Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design

Posted on February 1, 2016 by MFeiock

The Office of Research Affairs at the University of California, San Diego awarded Dr. Keith Pezzoli and Dr. Robert Tukey funds to develop a new Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design (Bioregional Center/ BRC).  The BRC's interdisciplinary team includes researchers from the Social, Physical, Information, Life and Health Sciences. The overarching mission is to improve how neighborhoods, cities and regions function—especially where the harsh realities of poverty, toxicants and environmental degradation are major sources of concern.

This effort will leverage 15 years of experience accumulated by UC San Diego’s NIH/NIEHS Superfund Research Center including how to detect and remediate toxicants in soil, water and plants. Dr. Tukey directs UC San Diego’s Superfund Research Center (UCSD-SRC); Dr. Pezzoli leads its Community Engagement (CEC) and Research Translation Cores (RTC). The BRC plans to collaborate with Superfund and explore the prospect of creating a “Testing and Evaluation Network for Toxicants” (TENT). The goal is to improve toxicant testing processes and tools. The TENT could help make exposure science and risk assessment more equitably accessible to those who need it. 

Hazardous substances, poverty, obesity and other factors are converging in society’s most vulnerable communities posing serious health risks. The BRC, in collaboration with Superfund and others, aims to bring science to the people, for the people, where nonprofit organizations and government agencies are grappling with increasingly complex socio-ecological problems such as food and water insecurity.

The Office of Research Affairs (ORA) awards this one-time, non-renewable funding for planning, capacity building, and development activities towards launching research centers under the "Frontiers of Innovation Center Development" opportunity.  The “Frontiers of Innovation” program is a campus-wide effort to support the primary research initiatives of the UC San Diego Strategic Plan. These broad areas are:

  • Understanding and Protecting the Planet
  • Enriching Human Life and Society
  • Exploring the Basis of Human Knowledge, Learning and Creativity
  • Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society


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