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Your Environment. Your Health.

Annual Meeting of the Superfund Research Program: Emerging Issues, Emerging Progress

Table of Contents

Superfund Research Program

November 2-5, 2009

Meeting Summary

Over 300 Superfund grant recipients, researchers, partners, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students gathered for the NIEHS Superfund Research and Training Program annual meeting, held November 2-5, 2009 at Columbia University in New York, NY. The theme of this meeting was "Emerging Issues, Emerging Progress".

The overall goals of the meeting were to discuss the emerging issues within the SRP by identifying emerging technologies and their applications to understanding and mitigating the risks of hazardous waste sites. Together, these advances will facilitate more accurate assessments of exposure and human health risks to Superfund chemicals. A key aspect of the meeting was the application of these research developments to the evaluation of real-world issues, sites, and situations. Four plenary sessions highlighted student and researcher/post-doc advances in environmental health. Presentations focused on research advances in fate, transport and remediation; emerging research methodologies; toxic effects of Superfund chemicals; and exposure, risk, and epidemiology.

Two keynote speakers were featured at the meeting. On Tuesday, Dr. Stephen Safe, Texas A&M University, shared the late Dr. K.C. Donnelly's scientific career and achievements with meeting attendees. K.C.'s involvement in the SRP and his interest and concern for people and public health issues will have a lasting impact on his colleagues, friends, and family. On Wednesday, George Pavlou, Acting Regional Administrator of Region 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gave a summary of the recent work and advances in the Hudson River Superfund site. Pavlou's presentation, "Update on the Hudson River Remediation," included photos of the cleanup effort and outlined several remediation tactics under consideration by the EPA.

Kathleen Radloff was the recipient of the 12th Annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award. She presented her research, "How Arsenic Mobility Influences Safe Drinking Water Options in Bangladesh" on Wednesday. A student poster session was held on Tuesday evening. Two students were honored for their presentation efforts. Shawn Wnek ("Exposure of a human bladder cell line to short-term, low-level monomethylarsonous acid produced critical and irreversible events resulting in malignant transformation",University of Arizona, A. J. Gandolfi, Advisor) and Xin Hu ("Time course of PCB congener uptake and elimination in rat tissue after inhalation exposure to PCB mixtures", University of Iowa, P.S. Thorne, Advisor) each received a cash prize of $250 for the outstanding presentation of their research efforts.

Sponsored by

  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - Superfund Research Program
  • Columbia University


For meeting information please refer to the agendas below:

Additional Information


Annual Meeting of the Superfund Research Program November 2-5, 2009 New York, New York

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009


  • Opening Statements
    Joseph Graziano, Ph.D.
    Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, and Professor of Pharmacology, Mailman school of Public Health, Columbia University
  • Linda Fries, MD, MPH
    Dean, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, DeLamar Professor of Public Health Practice, Senior Vice President, Columbia University Medical center, Professor of Epidemiology and of Medicine
  • William Suk, Ph.D.
    Director, Superfund Hazardous Substances Basic Research & Training Program, NIEHS
  • Steven Keleeberger, Ph.D.
    Acting Deputy Director, Division of Intramural Research, Environmental Disease and Medicine Program, Laboratory of Respiratory Biology, NIEHS

Science Session #1: Emerging Issues

Session Co-Chairs:
Raina Maier, Ph.D. (Professor of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona)
Eric Suuberg, Ph.D. (Professor of engineering, Brown University)

  • The Coal Fly Ash Disaster in Tennessee
    James Webster, Ph.d., Chief, removal Management and Oil Section, emergency Response and removal Branch, U.S. EPA Region 4
  • PAHs in Highly Exposed Populations: Atmospheric Studies from China to the Cost of California, before, during and after the Beijing Olympics
    David Williams, Ph.D., Professor, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University
  • Environmental Exposure and Autoimmunity: Libby Montana's Asbestos
    Jean C. Pfau, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University

