identify local policies to support and approve legislation such as plastic bag bans and the bottle bill, and creates demand for better recycling systems
Attendees of the Superfund 2015 Annual Meeting from the UC San Diego Superfund Research Center included: our trainees, senior researchers, and project leaders as follows:
- Robert Tukey (Director, Project 4 & Training Core)
- Pamela Mellon (Core A & Training Core)
The following indivduals who attended from our Center also presented posters:
- Juyoun Kim/Michael Karin (Project 1): “Role of TNF Signaling in de novo Lipid Synthesis Upon Hypernutrition”
- Ryan (Chun Shi) Lin/Ronal M. Evans (Project 3): “RORγ: the Nexus of Liver Metabolism, Mitochondrial, Bioenergetics, and Acetaminophen Toxicity”
- Shujuan Chen (Project 4): “Crypt organoids culture as an in vitro model in pharmacological and toxicological studies”
- Ekihiro Seki (Project 5): “The involvement of fatty liver and mitochondrial functions in toxin-induced liver injury and fibrosis: Role of Ubc13”
- Jun Xu/David A. Brenner (Project 5): “Deletion of fibrocytes in mice attenuates CCl4-induced liver fibrosis”
- Yuanli Liu/William Trogler (Project 8): “Detection of Arsenic in Water by an Enzymatic catalysis System”
- Keith Pezzoli (RTC/CEC): “Healthy City Planning: An integrated approach to reducing cumulative impacts in disadvantaged communities”
- Wael Al-Delaimy (RTC/CEC): “Community Gardens: a global view of the balance of harm from toxicants and public health benefits”
- Ilya Zaslavsky (RTC): “Analyzing, mapping and visualizing diverse environmental data: New online tools for civically engaged research and healthy place making”
- Catherine Larsen (RTC/CEC): “Urban Agriculture Site Suitability Analysis in San Diego” and “The UCSD Brownfield Project and the application of safe gardening practices” - (presented 2 posters).
- Andrew Cooper/Training Core (Mentor: Schroeder): “Identification of new components in cadmium-specific signaling networks” WON: Best Student Poster Award for Environmental Science and Engineering!!!
- Alexandra Goetz/Training Core Trainee (Mentor: Tukey) “The Role of the NMD RNA Degradation Pathway in Arsenic-Induced Cell Death”
- Genevieve Ryan/Training Core (Mentor: Mellon): “Androgen Action in Pituitary Gonadotropes”
UCSD Superfund Research Center
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0722
La Jolla, CA 92093-0722