UNC Superfund Research Program

A recent paper from Dr. Rebecca Fry's lab was named Article of the Month by The Children’s Environmental Health Network. The study, Maternal Arsenic Exposure, Arsenic Methylation Efficiency, & Birth Outcomes in the Biomarkers of Exposure to Arsenic (BEAR) Pregnancy Cohort in Mexico examined the association of inorganic arsenic exposure during pregnancy and corresponding birth outcomes in a pregnancy cohort in Mexico.
Message from the Director
"We conduct cutting-edge research to advance methods for detecting toxic chemicals in the environment, cleaning up contaminated sites, and minimizing human and environmental risks due to exposure."
Rebecca Fry, PhD

The UNC Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP) seeks to understand the human health and environmental risks associated with exposure to toxic chemicals found at hazardous waste sites. Learn more.

Our research interests include:

  • Improving our ability to evaluate risk from low-dose exposures;
  • Developing biological markers that indicate when a person has been exposed to a chemical;
  • Using a systems biology framework to understand the pathways of environmental disease and how chemicals can cause changes to our DNA;
  • Understanding how individuals differ in their susceptibility and risk, and how our genes play a role in the development of disease
  • Improving methods to measure chronic exposure and bioavailability of toxic chemicals in the environment
  • Evaluating factors that influence toxicity of soil during and after bioremediation

Fry selected as director of UNC Superfund Research Program

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.

Fry, a biomedical researcher, is internationally recognized for her research in systems toxicology that focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying environmentally-induced disease.

Fry succeeds James Swenberg, DVM, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the Gillings School, who led the Superfund Research Program from 1992 to 2015.

“Dr. Fry is well-positioned to lead the UNC Superfund Research Program, continuing our longstanding emphasis on improving risk assessment and also leading us in new directions”, says Swenberg.


The Fall 2015 UNC Superfund Scoop Newsletter has arrived!

Check out the latest issue at this link for more information on research highlights, community engagement and research translation news, and more!

Research Highlight

Commercializing passive sampling technology to enhance risk analysis

Dr. Damian Shea and his team at NC State University have developed a new passive sampling technology aimed at allowing regulators to gain more accurate estimates of chronic exposure to and bioavailability of hundreds of chemicals in water as part of UNC Superfund Research Program’s Project 4.
The technology, called a “non-selective passive sampling device (ns-PSD)”, provides risk assessors with a cost-effective way to gain critical information related to bioavailability, as well as time-weighted averages of contaminant concentrations in surface waters at hazardous waste sites. Dr. Shea has created a new start-up company, Statera, LLC, to manufacture, market and distribute this new technology to users in the United States and across the globe.