Administrative Core

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 The Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP) is a highly integrated research center focusing on the sources, exposures, remediation and toxicities of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) congeners found in air.

The integrated nature of the Center across biomedical and environmental science and engineering disciplines has led to vital discoveries. These interdisciplinary successes are made possible by our organizational infrastructure, which enables frequent and regular exchange of ideas, experiments, and data between our projects and cores.

The major goal of the Administrative Core is to maintain a structure that promotes integration of research, enables timely communication and research translation that raises the quality and impact of the center activities, and provides vision and direction to ensure the center’s continued success in conducting outstanding research and engaging with stakeholders. It will do this by::

1) Providing program leadership and organizational infrastructure to ensure synthesis of findings and integration of activities. Director Hornbuckle and Deputy Director Lehmler contribute invaluable
expertise as leading environmental health researchers with backgrounds in environmental engineering and biomedical science, respectively. Bolstered by the ISRP Executive Committee, composed of leaders from every program component and representing diverse disciplines, this team will ensure full integration and coordination among projects and cores.

2) Provide administrative and fiscal services, support, and oversight to ensure robust stewardship of available resources. The Director, together with a Center Administrator and a Fiscal Manager, provide programmatic and financial services, support, and oversight. The ISRP is housed under and supported by IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, which has extensive experience managing multidisciplinary
and multi-institutional projects ranging from thousands to tens of millions of dollars.

3) Disseminate ISRP scientific and environmental health discoveries through effective research translation. The ISRP is dedicated to making center research available and accessible in consideration of the SRP research translation objectives of: 1) communication with SRP and SRP staff; 2) partnership with government agencies; 3) technology transfer; and 4) information dissemination to other end users,with a particular focus on communicating in the manner most appropriate for each audience. Co-I Spak will continue to lead the research translation effort as Coordinator, with assistance from Center Administrator
Purdy. We will continue our current successful efforts in all areas, including the biennial International PCB Workshop; social media news feeds; webinars and training workshops; decision-support tools for agencies and organizations managing PCBs in schools; and web applications for dissemination of research findings. In addition, we have plans to promote new technology transfer initiatives and to develop new technology and platforms that maximize bi-directional communication.

Research progress will be assessed through the involvement of the External Advisory Committee.

Some of the highlights for the Administrative Core in 2019 included:

  • Organizing the 10th International PCB Workshop in Krakow, Poland  in August. Nearly 300 scientists and regulators, and importantly trainees, from around the globe attended the Workshop. Several members of the ISRP Executive Committee and External Advisory Committee chaired the sessions and presented their research.
  • Facilitating collaborative approaches to research and engagement: researchers from the University of Iowa, Kansas University Medical Center, LSU, Iowa State University, Texas A and M, and the University of Louisville pooled their expertise to analyze the results from an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) knockout rat experiment at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
  • Fostering trainee learning and engagement: the ISRP funded six trainees to attend the Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting in Sacramento, CA. Four trainees presented posters and two, Victoria Parker and Eric Uwimana, presented their KC Donnelly research. Three trainees attended the International PCB Workshop. Director Hornbuckle taught a cross-disciplinary course on PCBs.
  • Adding new vital data management expertise to the Center by integrating with data management experts from the University of Iowa and by adding a data management expert to the External Advisory Committee. Rachel Woodbrook, M.A., MLIS works with researchers to support data management planning and implementation across the research process, with a particular focus on data sharing and archiving. She will be providing guidance as the ISRP embarks on making our data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).


Keri Hornbuckle, PhD: Program Director (Principal Investigator) and Core Leader

As Principal Investigator of the ISRP and Core leader, Dr. Hornbuckle is responsible for all aspects of the Superfund Project. Dr. Hornbuckle will provide coordination and facilitate interactions among researchers within the program projects and cores.

Hans- Joachim Lehmler, PhD: Deputy Director

As Deputy Director of the ISRP, Dr. Lehmler assists the Director in scientific and administrative oversight of the program and in facilitating effective and timely communication of research findings and interactions among the investigators in the individual projects and cores. He also leads Project 1.

Scott Spak, PhD, Research Translation Coordinator

Dr. Spak has led the Research Translation Core since 2015. Spak will continue to be responsible for day-to-day management and direction of the ISRP research translation efforts. In addition, he will serve as Co-Leader for the DMAC, leading the Data Management aims of that core. Spak will serve on the ISRP Executive Committee and work to ensure overall and investigator-initiated research translation activities are implemented and well-integrated with the ISRP and supportive of the specific aims of all components, where applicable.

David Purdy, Program Administrator
David assists with program management, grant writing and reporting, conference coordination, trainee guidance and development, website creation, and interactions with the External Advisory Committee, Superfund Research Program, and other Superfund Research Centers.

Suzanne Doershuk, Fiscal Manager

Ms. Doershuk brings extensive prior experience with NIH account management and will provide fiscal oversight and budgetary support for the overall center. She will work closely with Hornbuckle, Lehmler, and Purdy to assure strong fiscal oversight of program resources.