Naturally occurring and anthropogenic pollutants adversely affect human and ecosystem health. Knowledge from biomedical research is not utilized to its maximum potential unless it is effectively communicated in an understandable manner to health professionals, government regulatory agencies, industry and other end users, or stakeholders. We hypothesize that effective bidirectional communication between research scientists and stakeholders of research findings will improve the research being conducted by scientists provide more relevant information for regulatory agencies, enhance the overall benefits of this research, and ultimately lead to the best possible solutions to existing environmental problems. The Michigan State University (MSU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center focuses on the toxicology and environmental fate of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds (DLC), which have been identified as environmental contaminants in the Tri-Cities (Saginaw, Midland, Bay City) area in Michigan. The MSU SRP Center Research Translation Core (RTC) will serve as a bidirectional bridge for disseminating information, technology transfer and educational activities between the MSU SRP Center and key stakeholders. Specifically, our stakeholders are State government agencies, including Michigan Department Environment Quality (MDEQ) and Michigan Department of Agriculture Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Federal government agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 5 and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and industry, such as the Sediment Management Working Group (SMWG). Ultimately, the most important stakeholders are the residents in communities in which environmental contamination exists and therefore, we have identified health professionals in community-based hospitals as novel stakeholders since they can be critical conduits of research translation. Training of health professionals will occur at the Flint and Midland Regional Campuses of the MSU College of Human Medicine. This aforementioned consortium of stakeholders provides a unique opportunity for scientists from government, industry and academia to collaborate on solutions to complex environmental problems surrounding dioxin and DLC in the State of Michigan. Toward this end, the above stated hypothesis will be tested by: (a) using well-established communication tools;(b) partnering with government and industry;(c) transferring technology using novel mechanisms;and (d) providing educational resources.
Knowledge from health-related research is not utilized to its maximum potential unless it is effectively communicated in an understandable manner to health professionals, government regulatory agencies, industry, the community, and other stakeholders. The Research Translation Core will facilitate the flow of information between basic-science being conducted by the MSU SRP Center and key stakeholders to minimize the health hazards of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds to humans and the environment.
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