On Monday, September 21st, the PROTECT team kicked off the 2020-2021 academic year with the annual Trainee Orientation and Welcome. This year, more than 60 members of the PROTECT Community attended which includes trainees, postdocs, investigators, and staff. 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 Canvas Platform which will be used to help foster collaboration among trainees across projects and cores. This platform will also help the Training Core to  engage with student researchers when completing professional development and research training webinars and courses, such as the Data Workshop focused on the use of R free software planned for Winter 2021. Additionally, the Training Core announced updates to the Individual Development Plans (IDPs) which will be more flexible with respect to the pandemic and will include additional award options. Check out the Training Core Presentation here.

The Community Engagement Core featured one of their chemical educational videos which their team has been developing to better educate participants and community members on the different types of chemicals we study and how exposure occurs in our everyday activities.

The 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: Biomarker Epidemiology of Exposure to Mixtures, Oxidative Stress, and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Puerto Rico

Project 2: Toxicant-Stimulated Disruption of Gestational Tissues with Implications for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Project 3: Effect of Extreme Weather on Potential Exposure of Contaminant Mixtures in Karst Water Systems

Project 4: Portable, Self-Cleaning Advanced Electro-Oxidation Systems for Distributed and Point-of-Use Water Treatment

Human Subjects Core & Community Engagement Core

Data Management and Modeling Core

Research Experience & Training Core Presentation

Research Translation Coordinator Presentation

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