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Biological Response to Environmental Exposures

Technologies for Generating Precise Measures of Biological Response to Environmental Exposures

NIEHS is interested in developing technologies and devices to generate precise indicators (or markers) of the biological response to environmental exposures. The indicators may reflect compensatory biological responses and/or early (preclinical) responses to the exposure agent. The goal is to develop quantitative indicators (or markers) that can be measured in easily accessible biosamples (blood, urine, saliva, buccal samples, nasal mucosa or exhaled breath) for human population-based and clinical research and practice. The exposure markers may reflect either acute or chronic responses related to toxicity or preclinical disease.

Examples include:

  • Development of high-throughput and sensitive technologies and assays for the detection and quantification of molecular changes in genes (genomics), proteins (proteomics), or metabolites (metabolomics), that are reflective of the early response to environmental exposure.
  • Development of biomarkers of response to environmental agents that will define a pattern of response at a single level (i.e. a molecular signature) or at multiple levels (i.e. molecular, cellular, and/or physiological responses).

The NIEHS contact person is:

Daniel Shaughnessy, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel (919) 541-2506
Fax (919) 316-4606

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