a group of people representing the UNC Superfund Research Program standing together

UNC SRP attendees at the 2023 SRP Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

Researchers from across UNC SRP highlighted their diverse and innovative research at the NIEHS Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting in Albuquerque in December and the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City in March. UNC SRP trainees and investigators shared their research findings with peers and learned from the work of other researchers from across the country.

NIEHS Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting, December 2023

Eric Brown Jr., PhD candidate in the Fry Lab  presented his K.C. Donnelly Externship Award research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  titled “Integrating Chemical Mixtures and Multi-Omic Modeling Highlights the Effects of Prenatal Mn Exposure on Reduced Gestational Age Risk in Extremely Preterm Infants.”

Audrey Bousquet, doctoral student in the Fry Lab presented on her research “Identifying and Responding to Lead in Drinking Water in a University Setting.”

Lauren Eaves, PhD, presented on her research “Climate Change, Chemical, and Social Stressors: Identifying Regions of Public Health Concern Using Geospatial Clustering.”

Dr. Andrew George speaks at the SRP annual meeting.

Dr. Andrew George representing the UNC SRP Community Engagement Core during his presentation at the annual meeting (Photo credit: William Bledsoe, This photo first appeared in the NIEHS public newsletter, Environmental Factor)

Andrew George, PhD gave a presentation titled “Well Empowered: Leveraging Partnerships to Address Private Well Water Contamination in North Carolina” highlighting the community engagement and research translation team’s work sampling wells in collaboration with UNC SRP investigators and partners from  local government and community-based organizations in Union County, NC.

Bingzhen Shang, doctoral student in the Styblo Lab, presented a poster on “Diabetogenic Effects of Preconception Exposure to Arsenic are Associated with Heritable Changes in DNA Methylation in Paternal Sperm”

 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, March 2024

The 2024 Society of Toxicology annual meeting brought UNC SRP researchers out in full force.

Katelyn Huff won a WIT Celebrating Women in Toxicology Award for her research on “Associations Between Prenatal Exposures to Metals/ Metalloids and Placental Epigenetic Aging in Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns (ELGANs)”

four people stand together, the second person from left is Bingzhen Shang who won an award.

Bingzhen Shang with the Metals Specialty Section Research Award.
(Pictured Left to Right) Hadley Hartwell, Bingzhen Shang, Dr. Rebecca Fry, Dr. Mirek Styblo

Bingzhen Shang won the Metals Specialty Section Research Award for his outstanding research “Transgenerational Diabetogenic Effects of Preconception Exposure to Inorganic Arsenic in C57BL/6 Mice Are Associated with Inherited Dysregulation of DNA Methylation.” “This is an invaluable confirmation of our lab’s current study direction and gave me confidence in using the direction as one of my main objectives in my doctoral thesis,” said Shang.

Haoduo Zhao won an award for top 5 best abstracts in the Exposure Specialty Section for “Slicing Human Exposome: Nontargeted Large-Scale Pesticide Screening in Human Baby Urine Revealed Alarming Xenobiotics Exposure Landscapes.

Lauren Koval won the Computational Toxicology Specialty Section Yves Alaire Diversity Award for Trainees and Toung Investigators and placed in the top 5 best abstracts in the Computational Toxicology Specialty Section.

Dr. Ilona Jaspers won the SOT Education Award for her vision, and leadership in training and teaching young toxicologists.

Dr. Rebecca Fry was elected to serve on SOT’s council as the treasurer elect.

Anastasia Freedman stands by her research poster at the Society of Toxicology meeting

Trainee Anastasia Freedman with her poster “Comparing Transcriptomic Effects of Toxic-Essential Metal Mixtures on Placental Trophoblasts.”

Twelve SRP trainees attended the meeting, including Katelyn Huff and Anastasia Freedman, who both received UNC Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine Goldberg Travel Awards to attend.

“As a first year PhD student, this was my first time participating in the SOT conference,” remarked trainee Audrey Bousquet. “It was an invaluable experience and I really enjoyed learning about the current toxicological research being conducted across the globe.”

Several UNC SRP leaders attended the meeting, including Director Dr. Rebecca Fry, Assistant Director Dr. Miroslav Styblo, Research Experience and Training Coordination Core co-leaders Dr. Ilona Jaspers and Dr. Meghan Rebuli, Data Management and Analysis Core leader Dr. Julia Rager. Sixteen poster presentations featuring UNC SRP research were shared at the conference.



Director: Rebecca Fry, PhD
Deputy Director: Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena, PhD
Funding provided by NIEHS grant #P42 ES031007

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