Brown SRP Trainee Megan Creighton Awarded EPA STAR Fellowship

Brown SRP trainee Megan Creighton has been awarded an EPA STAR graduate fellowship. EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program funds graduate fellowships in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines through a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review. The program engages the nation’s best scientists and engineers in targeted research that complements EPA’s intramural research program and those of our partners in other federal agencies. Megan’s research will focus on potential applications for graphene-family nanomaterials (GFNs). Increased use and production of such materials consequently suggests an increased likelihood of unintended occupational, consumer, and environmental exposures. This project focuses on the relation between the risks of such exposures and specific material properties so that these properties can be intelligently exploited for both function and safety. This will eventually lead to more accurate information for environmental decision-making, allowing for the safe and sustainable development and incorporation of GFN technology into society.

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Fifth Annual Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse convened his Fifth Annual Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day on Friday, September 5, 2014, at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Faculty and staff from Brown’s Superfund Research Program were on hand to discuss their work. Brown University Press Release

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Narragansett Tribal Elders Attend First Workshop on Preparing for Emergencies

The Narragansett Tribal Elders, SRP’s community partner, held the first of three workshops on Preparing for Emergencies on July 9, 2014. Click here for more information.

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Report on Partnerships and Interactions with EPA and State/Local Agencies

Brown and NEWMOA’s March “Communicating Risk to the Public” and May “Vermont Vapor Intrusion Updates” workshops were reported in NEWMOA’s summer newsletter, which is available here.

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Trainee Workshop: Intellectual Property & Research Commercialization

The Brown SRP Training Core and RTC are co-organizing/sponsoring a workshop for trainees and faculty on Intellectual Property and Research Commercialization on 7/24/14. Presentations: “Introduction to Intellectual Property” by Eric Suuberg, ScD, PE, Brown University. “University-based Licensing & Business Development” by Leonard Katzman, Esq, Brown University. “Turning your Science into Business: The Most Terrifying Fun You Can Have” by Iain MacLeod, LLM, PhD, Harvard University, Aldatu Bio. “SBIR Opportunities and Pitfalls” by Marek Wójtowicz, PhD, Brown University, AFR, Inc. “Where is the Fun in Fundraising?” by Jason Harry, PhD, Brown University, Lucidux, LLC. The workshop will include a 45 minute, interactive IP negotiation scenario.

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Fracking Webinar Series with Society for Risk Analysis

Brown University, through its SRP RTC and the RI Society of Environmental Professionals, is serving as the Rhode Island host location for the Society for Risk Assessment webinar series “Scientific Studies on Impacts of Natural Gas Extraction from Marcellus Shale on Water Resources.” The 6th and final webinar was held on 6/26/14. Pouné Saberi (University of Pennsylvania) presented on a “Health Perspectives Study in the Marcellus Shale.” Slides are available by clicking here.

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Faculty development in environmental health science and nursing

Brown University SRP Community Engagement Core partners with The Rhode Island Nurses Institute (RINI) Charter High School/Middle College for faculty development in environmental health science and nursing. RINI is the first high school of its kind in the United States specifically for preparing urban high school students for advanced education and careers in nursing. Dr. Thompson’s presentation to faculty was an introduction to faculty on what is nursing. Click here to view image.

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Preventing and Treating Biological Exposures

Project leaders Agnes Kane and Robert Hurt participated in and presented at “Preventing and Treating Biological Exposures: An Occupational Health Colloquium” on June 9 2014, in Providence, RI. The event was presented by Eagleson Institute and the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation. Sponsors were American Biological Safety Association (ABSA), American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). Agnes and Robert co-presented on “Risks and Benefits of Graphene for Environmental and Biomedical Applications.” Nanotechnology is an emerging industry based on design, synthesis, and application of engineered materials in the size range of 100 nm or less. Interdisciplinary research at Brown University focuses on graphene, a single-atom monolayer of carbon arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb structure with unique optical, electronic, and mechanical properties. Graphene-based nanomaterials are under development for novel electronic and energy storage applications. As a carbon-based nanomaterial, graphene is biocompatible and has potential applications as biosensors, multimodal imaging probes, barriers for chemical pollutants, antimicrobial agents, and bioengineered tissues and implants. Dr. Agnes Kane is working together with an interdisciplinary research team of engineers and cell biologists to use computational design for safe development of graphene-based nanomaterials to minimize adverse environmental and human health impacts.

For more details about the colloquium, click HERE.

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Workshop related to Implications of Nanotechnology

In May, 2014 project leader Agnes Kane participated in a Workshop on “Categorization Strategies for Engineered Nanomaterials in a Regulatory Context” that was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. This workshop was sponsored by the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology.

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Occupational Health – A Primer for Primary Healthcare Providers

Marcella R. Thompson of Brown University’s SRP CEC presented Public Health Grand Rounds on June 5, 2014 by webcast and to a live audience of 50 physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and public health professionals. The presentation was co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Department of Health and Brown University’s Medical School.

Session Details:
Workers’ health is an integral part of general health and daily life. Any illness or injury can temporarily or permanently influence an individual’s capacity to work and threaten a loss of economic security and his/her way of life. Delivering occupational health in the context of integrated primary healthcare is essential to maintaining and restoring working capacity. This presentation will outline effective methods for identifying potential occupational hazards/stressors and managing work-related injuries/illnesses. Actual case studies will provide the basis for discussing successful strategies for returning patients to work. At the conclusion of this session, attendees should be able 1) Identify three key workplace challenges impacting occupational health and safety; 2) Recall two work-related questions to ask adult patients; 3) Name one source of evidence-based practice guidelines for common work-related injuries and illnesses; 4) Describe one strategy for successfully returning a patient to work.

The Webcast is available by clicking here.

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