As we begin to welcome spring, this year’s outlook appears brighter than the last. COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise, and we patiently await meeting face to face with our colleagues and teams once again. We hope you and your families are staying safe and well.
The SRP stepped-up in big ways to meet the challenges and changes produced by COVID-19. Creative and inventive solutions emerged through collaborations, community partnerships, and out-of-the-box thinking. These approaches to research have long been a pillar of SRP’s success.
We know that complex environmental health problems require multifaceted solutions. Multidisciplinary teams are a perfect remedy, bringing together diverse expertise to address the issues. By integrating different types of research from different disciplines and sharing knowledge within and across centers, researchers are better positioned to generate new discoveries and answer pressing environmental health questions.
Another element that contributes to our success is community and stakeholder engagement. By pursuing early engagement of stakeholders and bringing together external partners and community members, SRP-funded research continues to be focused on identifying solutions to real problems while building capacity among those most vulnerable to environmental health challenges. Expanding involvement and communicating research findings to multiple audiences, particularly those who are disproportionately affected, has been critical to creating the biggest impact with our program investments.
One way we engage stakeholders early is through the Progress in Research webinar series, which features recently awarded grantees and facilitates dialogue between the researchers, field practitioners, and stakeholders early in the stages of research progress. This fall, we heard from new and renewed multiproject centers that are bringing fresh scientific perspectives to the program, and this edition’s feature highlights their activities. Through multidisciplinary teams, community engagement, and innovative thinking, they are developing tools to measure contaminants in the field and studying the efficacy of strategies to reduce harmful exposures. Together, these centers work as part of a larger system to understand the myriad of connections between exposure to hazardous substances and health.
William A. Suk, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Superfund Research Program