Keynote Presentation

  • The Research Career of the late Dr. KC Donnelly
    Stephen Safe, Ph.D., Professor, Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University

Science Session #2: Epigenetics and Toxicology

Session Co-Chairs:
Mary Gamble, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University)
Carmen Marsit, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Pathology & Lab Medicine, Brown University)

  • Epigenetic Effects of Metals on Histone Modification
    Timothy Bestor, Ph.D., Professor, Department of genetics and Development, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University
  • Epigenetic effects of Metals on Histone Modification
    Max Costa, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University Medical Center
  • Application of Epigenetic Markers in Environmental Epidemiology
    Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati

Science Session #3: Advances in Mechanistic Toxicology

Session Co-Chairs:
Evan Gallagher, Ph.D. (Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington)
Nancy Denslow, Ph.D. (Professor, Department of Physiological Sciences & Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology, University of Florida)

  • Rodent and Zebrafish Models to Investigate Mechanisms of Neurotoxicity
    Edward Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Psychological Brain Sciences, Duke University
  • Probing Mechanisms of Inter-individual Susceptibility to Environmental Agents with Population Based Experimental Approaches
    Ivan Rusyn, MD, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina
  • Characterizing Immunotoxicity by Dioxin and Dioxin Like Compounds in Human Peripheral B Cells
    Norbert Kaminski, Ph.D., Director, Center for Integrative toxicology, Michigan State University
  • Permature Aging in Bone: Environmental Chemical-Induced Effects on Bone Marrow Adipogenesis and Osteoblastogenesis
    Jennifer Schlezinger, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health, Boston University

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Keynote Presentation

  • Update on the Hudson River Remediation
    George Pavlou, MBA, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 2

Science Session #4: SRP Remediation Research of Importance to Superfund Sites

Session Co-Chairs:
Peggy O'Day, Ph.D. (Professor, School of Natural Sciences, University of california, Merced)
Keri C. Hornbuckle, Ph.D. (Professor and Department Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa)

  • Laboratory and Field Studies To Accelerate Arsenic Remediation at the Vineland Superfund Site
    Karen Wovkulich, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University
  • Characterization and Remediation of tars at Former Manufacturing Gas Plants
    Pamela Birak, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina
  • Reactive, Permeable Composite Overlays Applied to Top Sediments as a Means of Rendering Chemical Contaminants Inert
    Dogus Meric, Ph.D. candidate, Northeastern University

Science Session #5: Toxic effects of Superfund Chemicals: Arsenic

Session Co-Chairs:
Max Costa, Ph.D. (professor, Department of Environmental Medicine and Pharmacology, New York University)
Margaret KLaragas, Ph.D. )Professor of Community and family Medicine in Epidemiology, Dartmouth University)

  • Knockout of the Gene for Arsenic Methyl Transferase in Mica Results in Retention of Arsenic
    David Thomas, Ph.D., U.S. EPA, RTP
  • Exposure to Arsenic in Mice Leads to Susceptibility to Swine Flu Infection
    Courtney Kozul, Ph.D. candidate, Dartmouth University
  • Histone Modification and Arsenic Toxicity in Human Bladder Cells
    Xuefeng Ren, MD, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley

Science Session #6: Toxic Effects of Superfund Chemicals: Organic chemicals

Session Co-Chairs:
Bernhard Henning, Ph.D. (Professor of Nutrition and Toxicology, University of Kentucky)
Larry Robertson, Ph.D. (professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Iowa)

  • The Mechanistic Basis of Resistance to PCBs
    Isaac Wirgin, Ph.D., New York University
  • Signaling Mechanisms of PCB-induced Migration of Tumor Cells Across the Blood-Brain Barrier and the Development of Brain Metastases
    Isaac Pessah, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  • PCB Exposures: Novel In Utero Targets and Adverse Effects on Pregnancy
    Surendra Sharma, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Brown University
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