The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created uncertainty and strained our communities, businesses, and workplaces. The research community faces many challenges, including disruptions to studies and training. I want to start by thanking you all for everything you have done to keep yourself and others safe and to support your communities during this pandemic.
Welcome to the Superfund Basic Research and Training Program (SRP) Science Digest!
Below you'll find a compilation of SRP research, which provides practical, scientific solutions to protect health, the environment, and communities. For more information about the program, visit the SRP website.
You also can view past issues of the Science Digest.
Cytotoxic T cells surround a cancer cell, center. The T cells attach and spread over the target, then use special chemicals housed in vesicles, red, to attack the cancer cells. Immunosuppresive lymphocytes interfere with the process. (Photo courtesy of National Institutes of Health)
Exploring how environmental contaminants affect the immune system can reveal why some people may be more susceptible to immune-related diseases and infections. NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) scientists study the mechanisms involved in the body's immune response to environmental stressors. Their work provides insight into how people may be affected by environmental pollutants and how the immune system responds to infectious pathogens and tumor cells.
The SRP welcomed 11 new and returning multiproject centers to the program. These NIEHS-funded grants are the mainstay of the program, where transdisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers working in different fields tackle complex but targeted problems in environmental health.
Hot Off the Press
Boston University SRP grantees and collaborators developed a map, which shows cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts by city. The mapping tool can help decision-makers identify needs and best allocate resources. (Image courtesy of Boston University)
NIEHS SRP grantees are lending their expertise in data integration and online tool development to explore how COVID-19 spreads and why some communities experience higher risk of infection.
To address high costs for analyzing toxic substances in the environment as well as the need for more sensitive indicators of exposure to humans, University of California (UC), Davis SRP Center researchers pioneered the use of immunoassay technologies to detect hazardous chemicals. Immunoassays use antibodies to bind to a chemical of interest, and labels on the antibodies measure the presence and concentration of the chemical.