The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has collaborated with Soviet and Russian scientists for 40 years. Since 2000, the Department of State has provided most of the support, with the goal of redirecting former Russian defense-oriented scientists to civilian careers.
Examples of research projects that have reflected fruitful U.S.-Russian collaboration are the following:
• Computational Toxicology. EPA’s program goal is to provide fast, automated tests for screening and assessing chemical exposure, hazard, and risk through far broader testing of novel compounds than was previously possible. Collaboration with Russian scientists in the program has proved to be of considerable value.
• Modeling Biological Systems. Projects supported by the International Science and Technology Center have aimed at decreasing uncertainty in chemical risk assessments by incorporating unique models of biological systems in the assessments. Successful collaborations with Russian counterparts have resulted in adoption of new methodology for quantitative analysis of genomics data for use in risk assessment, addressing risks associated with formaldehyde as a case in point. Results have been presented at international conferences and in publications.
• Identification, Characterization, and Functional Assessments of Isolated Wetlands. Through collaboration between EPA and partners at institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk and at the Siberian Center for Environmental Research and Training in Tomsk, this project has devel-
oped information on the functions of wetlands that are important in improving management of wetlands in both the United States and Siberia.
The joint programs have contributed to advancement of scientific insights. Participants also report benefits in strengthening bilateral governmental ties, improving long-term training of scientists, and bolstering cultural understanding. Areas identified for future research collaboration include environmental endocrine disrupters, environmental mercury contamination, and remediation of nanotechnology releases into the environment.
SOURCE: Information provided by EPA, May 2012.