On June 12th and 13th, 2017, PROTECT team leaders from around the U.S. and Puerto Rico came together for a mini-retreat on the Northeastern University campus in Boston to discuss progress, integration and plans. On the first day, each executive committee member presented on progress made with their team, particularly focusing on instances of successful collaboration with other projects and cores. The team also discussed points of focus for the coming year, with a strong emphasis on cross-project collaborations. The day ended with a team dinner in downtown Boston. The second day of the meeting focused on integrating data from related research studies into the existing PROTECT database. Attendees discussed how to best utilize and integrate data from the Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico (CRECE) and the Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study with PROTECT data. This combined data repository will be key in PROTECT’s research integration and also in participation in the NIH Environmental influences on Children’s Health (ECHO) study.

These meetings offered an opportunity for team leaders to reflect on ways in which the PROTECT Center can evolve and improve to have a greater impact on Puerto Rico and the scientific community.

Top left to right: Zlatan Feric, Roger Giese, John Meeker, Akram Alshawabkeh, Rita Loch-Caruso, Phil Brown, Carmen Velez-Vega, José Cordero, and Gredia Huerta-Montañez; Bottom left to right: Deborah Watkins, Ljiljana Rajic, Dave Kaeli (on Monitor), Ingrid Padilla, and Zaira Rosario Pabon