Superfund Research Program

KC Donnelly
K.C. Donnelly, Ph.D.  August 27, 1951 - July 1, 2009

The Superfund Research Program (SRP) has established an honorary award in memory of K.C. Donnelly, Ph.D., a longtime SRP grant recipient who worked tirelessly to improve our understanding of environmental exposure and genotoxicity of complex chemical mixtures. Dr. Donnelly passed away on July 1, 2009. He was a dedicated mentor to his students and postdoctoral researchers, instilling in them the importance of applying their knowledge and findings to improve the health of communities exposed to environmental contaminants.

Donnelly was an excellent teacher, and for more than 30 years, his research impacted the world. His research—conducted in Eastern Europe, China, and locations across the United States—changed the way environmental health is perceived.

Donnelly joined the SRP at Texas A&M University in 1995. His research projects used cell culture, animal and human studies to investigate the toxic interactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures. Donnelly also headed Community Outreach and Education efforts, community education programs to develop and deliver environmental health information to health care professionals, students, and community groups. To learn more about his SRP-sponsored research, please refer to his SRP profile webpage.

Donnelly's contributions to the SRP were numerous, but two areas of commitment stand out: his active promotion of partnerships and his dedication to his students. He established and maintained relationships with EPA scientists and remedial project managers that not only increased the relevance of his research but supported EPA's efforts. He initiated and championed the SRP Bioassay Network, bringing together researchers from six SRP Centers and scientists from EPA Regions and Headquarters. The goal of this collaborative, transdisciplinary project was to develop a model to allow EPA to use results of SRP-developed bioassays in ecological risk assessment. He involved his students in everything he did, including his relationships with EPA and his work on the SRP Bioassay Network.

The SRP recognizes a compelling need to promote transdisciplinary and translational research among early investigators (e.g., graduate students / postdocs), which includes the recruitment of talented researchers and improving the quality of the educational and training environment. In honor of Donnelly, the SRP has established this supplemental award to provide current SRP-funded graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with translational/transdisciplinary opportunities and experiences within other SRP-funded centers, government laboratories (EPA, ATSDR, NIEHS), or other agencies (state, local, Tribal).