Research Translation Core

Core Leader

Wendy Heiger-Bernays
Boston University School of Public Health

Fish Forum: Museum of Science – BU SRP Community/Scientist Session

Core Description

The purpose of the BUSRP Research Translation Core (RTC) is to make research outcomes from our program available to governmental organizations responsible for protecting the health of local communities, to the scientific community in general, and to other SRPs in particular. The principal goal is to provide knowledge of exposure and health effects useful in risk assessment needed for consequential decision-making.  We do this by:

  1. Coordinating communication of research within BUSRP, in New England, and the larger NIEHS SRP community to improve application of findings, provide access to data, consolidate resources and increase productivity and collaboration;
  2. Developing and maintaining partnerships with governmental,

    Rachel Carson. Inspiring non-scientists and scientists alike to improve health and environment. Woods Hole, MA

    environmental, and public health agencies and provide them with data and expertise that might improve risk assessment-based decisions, particularly with respect to developmental and reproductive effects of environmental chemicals;

  3. Effecting technology transfer by identifying potential end-users of technologies, assays and re-sources developed by BUSRP projects and facilitate their application;
  4. Pursuing, initiating and implementing research translation activities emanating from the science of BUSRP researchers, working with the Community Engagement Core and Training Core to have a broader impact;

Among our partners, including the Museum of Science, Boston, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and the Zephyr Education Foundation, are national and local agencies, organizations and individuals with expertise in science and risk communication and education, media outreach, policy and regulatory decision-making. Our emphasis on open access and the willingness of our investigators to share reagents, new analytic methods, risk assessment techniques, and software, have contributed to the confidence in our partners of our commitment to make our work available to agencies and individuals who must make difficult decisions each day to improve public health and protect the lives of residents living in proximity to hazardous waste sites.

The Research Translation Core has played played a key role in responding to concerns and engaging with the community surrounding the New Bedford Harbor in an effective interdisciplinary approach. Learn more about the history of the harbor and our work there.

Research Translation Partners

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s (CHE’s) primary mission is to strengthen the science dialogue on environmental factors impacting human health and to facilitate collaborative, multifactorial, prevention-oriented efforts to address environmental health concerns. Founded in 2002 as a program of Commonweal, CHE is an international partnership of almost 5000 individuals and organizations in 79 countries and all 50 US states, including scientists, health professionals, health-affected groups, nongovernmental organizations and other concerned citizens, committed to improving human health across the lifespan.

The Museum of Scielogo_mos-300x142nce, Boston believes that everyone has a role to play in the world of science and technology – as learners, as future scientists or engineers, as citizens of our nation, as community leaders and members of the workforce, as consumers, and as stewards of our planet. The Museum of Science is committed to deepening the public’s relationship with science and technology by leading efforts throughout the United States and abroad, in both formal and informal educational arenas, to redefine the roles that science centers can play.

Zephyr-logoThe Zephyr Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that has an innovative marine science literacy and education program, located in Woods Hole, MA. The Foundation’s mission is to promote marine science awareness, literacy and education for grades 6 through college. Founded in 2009, the Foundation has hosted over 10,000 students in its programs.

Research Resources

BUSRP Laboratory Reagents and Resources: In an effort to stimulate collaboration and increase the accessibility of research tools, the Research Translation Core is providing the following list of reagents and tools that have been developed by BUSRP researchers with support from the Superfund Research Program and can be distributed without permission.

MapGAM PackageMapping Smoothed Odds Ratios from Individual-Level Data developed by Project 2. It contains functions for mapping risk surfaces using individual-level data such as case-control study data, using generalized additive models (GAMs) to smooth over two-dimensional location while adjusting for any confounding variables. 

General Concentration Addition to Visualize and Test Combination Data: Software and synthetic data developed by Project 2.

General Additive Models for Spatial Epidemiology: Software and synthetic data developed by Project 2.

Bioinformatics and Molecular Modeling Research Support Core: The Bioinformatics and Molecular Modeling Research Support Core develops and offers computational tools, expertise, and help in two areas: modeling the interactions between xenobiotics and protein receptors, including nuclear receptors and cytochrome P450s, using methods of structural bioinformatics and computational biology; and the statistical analysis of microarray data and the reconstruction of regulatory pathways.

Science Gardening Collaborative: A resource for research and guidance for safer growing in soils, grounded in sound science. A cooperative effort of public health practitioners, scientists, educators, policymakers, and gardeners.

How to Take a Soil Sample: This video outlines the steps and materials necessary for composite soil sampling in a garden. It is intended to be useful after a sampling plan of the lot has been completed and you are ready to collect soil samples for analysis. 

Museum of Science Podcasts: Podcasts featuring project leader and trainees explaining their research to lay audiences.

CHE Partnership Calls: Read about and listen to MP3 recordings of BUSRP’s partnership calls with the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE).

PFAS Factsheet: An informational factsheet to inform communities about PFAS chemicals, the health risks they pose to communities, and the options for testing, regulation, and reducing risk.

News and Translational Events

BUSRP Publications

Recent Core Publications

Heiger-Bernays, W.J., Tomsho, K. S., Basraa, K. Petropoulos, Z.E, Crawford, K., Martinez, A, Hornbuckle, K.C., Scammell, M. Human Health Risk Assessment of Site-Specific Airborne PCB Concentrations Measured in New Bedford Harbor Communities. Submitted for Publication, 2019.

Boston, C., Banacos, N., Heiger-Bernays, W. (2019). Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: A National Priority for Safe Drinking Water. Public Health Reports. DOI: 10.1177/0033354919826567

Martinez, A., Hadnott, B. N., Awad, A. M., Herkert, N. J., Tomsho, K., Basra, K., Scammell, M. K., Heiger-Bernays, W., Hornbuckle, K. C. (2017). Release of Airborne Polychlorinated Biphenyls from New Bedford Harbor Results in Elevated Concentrations in the Surrounding Air. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00047

Tomsho K, Basra K, Rubin S, Miller C, Juang R, Broude S, Martinez A, Hornbuckle K, Heiger-Bernays W, Scammell MK. 2017. Community Reporting of Ambient Air Polychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations near a Superfund Site,  Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Basra K, Scammell MK, Benson EB, Heiger-Bernays W. 2018. Ambient air exposure to PCBs: Regulation and monitoring at five contaminated sites in EPA Regions 1, 2, 4, and 5. New Solutions. Aug;28(2):262-282. doi: 10.1177/1048291118763620. PMID: 295588

Boston, C, Banacos, N, Heiger-Bernays, W. 2018. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances: A national priority for safe drinking water. Public Health Reports; Accepted for Publication 11/26/18.

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