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Katryn Eske Margaret Murphy

UK-SRP Student Training Core Members Present Research to Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection Personnel

(August 2010) - On August 18th, graduate students from the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program (UK-SRP) addressed Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) personnel in a seminar entitled "PCBs and Cardiovascular Disease: Understanding Risk and Implementing Interventions".

Katryn Eske (left) and Margaret Murphy (right), both Ph.D. students and researchers in Dr. Bernhard Hennig's lab, presented their research to representatives from many DEP divisions. The mechanisms of PCB impacts on human health, as well as the potential modulating effects of nutrition, were discussed in detail. Audience members demonstrated tremendous interest in the topic, as expressed through both questions during the presentation and post-seminar surveys.

The students' hour-long presentation was the fifth in the joint UK-SRP/Kentucky DEP Seminar Series. This monthly seminar series is organized by the UK-SRP Research Translation Core and provides a translational bridge between state government practitioners and innovative scientific research. Previous seminars have included such topics as Environmental Justice and Mercury Stabilization, with audiences comprised of personnel from the Division of Hazardous Waste - Superfund Branch, the Division of Air Quality, the Division of Waste Management, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Division of Water, and other state agencies. Upcoming seminar topics include Best Practices for Risk Communication, Wastewater Treatment, and Detecting Superfund Chemicals in the Environment.

Eske and Murphy participated in the seminar series as recent alumnae of the UK-SRP Research Translation Core's pilot communication training program for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. This program, developed with the support of the UK-SRP Interdisciplinary Training Core, strives to strengthen young researchers' audience targeting skills with the goal of improving the effective communication of research outcomes to disparate audiences, ranging from citizens in Superfund communities to government personnel.