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Jeffrey Laskin receives $23 million grant from NIH to develop treatments for vesicants
September 13, 2011 Jeffrey Laskin, Professor and Chief of Toxicology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, was recently awarded a five-year $23 million grant from the NIH to investigate treatments for chemical defense. This new award follows a previous five year grant awarded in 2006.
“We were asked if we could apply our expertise to help address this type of national security issue,” said Laskin. “There has been a lot of conversation over the years about the problems that could result from a terrorist attack and everyone realized that we needed to develop a therapy to counteract this if it happens.”
Adapted from an article by Robin Lally and Patricia Hansen, original article may be found here.
Paul Lioy authors book on the effects of dust in the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001, Twin Tower tragedy
April 18, 2010 Paul J. Lioy, professor and vice chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson, Medical School, offers an analysis and interpretation for general audiences of the science of dust particles, smoke and debris that emanated from the collapse of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in his new book DUST: The Inside Story of its Role in the September 11th Aftermath.
"The book is for general audiences. The data and the analyses completed on the samples by a group of highly skilled scientists are placed into the context of events that started moments after the planes hit the towers, and continued for much of the decade." - Paul Lioy, Ph.D.
Adapted from an article by Terri Guess, original article may be found here.
Fred Roberts of UCDPER Selected to Co-Lead Homeland Security Research Center
April 1, 2009 The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected Rutgers University as the co-lead for a new DHS Center of Excellence to conduct research into the technological issues involved with maintaining homeland security. Rutgers and its co-lead, Purdue University, will together receive up to $5 million per year over a period of six years, for an anticipated total of as much as $30 million.
The center is formally known as the DHS Center of Excellence for Command, Control, and Interoperability (CCI). It will conduct research and develop technologies, tools and advanced methods for information analysis, situational awareness, decision support, information sharing and cyber infrastructure protection. Rutgers will be the lead institution for research in the data sciences, and Purdue will be the lead for research in the visualization sciences. Leading the Rutgers effort is the university’s Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS).
"Homeland Security’s selection of Rutgers for the new grant was the result of an intensive competition and evaluation process.” said Fred Roberts, professor of mathematics, head of DIMACS and the Rutgers principal investigator for the CCI Center of Excellence. “It speaks to our expertise in critical, multidisciplinary areas of research and to our innovative educational programs.”
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
- U.S. home of the International Center for Terror Medicine, a bi-national initiative between Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (New Jersey, USA) and Hadassah Medical Organization (Jersusalem, Israel)
- Established track record in disaster preparedness, emergency response, and terror medicine
- Flagship hospital of a multi-hospital health system
- Level 1 Trauma Center
- Host institution to the State of New Jersey's regional Medical Coordination Center for disaster response
- Participated at the highest level of hospital involvement in the TOPOFF 3 federal bioterrorism exercise
- First-hand real-world experience in response to Hurricane Floyd, the September 11th attacks, the NJ anthrax bioterrorism, the 2003 Northeast blackout, and numerous other regional incidents
Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT)
The Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) is one of 10 federally funded Tier 1 University Transportation Center in the U.S. Department of Transportation. These Centers advance U.S. technology and expertise in many disciplines comprising transportation through the mechanisms of research, education, and technology transfer.
“We are now in the company of major engineering schools with other Tier I centers such as Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan and Iowa State University, a position that gives credence to the high standard of our operation," said Ali Maher, CAIT director and chair.
The center pursues innovative solutions to crucial infrastructure challenges, such as expediting freight movement through harbors, enhancing port security, developing pipeline safety and security programs, improving road durability, and implementing traffic analysis and forecasting systems. CAIT also provides safety training to highway workers, law enforcement personnel, and local communities.
In addition to its funding from the U. S. Department of Transportation, CAIT receives support from the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The center conducts between $4 million and $6 million in research annually, some in collaboration with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, part of the university’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
UMDNJ-Rutgers University CounterACT Research Center of Excellence
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently awarded a five-year, $19.2 million grant to UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University to support the creation of a Center of Excellence focused on the development of new and improved medical countermeasures against high priority chemical threats. This Center will focus on developing drugs to treat sulfur mustard poisoning, a potent chemical warfare vesicant. Although it has been studied for more than 80 years, the mechanisms mediating its actions as a vesicant remain unknown; moreover, to date, there are no effective medical countermeasures for exposure to warfare vesicants.
In collaborative studies with Battelle Memorial Institute, Executive Committee of the Center are optimizing lead compounds to determine pharmacophores active against sulfur mustard. Studies are being initiated to evaluate the efficacy of these potential countermeasures in model systems of sulfur mustard toxicity. In addition, Research and Development Projects are underway to identify specific mechanisms of action of sulfur mustard and potential new targets for therapeutic intervention in three major vesicant targets: the eye, the skin and the lung. Investigators on these projects work closely with a Pharmacology and Drug Development Core and a Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Core with considerable expertise in drug development, providing insights to facilitate the development of sulfur mustard countermeasures.
The research laboratories of each Core group are Executive Committee of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), a facility jointly sponsored by UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. A Training and Education Program directed at health care providers at Rutgers University, UMDNJ-School of Public Health, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Health Sciences Program at Lehigh University has been established.
Michael R. Greenberg publishes "Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice"
"Pressing environmental challenges are frequently surrounded with stakeholders on all sides of the issues. Opinions expressed by government agencies, the private sector, special interests, nonprofit communities, and the media, among others can quickly cloud the dialogue, leaving one to wonder how policy decisions actually come about.
In Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice, Michael R. Greenberg cuts through the complicated layers of bureaucracy, science, and the public interest to show how all policy considerations can be broken down according to six specific factors: 1) the reaction of elected government officials, 2) the reactions of the public and special interests, 3) knowledge developed by scientists and engineers, 4) economics, 5) ethical imperatives, and 6) time pressure to make a decision.
The book is organized into two parts, with the first part defining and illustrating each one of these criteria. Greenberg draws on examples such as nuclear power, pesticides, brownfield redevelopment, gasoline additives, and environmental cancer, but focuses on how these subjects can be analyzed rather than exclusively on the issues themselves. Part two goes on to describe a set of over twenty tools that are used widely in policy analysis, including risk assessment, environmental impact analysis, public opinion surveys, cost-benefit analysis, and others. These tools are described and then illustrated with examples from part one.
Weaving together an impressive combination of practical advice and engaging first person accounts from government officials, administrators, and leaders in the fields of public health and medicine, this clearly written volume is poised to become a leading text in environmental policy." -quoted from Rutgers University Press