Promising environmental health researchers receive Superfund award
By Sara Mishamandani
Five exceptional NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees received the 2013 K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplement, to enrich their research in environmental health science at another institution. Now in its third year, the annual award was established to honor environmental health researcher and Superfund grantee Kirby (K.C.) Donnelly, Ph.D.
Bone is a graduate student at the Duke University SRP, under the guidance of Richard Di Giulio, Ph.D. Her current research project involves evaluating the effects of nanomaterial-based degradation on toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). She will be conducting a six-week externship at Oregon State University (OSU), where she will learn to use the zebrafish developmental toxicity bioassay and molecular tools developed at OSU to understand the toxicity pathways associated with byproducts from PAH degradation by nanoparticles. Robert Tanguay, Ph.D., will provide mentorship while she is there.
Chibwe is a graduate student at the OSU SRP, under the guidance of Staci Simonich, Ph.D. She will complete a three-month externship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) with Michael Aitken, Ph.D. Chibwe will work to identify potentially genotoxic compounds in bioremediated soil, originally contaminated with PAHs. She plans to conduct the novel DT40 bioassay to characterize genotoxicity associated with pre-remediated and post-remediated soil samples. She will also investigate whether parent PAHs are converted to oxygenated PAH byproducts, which are more water-soluble, bioavailable, and potentially more toxic.
Shohreh Farzan, Ph.D.
Farzan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Dartmouth Toxic Metals SRP, under the guidance of Margaret Karagas, Ph.D. She will complete a three-month externship at New York University with Yu Chen, Ph.D., in collaboration with the Columbia University SRP. Using existing data from the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study cohort in Bangladesh and data from Karagas’ New Hampshire arsenic studies, Farzan will examine the role of arsenic exposure on blood pressure over time and in relation to cardiovascular disease-related mortality.
Madeen is a graduate student in the OSU SRP, under the mentorship of David Williams, Ph.D. She will complete a three-week externship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California with Ted Ognibene, Ph.D. Madeen will be conducting analysis of high molecular weight PAHs in blood and urine from human volunteers, following microdosing with environmentally relevant amounts of labeled PAHs. She will learn to use moving wire technology, a high-performance liquid chromatography system that can separate individual metabolites coupled to accelerator mass spectrometry, for metabolite quantitation.
James Rice, Ph.D.
James Rice is a postdoctoral research associate with the Brown University SRP,under the guidance of Eric Suuberg, Ph.D. Rice will conduct a three-month research externship at the Fisherville Mill Brownfield site in Grafton, Mass., with Robert Burgess, Ph.D., a staff scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Rice will lead a passive sampler study in the Blackstone River at the Fisherville Mill site, to monitor contamination of heating oil, containing petroleum hydrocarbons, and other potential pollutants.
(Sara Mishamandani is a research and communication specialist for MDB Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Superfund Research Program and Division of Extramural Research and Training.)