Superfund Research Program
Project Leader: Bruce A. Stanton
Grant Number: P42ES007373
Funding Period: 2000-2020
The Training Core provided direct financial support to two undergraduates, two Ph.D. students and six postdoctoral fellows this year. During the summer months, funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided funding for sixteen undergraduate students to work within the Dartmouth Superfund Program.
Training Core Supportees:
- Christine Palmer: 5th year Ph.D. student. She is completing her thesis under Dr. Guerinot’s direction and mentorship, working primarily on transcription factors involved in the Arabidopsis iron deficiency response, Christine is partially supported to work on the functional characterization of genes involved in arsenic accumulation in Arabidopsis. Christine attended the Superfund Annual meeting in Portland and presented a poster on her research entitled, “Natural genetic variation in selected populations of Arabidopsis thaliana is associated with differences in arsenic accumulation”.
- Sam Beal: 2nd year Ph.D. student. His research is focused on examining atmospheric inputs of trace metals to natural systems, determining natural versus anthropogenic contributions, and putting current inputs in context of historical ones. Specifically, the results of this research will elucidate trans-Pacific sources of pollution and temporal trends in their magnitude.
- Vivien Taylor, Ph.D.: Postdoctoral research fellow. She is working with Dr. Brian Jackson to develop analytical methods for studying mercury and arsenic species in biological and environmental samples. She attended the annual SRP meeting in Portland in December, and presented a poster entitled, “Tools for assessing the role of particle association in point source Hg contamination”. Vivien also plays a key role in a new pilot project assessing the arsenic concentration and speciation in baby formula and early stage solid foods.
- Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Ph.D.: Postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Margaret Karagas on the birth cohort, specifically on fetal exposure to arsenic and its effects on birth outcomes. Diane attended the annual meeting in Portland and presented on biomarkers and risk reduction of fetal arsenic exposure.
- Emily Notch Ph.D.: Postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Bruce Stanton on the ability of the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heterclitus) to rapidly acclimate to changing salinity in the presence of environmental contaminants, particularly arsenic. This adaptation relies on the regulation of the chloride channel Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) in the gill, with homology to chloride channels that function in the human lung.
- Dawoon Jung Ph.D.: Postdoctoral research fellow. She is studying the role of AQP3, AQP7 and AQP9 in the uptake of arsenic using the Atlantic killifish as a model system. She has identified two variants of AQP3 in the gill, which act as channels for water, urea and glycerol, and has shown that only one of these can transport arsenite into the cell. She will continue to work on AQP3 regulation, and the effect of arsenic on the AQP3 protein abundance in the gill, as well as AQP7 and AQP9 in the intestine. Dawoon presented a poster at the Superfund annual meeting in Portland entitled, “Aquaglyceroporin 3 is an Arsenic Transporter in the Atlantic Killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus): Effects of Salinity”.
- Helene Zuber Ph.D.: Postdoctoral research fellow. She is studying elemental localization during seed development using synchrotron x-ray fluorescence microanalysis, specifically the influence of the expression of genes encoding for metal(loid) membrane transporters on the mineral nutrient composition of seeds, with emphasis on nutrients iron and zinc, and contaminants arsenic.
All trainees, students and postdoctoral fellows supported by individual projects participate in core activities including: bi-monthly meetings, individual presentations of their research to all project personnel, participation in the Training Core’s annual trainee program retreat and presentations at scientific meetings.