Grantees gather in Baton Rouge for the 2013 annual meeting
October 15-17, 2013
Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
At the annual meeting of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), more than 250 researchers, trainees, and administrators from across the nation gathered to discuss the Program’s current contributions and future directions in new research, technology, communication, and community engagement. The meeting, which was hosted by SRP grantees at Louisiana State University (LSU), provided a forum to discuss activities in critical areas related to the SRP mission of multidisciplinary research addressing human and environmental health challenges related to Superfund and other hazardous waste sites.
The main session opened with remarks by Stephania Cormier, Ph.D., the LSU SRP co-director. She discussed the state of the program and mentioned the wide range of SRP scientific disciplines featured in journal publications, grantee research highlights, and community engagement and research translation activities from the past year.
Following Cormier, LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander, Ph.D., related the mission of the SRP to his own background, describing how he grew up near a Superfund site and observed negative health effects first hand. He spoke highly of the transdisciplinary group of researchers before him and tasked them with continuing their substantial work to improve human health and the environment in the U.S. and around the world.
“This kind of university-wide research program is exactly the type of approach necessary for LSU to really make an impact in the health of its citizens,” said Alexander. “When you add that to the combined efforts of researchers at every Superfund site across the country, you get the kind of impact that truly affects a nation. I’m proud that LSU can play a part in that.”
Scientific session speakers shared research finding and implications of their work, with a focus on four main topics: halogenated pollutants, emerging contaminants and pollutant mixtures, developmental and other human health effects, and arsenic and heavy metals. For a full day prior to the beginning of the main meeting, grantees involved in research translation and community engagement gathered separately to hear speakers and participate in discussions related to communication strategies for forming stronger connections with communities, NGO’s, and public agencies.
Along with the traditional presentations and plenary sessions, the meeting set aside time for celebrating award-winning students.