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Superfund Research Program News

Out of the classroom and into the lab

High school freshmen assess uptake of toxic metals by plants in collaboration with the Biomarker Mass Spectrometry Lab Emily Liu and Sara Zangi, freshman at East Chapel Hill High School, developed an award-winning, hypothesis-driven research project exploring phytoremediation as a method to remove heavy metals from contaminated water, specifically examining the biosorption and rhizofiltration properties of four… Read more »

Family guide to eating locally-caught fish in the Triangle now available

Eat Fish, Choose Wisely: A Family Guide to Eating Locally Caught Fish in the Triangle is now available to help inform fishermen at Triangle-area waters about local fish consumption advisories.  Creation of the guide began in 2014 in response to concerns from community partners, Lake Crabtree County Park and environmental non-profit Sound Rivers, about people… Read more »

Commercializing passive sampling technology to enhance the risk analysis process

Dr. Damian Shea and his team at North Carolina State University have developed a new passive sampling technology that provides more accurate estimates of chronic exposure to hundreds of bioavailable chemicals in water, as part of the UNC Superfund Research Program’s Project 4. In addition, a new start-up company, Statera, LLC, has been created by… Read more »

Prenatal exposure to cadmium associated with increased risk of pre-eclampsia

October 6, 2015 Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have demonstrated for the first time an association between levels of the toxic metal cadmium in the placenta during pregnancy and increased risk of the mother developing pre-eclampsia. The researchers also examined interactive effects of essential metals selenium and zinc with pre-eclampsia… Read more »

Fry selected as director of UNC Superfund Research Program

August 27, 2015 Rebecca Fry, PhD, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named director of the UNC Superfund Research Program. The program, based in the Gillings School and supported by a $14 million grant from the National… Read more »

Environmental health sciences postdoc awarded grant to study Fanconi anemia

August 12, 2015 Rui Yu, PhD, the Leon and Bertha Golberg Postdoctoral Fellow at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded a two-year, $160,000 grant from the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund. Yu’s study, “Identifying the nature of the endogenous aldehydes-induced DNA damage that Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathways counteract,” is being conducted… Read more »

Building capacity to incorporate innovative biomedical science into life science instruction

UNC SRP’s RTC science educator Dana Haine, MS was invited to lead a six-hour workshop titled Integrating Epigenetics into your Biology Curriculum for 24 high school science teachers at the July 2015 Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute hosted by the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Ms. Haine featured the epigenetics research of SRP scientist Rebecca… Read more »

Training emerging scientists to communicate their research broadly

Sixteen UNC SRP postdoctoral and graduate student trainees improved their skills in communicating research to broad audiences, thanks to a supplemental grant from NIEHS. Trainees participated in three skill-building sessions this spring that allowed them to practice presentation skills, develop an elevator speech, and apply adult learning principles in an effort to improve their ability… Read more »

Marie Curie Research Fellow joining Aitken Lab

Dr. Joaquim Vila, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Barcelona, has received a prestigious Marie Curie Research Fellowship from the European Commission to support two years of research in the Aitken lab. Dr. Vila will be working with Dr. Aitken to study the biodegradation of PAHs and other polycyclic aromatic compounds that are typically… Read more »

Study highlights relationship between prenatal arsenic exposure and adverse health outcomes in newborns

In a recent study, researchers in Dr. Rebecca Fry’s lab have demonstrated that pregnant women in Gómez Palacio, Mexico are being exposed to potentially harmful levels of inorganic arsenic in their drinking water and highlighted a negative relationship between maternal arsenic metabolite concentrations in urine and adverse health outcomes for the newborn. The paper, Maternal… Read more »