A field trip for 28 local 5th graders from Hoover Elementary School was held at the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory (SARL) on May 12, 2014. SARL, directed by Dr. Robyn Tanguay, is a large state- of- the -art zebrafish facility used greatly for OSU SRP Project 3 – Systems Approach to Define Toxicity of Complex PAH Mixtures.
The SARL personnel, along with SRP Trainees and other grad students and postdocs, wanted the students to get hands-on experience and enjoy science. Specifically the students learned all the unique features of zebrafish and how they are used in scientific research.
In 2012, curriculum was developed for visiting classes. Students break up into five groups and rotate through various stations.
1) Tour of the Land of Zebrafish / Zebrafish Life Stage: Learn about how small the fish are and how rapid they develop.
2) Glow in the Dark Zebrafish: Learn about the different tools used in research.
3) The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Sort out dead and alive embryo, and determine the age of zebrafish.
4) Toxicity Screening: Learn how to get embryos into wells, view plates under the microscope, and identify normal and not normal fish.
5) Fish Are Like Us: Identify similarities between fish and humans.
The overall theme of the conference was around community-driven or community-based participatory research to advance the area of health research within Tribal communities.There were some fantastic ‘big-data’ presentations by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) looking at intake and outtake data from federally funded clinics. ~Diana Rohlman, Presenter, Contemporary Northwest Tribal Health Conference
CTUIR is located in Eastern Oregon, so one of the limitations to overcome is distance. One reason the partnership has thrived is because the CTUIR has scientific capacity and resources, which is unique amongst Tribal nations. Both partners are bringing scientific expertise to the table.
Five Key Features of the OSU SRP Tribal-University Partnership
Utilizes Community-based Participatory Research
Builds scientific and cultural capacity between CTUIR and OSU researchers
Utilizes data sharing agreements to protect Tribal rights
Develops culturally appropriate risk reduction strategies with CTUIR
Disseminates knowledge through journals, newsletters and community meetings to provide Tribal perspectives on research practices. (See the OSU SRP web site for extensive resources that include collaborative publications and presentations.)
Cory Gerlach is an undergraduate student in the Tanguay lab and will be graduating this spring with an Honors Bachelor of Science in Bioresource Research. Besides winning awards, Cory has transformed his career with valuable research experience gained over the last two years.
In 2013, Cory won the best undergraduate research presentation at the PANWAT meetingin Seattle. The title of his PANWAT poster was “Mono-substituted isopropylated triaryl phosphate, a major component of flame retardant mixture Firemaster 550, is an AHR agonist that exhibits AHR-independent cardiac toxicity”.
In 2014, Cory won the best undergraduate poster presentation at the OSU EMT Research Day, and he received a Pfizer SOT Undergraduate Student Travel Award for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in Phoenix, AZ to present his recent findings.
Reflection of Experience by Cory Gerlach
My experience in the Tanguay lab has completely changed my career path.
Before I began my undergraduate research, I thought I would get a masters
in public policy or shift my focus from science to policy or law in some
graduate program. However, in the Tanguay lab I discovered my passion for
bench research, found that I was good at it, and learned that these basic
discoveries are crucial in order to affect policy and therefore improve
public health. Having Dr. Tanguay as a mentor has also helped me to keep
in mind the big picture of my research, and he has taught me that there is
always room for innovation and improvements to how we answer big research
questions. Continue reading →
UC Davis invited us to display posters about our Center within their display area. Having the OSU SRP there was great, because UC Davis could direct their attention to our work to learn specifically about PAHs; how people are exposed and how they affect human and environmental health.
Besides research posters, the booth had over 125 children engaged in a ‘toxin hunt’ activity. The game was an excellent way for them to understand how SRP research can impact their health. The parents became very interested in the toxins that are being studied with the Superfund Research Program.
Picnic Day was a great opportunity for Erin and Andrea to gain more experience in outreach by sharing posters with attendees and researchers. Dr. Marcus and the trainees also had opportunities to interact individually with the leadership and project leaders of several projects in the UC Davis Superfund Center to make additional connections and establish new collaborations. We look forward to hosting UC Davis trainees for our Research Day and other exchange opportunities.
As the environmental health science field strives to better understand the complexity of personal chemical exposures, NIEHS-funded researchers at the Oregon State University (OSU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) led by Kim Anderson, Ph.D., have developed a simple wristband and extraction method that can test exposure to 1,200 chemicals.