Superfund Research Program
Project Leader: Angela L. Slitt
Grant Number: P42ES027706
Funding Period: 2017-2022
The Training Core completed its first semester-long poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) Colloquium at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in Spring 2018.The main objective of the Colloquium was to provide trainees unique opportunities to explore all aspects of PFASs in one course sequence focused on sharing PFAS knowledge and research ranging from scientific findings such as physico- and bio-chemical properties, detection and remediation, and toxicology, to community engagement, communicating science, social justice, and policy. Invited PFAS experts Detlef Knappe, Ph.D., and Jennifer Guelfo, Ph.D., gave seminars as part of the Colloquium. Spring 2019 will see the second iteration of the Colloquium, for which trainees will receive course credit, featuring three expert lecturers interspersed with formal trainee presentations. In Fall 2018, the Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs (STEEP) SRP hosted Robert Bilott, the lawyer who sued DuPont, and the visit was trainee-coordinated. Bilott's seminar was followed up with several campus and community-wide screenings of "The Devil We Know," a documentary on PFASs highlighting the health effects and Bilott's continuing litigation. The Training Core lab rotation program was initiated with an associated award of $2,000 for one trainee to identify emerging PFASs in sea birds from the Cape Fear River Estuary, Massachusetts Bay, and Narragansett Bay areas, with the goal of promoting interdisciplinary research. One STEEP trainee was awarded the SRP KC Donnelly Externship Award to develop and test graphite-based nanomaterials as passive samplers for detecting PFASs. The Training Core also awarded a URI Graduate Minority Fellowship (tuition and stipend) to one trainee as the first of two minority scholarships provided by the URI Graduate School.