On Monday, September 17th, the PROTECT team kicked off the 2018-2019 academic year with the annual Trainee Orientation and Welcome. This multi-institutional meeting hosted by the Training Core is held every fall as a means of introducing new student trainees to PROTECT. The event also serves as an update for all attendees on the progress the PROTECT team has made in the year before.

Each year, PROTECT co-director Akram Alshawabkeh delivers a “State of PROTECT” address focusing on the accomplishments and challenges PROTECT has faced in the previous year. This year’s address, which occurred nearly one year after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, focused particularly on the impact and recovery efforts from the PROTECT team in Puerto Rico. Dr. Alshawabkeh highlighted some of the positive impacts PROTECT has made in Puerto Rico as a result of our ongoing research & partnerships with local organizations, and encouraged team members to keep up their exemplary work.

Another highlight of the event included a video collaboration by PROTECT Trainees in Puerto Rico that highlights the devastation and water quality issues from the hurricane as well as the long recovery process. This video was submitted as a part of the Trainee Orientation tradition of concluding with a series of videos created by each Project and Core. The videos creatively summarized each team’s work and are now available for online viewing. Click on the links below to see the videos made this year by each team:

Project 1: Phthalate Exposure and Epidemiologic Markers of Preterm Birth

Project 2: Pollutant Activation of Cell Pathways in Gestational Tissues

Project 4: Transport and Exposure Pathways of Phthalates

Project 5: Green Remediation in Groundwater

Human Subjects Core and Community Engagement Core

Data Management and Modeling Core