Superfund Research Program
Project Leader: Bruce A. Stanton
Grant Number: P42ES007373
Funding Period: 2000-2020
During the past year the Training Core supported three graduate students (Athena Nomikos - Project 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor; Colette Quinn - Project 5, Toxic Metal Interactions with Cellular Proteins; Courtney Kozul – Project 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor) and two postdoctoral fellows (Julia Gosse - Project 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor; Tracy Punshon – Project 7, Trophic Transfer of Toxic Metals in Aquatic Food Webs, and pilot Project 9).
Athena Nomikos completed her M.S. degree (Pharmacology & Toxicology) based on her research on the role of arsenic as an endocrine disruptor with Dr. Joshua Hamilton on Project 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor. Specifically, she studied the effects of low arsenic doses on thyroid receptor-mediated gene expression and the effects of arsenic exposure on the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. This year she attended two meetings, the 36th annual New England Pharmacologists Meeting and the 46th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicologists. At both meetings she was invited to give platform oral presentations, and she received a travel award to attend the Society of Toxicology meeting. A paper, based in part on her research, is currently in press (J.C. Davey, A.P. Nomikos, M. Wungjiranirun, J.R. Sherman, L.M. Ingram, C. Batki, J.P. Lariviere, J.W. Hamilton, Arsenic as an endocrine disruptor: Arsenic disrupts retinoic acid receptor- and thyroid hormone receptor-mediated gene regulation and thyroid hormone-mediated amphibian tail metamorphosis. Environmental Health Perspectives, in press.), and another paper has been submitted. She served as a teaching assistant for the Center for Evaluative and Clinical Science course Environmental and Occupational Medicine.
Colette Quinn is a third year Ph.D. student (Chemistry) who has been conducting her research with Dr. Dean Wilcox on Project 5, Toxic Metal Interactions with Cellular Proteins. She is studying the thermodynamics of zinc, arsenic and other toxic metals binding to the metal detoxifying protein metallothionein. She presented her research at three meetings this year, giving an oral presentation at the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society and presenting posters at the 2007 Biocalorimetry meeting and the 2007 SBRP annual meeting. She served as a teaching assistant for the Chemistry Department course Biological Chemistry.
Courtney Kozul is a second year Ph.D. student (Pharmacology & Toxicology), who is conducting research on the effects of arsenic on gene expression with Joshua Hamilton on Project 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor. She attended two meetings this year, winning the Wetterhahn best poster award at the 25th annual New England Membrane Enzyme Group conference, and winning one of the four best poster awards at the 2007 annual SBRP meeting. A paper based on her work has been submitted.
Julia Gosse Ph.D. has recently completed her third year as a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Joshua Hamilton on Project 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor. She is investigating the toxicogenomics, carcinogenesis, and interference with endocrine signaling due to arsenic; she has also used fluorescence polarization to measure arsenic disruption of steroid receptors binding to their DNA response elements. This year she attended the 25th annual New England Membrane Enzyme Group conference, where she presented a poster and contributed to another, and the 46th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicologists, where she was selected to give a platform talk, contributed to three posters, and won a Society of Toxicology Women in Toxicology Student (Post-doctoral) Achievement Award; in addition, she contributed to three posters at the 2007 annual SBRP meeting. A paper, based in part on her research, was published this year (J.C. Davey, J.E. Bodwell, J.A. Gosse, J.W. Hamilton, 2007 “Arsenic as an endocrine disruptor: Effects of arsenic on estrogen receptor-mediated gene expression in vivo and in cell culture," Toxicological Sciences, 98:75-86.), another is currently in press (J.A. Gosse, T.H. Hampton, J.C. Davey, J.W. Hamilton, "Analysis and interpretation of toxicogenomic data: Biological responses to low, environmentally-relevant doses of toxicants" in Toxicogenomics: An Experimental Tool for Toxicity Testing, (S. C. Sahu, Ed), in press.)), and a third has been submitted. Dr. Gosse recently began a tenure-track faculty position as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the University of Maine.
Tracy Punshon, Ph.D., is a third year post-doctoral fellow working with Celia Chen of Project 7, Trophic Transfer of Toxic Metals in Aquatic Food Webs, and Mary Lou Guerinot (Dartmouth Professor of Biology) on a pilot project that uses functional ionomics and X-ray microprobe methods to study metal homeostasis in plants, with relevance to toxic metal exposure in food. She attended a training course on the quantification of hard X-ray fluorescence with microprobes and presented a poster at the 2007 annual SBRP meeting. The recent highly visible paper on her research (S.A. Kim, T. Punshon, A. Lanzirotti, L. Liangtao, J.M. Alonso, J.R. Ecker, J. Kaplan, M.L. Guerinot, 2006. “Localization of iron in Arabidopsis seed requires the vacuolar membrane transporter VIT1,” Science, 314(5803): 1295-1298) demonstrated methods that she is now using to image and quantify selenium, arsenic and other toxic elements.
In addition to these five individuals who were directly supported by the SBRP Training Core, there are a number of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and undergraduates who are supported by the individual projects. They have been similarly successful in their research, active at professional meetings and dedicated to educational and mentoring opportunities. Finally, it is important to note recent career achievements of former SBRP trainees. Anne Spuches, who worked with Dr. Dean Wilcox on Project 5, Toxic Metal Interactions with Cellular Proteins, and won the 2005 Wetterhahn Award of the SBRP, recently began a tenure-track faculty position as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at East Carolina University. Joe Shaw, who worked with Drs. Joshua Hamilton, Carol Folt, Celia Chen and Bruce Stanton on Projects 2, Arsenic as an Endocrine Disruptor, 7, Trophic Transfer of Toxic Metals in Aquatic Food Webs, and 8, Arsenic and ABC Transporters, recently began a tenure-track faculty position as Assistant Professor of Biology at Indiana University. Roxanne Karimi, who completed her PhD research on Project 7, Trophic Transfer of Toxic Metals in Aquatic Food Webs, with Dr. Carol Folt, is a post-doctoral fellow with Nick Fisher at Stoney Brook, and the 2007 recipient of the SBRP’s Wetterhahn Award. Dr. Karimi served as the lead author on a recent highly visible paper (R. Karimi, C.Y. Chen, N.S. Fisher, P. C. Pickhardt, C..L. Folt, 2007, “Nutrient stoichiometry controls mercury dilution by growth.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:7477–7482), and is an invited speaker for the 2008 Metabolic Basis for Ecology Gordon Research Conference.