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)/NC Center for Environmental Risk Analysis (NC-CERA) 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

Dr. Rebecca Fry

SRP Director to co-lead high-profile NIH ECHO grant

UNC SRP Director Dr. Rebecca Fry, along with Dr. Michael O’Shea, chief of UNC School of Medicine’s Neonatal-Perinatal Division, received a high-profile award in the Pediatric Cohort component of the NIH’s new $157 million, seven-year Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) initiative. The ECHO initiative investigates how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development — from conception through early childhood — influences the health of children and adolescents.

Drs. Fry and O’Shea, who were awarded $5 million over two years by the National Institutes of health (NIH) – with the potential for $33 million over seven years – will join several other universities to focus on enrolling more than 50,000 children from diverse racial, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds to become part of the ECHO consortium.

Read more
Fall Newsletter

Latest UNC Superfund SCOOP newsletter now online!

Check out the fall 2016 issue of the UNC Superfund SCOOP for the latest research highlights, trainee news, research translation and community engagement highlights!

Highlighted stories include:

  • Collaborating with the National Toxicology Program to study biomarkers of PCB toxicity
  • Advancing dose-response assessment methods using a Bayesian Belief Network approach
  • Partnering with US EPA to Improve Community Understanding of Metals Bioavailability
  • Helping NC communities become Well Empowered
Read more
Resource Highlight

New bioavailability resources available

Working collaboratively, UNC SRP and University of Arizona SRP have developed a set of innovative educational materials on the bioavailability of arsenic and lead in soils at NPL sites.

The two SRPs developed a fact sheet, slide set and hands-on activity designed to help residents of impacted communities understand the concept of bioavailability and how the bioavailable concentration of a contaminant can influence cleanup levels at hazardous waste sites. The fact sheet is now available for use.

Bioavailablity Fact Sheet
Facilitator Slide Set
Demonstration Facilitator Guide

These resources were developed as part of a pilot project of the US EPA Partners in Technical Assistance Program.

Read more