The UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP) aims to better understand the human and environmental health risks associated with exposure to inorganic arsenic, the highest priority contaminant regulated under the Superfund program. To accomplish these aims, we bring together a diverse group of biomedical researchers, engineers, chemists, environmental scientists, data scientists, postdoctoral researchers and graduate trainees.
Funded by the the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, the SRP is a network of university grants created for researchers, faculty, and students to seek solutions to the complex health and environmental issues associated with the nation’s hazardous waste sites. It was established in 1987 to support a multidisciplinary approach to research and decision-making at Superfund and other hazardous waste sites. More information about the SRP.
UNC-SRP also works with key federal and state stakeholders in our region, including USEPA Region 4 Superfund Program, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), NCDEQ Hazardous Waste, and NCDHHS Division of Public Health.
Our overarching mission is to develop new solutions for inorganic arsenic reduction and disease prevention through mechanistic and translational research.
We aim to discover the biological mechanisms and susceptibility factors underlying arsenic-associated diabetes by focusing basic biomedical research on the effects of inorganic arsenic exposure on various components of biological systems, including target microRNAs, transcription factors and the gut microbiome. Researchers are working to develop new methods to predict arsenic contamination in soil, rock and groundwater to inform well drilling practices and new membrane technologies to ultimately reduce arsenic contamination in drinking water.
We will translate research findings for practical use by key stakeholders and engage communities impacted by hazardous contaminants throughout the research process, with a goal of protecting human and environmental health.
Our program is composed of five integrated research projects (three biomedical and two non-biomedical) and five support cores that together conduct research, train new scientists and engineers familiar with interdisciplinary research, and carry our results to a broad and diverse audience of scientists, regulators, decision-makers, and communities.
Mirek StybloArsenic-Obesity-Diabetes Interactions
Fernando Pardo-Manuel de VillenaGut Microbiome-Arsenic-Diabetes Interactions
Kun LuGeochemical Predictors of Arsenic Contamination
Owen DuckworthNovel Filtration Devices for Arsenic Reduction
Director, Rebecca Fry
Deputy Director, Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena
Research Translation Coordinator, Sarah Yelton
Kathleen GrayData Management and Analysis Core
Stan Ahalt Fei ZouChemistry and Analytical Core
Kun LuResearch Experience and Training Coordination Core