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Superfund Research Program Trainee Webinar Series

Superfund Research Program

The Superfund Research Program (SRP) is pleased to announce a webinar series titled "Superfund Research Program Trainee Webinar Series." For information about the current year's program, please visit the Superfund Research Program Trainee Webinar Series page.

In 2011, this series was an opportunity to feature the excellent work being conducted by graduate and postdoctoral students conducting SRP-funded research. It consisted of presentations from Poster Award Winners from the previous SRP Annual Meeting . There were 3 webinars, which consisted of two presentations, each 15-20 min in length, followed by 5 min of questions after each presentation. This was an excellent opportunity for the poster winners to describe their current research/activities to their peers, SRP researchers, SRP alumni, and SRP's partners (NIEHS, EPA, and ATSDR, etc.). This was also a chance for others to learn more about the research/activities being conducted by SRP trainees (i.e., graduate students/post-docs) and for those that were not able to view their poster at the Annual Meeting. Most importantly, the intent of the series was to increase collaboration and exchange of ideas among young investigators conducting SRP-funded research/activities and to hear about their award-winning work.

Session I: Featuring Xin Hu (University of Iowa) and Birgit Claus Henn (Harvard University)

April 5, 2011; 1:00 - 2:00pm, Eastern Daylight Time

Xin Hu: The Uptake, Elimination and Toxicity of PCB Congeners in Rats After Inhalation Exposure

Xin Hu

Presentation abstract:

Despite the continued presence of PCBs in indoor and ambient air, few studies have investigated the inhalation route of exposure. Using a rat nose-only exposure model, Xin measured the uptake, distribution, and time course of elimination of inhaled PCB congeners to characterize the pulmonary route after short-term exposure. She demonstrated that inhalation exposure contributed to the body burden of lower-chlorinated PCBs in laboratory animals and have shown diversity in the extent of uptake and elimination among congeners. Other inhalation studies (long-term exposure etc) have also been conducted based on the exposure system.

Birgit Claus Henn: Manganese and Lead Co-Exposure and Infant Development

Birgit Claus Henn

Presentation abstract:

Human exposure to chemical mixtures is more realistic than single-chemical exposures, yet few epidemiologic studies have examined effects of concomitant exposures. In a cohort of 1- to 3-year old children in Mexico City, Birgit examined whether co-exposure to manganese and lead, two common neurotoxicants in children's environments, is associated with neurodevelopmental deficiencies that are more severe than from exposure to each metal alone. Her results suggest that manganese-lead co-exposure is associated with greater deficits in neurodevelopment than exposure to each metal alone.

Agenda

  • Moderator: Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., Health Scientist Administrator
  • Presenter: Xin Hu , University of Iowa
    • Presentation title: The Uptake, Elimination and Toxicity of PCB Congeners in Rats After Inhalation Exposure
  • Presenter: Birgit Claus Henn , Harvard University
    • Presentation title: Manganese and Lead Co-Exposure and Infant Development
  • Questions & Discussions

Session II: Featuring Keum Young Lee (University of Washington) and Beth Willett (Clark County Health Department, Kentucky)

June 1, 2011; 2:00 - 3:00pm, Eastern Daylight Time

Keum Young Lee: Enhanced Phytoremediation of Chlorpyrifos

Keum Young Lee

Presentation abstract:

Chlorpyrifos (CPS) is a commonly used organophosphorus insecticide that is implicated in environmental and human health problems. The hypothesis is that these problems may be partially or thoroughly solved by the emerging phytoremediation technology, which is the use of plants for the cleanup of environmental contaminants. Analysis of the CPS removal from hydroponic solution showed that CPS can be taken up by poplar and willow species, significant amounts of CPS accumulated in plant tissues, and CPS did not persist in the plant tissues, suggesting further metabolism of CPS. Other phytoremediation studies using transgenic poplar and tobacco overexpressing paraoxonase 1 (PON1), which detoxifies the oxon form of CPS in mammals, will be conducted.

