Greater than the sum of its parts: focusing SRP research through a systems approach lens
Reviews on Environmental Health
AbstractThe National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program (SRP) funds diverse transdisciplinary research to understand how hazardous substances contribute to disease. SRP research focuses on how to prevent these exposures by promoting problem-based, solution-oriented research. SRP's mandate areas encompasses broad biomedical and environmental science and engineering research efforts and, when combined with research translation, community engagement, training,
... ement, training, and data science, offers broad expertise and unique perspectives directed at a specific big picture question. The purpose of this commentary is to adapt a systems approach concept to SRP research to accommodate the complexity of a scientific problem. The SRP believes a systems approach offers a framework to understand how scientists can work together to integrate diverse fields of research to prevent or understand environmentally-influenced human disease by addressing specific questions that are part of a larger perspective. Specifically, within the context of the SRP, a systems approach can elucidate the complex interactions between factors that contribute to or protect against environmental insults. Leveraging a systems approach can continue to advance SRP science while building the foundation for researchers to address difficult emerging environmental health problems.