On Monday, September 16th, the PROTECT team kicked off the 2019-2020 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 that PROTECT has faced in the previous year. 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.This year, the Training Core introduced their new “Desafío” or challenge project as a part of the Individual Development Plans (IDPs) which will allow for and encourage trainee collaboration across projects, cores, and universities. There are 5 choices on the Desafío project menu all designed to foster collaboration and team-building skills which will allow trainees to connect with the larger PROTECT, Superfund Research, and environmental health communities. Check out the Training Core Presentation here.

Additionally, the 5 IDP Award Winners from 2018/2019 were given the opportunity to present on their own completed IDP Projects with the goal of sharing their experience and what they learned. If you are interested in the Award Winners or the activities they participated in, check out their presentations below.

Shayan Hojabri | Elienisse Rodriguez | Nancy Cardona | Luisa Feliciano | Amailie Santos-Rivera

Another highlight of the event included the video introductions to each lab, research project, and core here at PROTECT. Every year, each project and core submits videos which creatively summarize each team’s work. 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

Training Core Presentation

Once again, we are excited to welcome incoming trainees and cannot wait to see what they accomplish!