Beth Willett: Assessing the perceptions of environmental pollutants, health and nutrition behavior to improve risk communications in Kentucky

Beth Willet

Presentation abstract:

The purpose of Beth's Masters research was to examine individuals' current knowledge, risk perception, and actions concerning both environmental pollutants and nutrition behavior. Data was collected using a modified survey instrument based on the validated Environmental Health Engagement Profile (EHEP). Survey participants were from diverse regions of the state. Results indicated a significant, positive correlation in all groups between perception of environmental pollutants in a person's surroundings and the extent of concern that pollutants cause adverse health effects (p < 0.01). Recognizing that participants see a link between environmental pollutants and their health allows nutrition researchers to develop targeted, effective nutrition interventions. This information will be useful in the development of future nutrition programs to improve the health of Superfund communities.

Agenda

  • Moderator: Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., Health Scientist Administrator
  • Presenter: Keum Young Lee, University of Washington
    • Presentation title: Enhanced Phytoremediation of Chlorpyrifos
  • Presenter: Beth Willett, Clark County (Kentucky) Health Department
    • Presentation title: Assessing the perceptions of environmental pollutants, health and nutrition behavior to improve risk communications in Kentucky
  • Questions & Discussions

Session III: Featuring Steven O'Connell (Oregon State University) and Lucía Rodríguez-Freire (University of Arizona)

August 16, 2011; 1:00 - 2:00pm Eastern Daylight Time

Steven O'Connell: Utilizing Silicone Passive Samplers to Expand Environmental Monitoring for the Portland Harbor Superfund, OR

Steven O'Connell

Presentation abstract:

Passive samplers have been used to examine bioavailable fractions of organic compounds in air, water, and sediments for over a decade. Increased use of these devices within the past 10 years has led to new deployment devices and new materials to be used as passive samplers. Silicone has been increasingly used as the sampling medium in commercially available passive sampling devices, as well as a stand-alone material in recent laboratory and field studies. However, much of the use has concentrated on polycyclic aromatic hydryocarbons (PAHs), particularly those having relatively lower octanol-water partition coefficients (Kows) than other PAHs. Due to the intramolecular forces inherent in this material, silicone may be optimized for monitoring many organic compounds in addition to lower Kow PAHs such as Oxygenated-PAHs (OPAHs) and certain pesticides commonly found in or near polluted areas such as Superfund sites. Currently, lipid-free polyethylene tubing (LFT) has been used in the Portland Harbor Superfund Site to target bioavailable compounds in the air and water, but may not be as suitable for compounds such as OPAHs and certain pesticides as silicone-based devices. Current research involves using LFT and silicone sampler materials for concentrations of several classes of organic contaminants in complementary deployments at the same field site within the Portland Harbor Superfund.

Lucía Rodríguez-Freire: Biotransformation of arsenic: The role of microorganisms in the cycle of arsenic in the environment

Lucia Rodriguez-Freire

Presentation abstract:

The fate of arsenic in groundwater depends on the activity of microorganisms either by oxidizing arsenite (As(III)), or by reducing arsenate (As(V)). In this project, three As(III)-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing bacterial pure cultures, Azoarcus sp. strain EC1, Azoarcus sp. strain EC3 and Diaphorobacter sp. strain MC, have been studied to characterize their metabolic capacities. Each strain was tested for its ability to oxidize As(III) with different electron acceptors. Complete As(III) oxidation was observed in the cultures amended with nitrate and oxygen. Several electron donors were used to study their suitability for nitrate reduction by the strains. Hydrogen and acetate were readily utilized by all the cultures. Strain EC3 could respire As(V) when hydrogen was amended as electron donor, demonstrating the ability of these bacteria to cycle arsenic. The multiple metabolic abilities of these three As(III)-oxidizing bacteria help to better understand the biotransformation pathways within the arsenic cycle in the environment, and provide useful information to develop more effective bioremediation processes.

Agenda

  • Moderator: Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., Health Scientist Administrator
  • Presenter: Steven O'Connell , Oregon State University
    • Presentation title: Utilizing Silicone Passive Samplers to Expand Environmental Monitoring for the Portland Harbor Superfund, OR
  • Presenter: Lucia Rodriguez-Freire , University of Arizona
    • Presentation title: Assessing the perceptions of environmental pollutants, health and nutrition behavior to improve risk communications in Kentucky
  • Questions & Discussions

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