Superfund Research Program
Chris Barton is a recent graduate from the University of Kentucky where he earned a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. He spent the summer of 2010 in Dr. Bernhard Hennig's lab studying the toxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), specifically PCBs 3 and 15, as they pertain to oxidative stress in endothelial cells. Previous research has shown that the dechlorination of PCB77 using a membrane with iron and palladium nanotubes results in total dechlorination to biphenyl after 48 hours. However, many intermediates are reported at the hours of 10 and 24 of dechlorination, including PCBs 3 and 15. It is important to determine the toxicity of these intermediates in order to determine if they contribute more to oxidative stress in endothelial cells than the parent compound, PCB77.
Chris has participated in other research projects in the past, including the investigation of hydrogel nanocomposites with iron oxide particles and carbon nanotubes for use in hyperthermia cancer treatment. Chris will be attending medical school at the University of Louisville in the fall where he hopes to specialize within a field of pediatrics while also participating in medical research on the side. The experience gained through this research program, as well as previous research experiences, will contribute to Chris's efforts in the future.