Superfund Research Program
Toxic Substances in the Environment
Center Director: Martyn T. Smith
Grant Number: P42ES004705
Funding Period: 1987-2027
News Items List
Tackling Environmental Health Problems from Many Angles
Environmental Factor - July 2023
Current and upcoming research to address complex environmental health issues related to hazardous contaminants, climate-related disasters, and more, headlined the recent NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Progress in Research webinar series. Over the course of four sessions in April and May, the series highlighted 11 new and renewed SRP multiproject centers funded in 2022.
Scientists design risk communication strategies to improve health
Environmental Factor - November 2021
At NIEHS Superfund Research Program event, hundreds learned about tailoring public messages related to environmental risk.
First-of-its-Kind Arsenic Meta-Analysis Paves the Way for Future Data Integration
Research Brief - September 2021
Researchers from NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) centers at the University of California (UC), Berkeley and Columbia University used advanced analysis techniques to combine data from populations in Chile and Bangladesh. The purpose was to detect common DNA methylation (DNAm) signatures associated with arsenic exposure.
Advancing Environmental Justice
SRP News Page - June 2021
Researchers funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) have been in the spotlight recently for their work on environmental justice (EJ). From being selected for prestigious committees to supporting webinar series, SRP grantees and their partners are addressing the challenges and complexities of EJ.
New study sheds light on TCE bioremediation
Paper of the Month - April 2021
SRP-funded researchers demonstrated that natural microbial communities amended with acetylene can break down chlorinated contaminants, and in the process, they discovered a new bacteria species. Acetylene, produced in aquifers when certain minerals interact with trichloroethene (TCE), usually interferes with the ability of microbes to dechlorinate TCE. TCE is a chlorinated compound that can contaminate the environment and has been linked to health outcomes like cancer.
Linking Chemical and Nonchemical Mixtures to Health Disparities
SRP News Page - February 2021
Rachel Morello-Frosh, Ph.D., conducts research to understand how social factors, such as inequality and psychological stress, interact with environmental chemical exposures to influence disparities in the health status of different groups.
Toxic Breakdown Products Formed During Contaminant Clean-Up
Research Brief - September 2020
Chemical oxidation is a process commonly used to treat water contaminated with aromatic compounds like benzene. But, unexpected and potentially harmful breakdown products may result from this treatment process, according to a recent study from the NIEHS-funded University of California, Berkeley Superfund Research Program Center.
Symposium Brings Together Metals and Epigenetics Experts
SRP News Page - July 2020
In a virtual symposium, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees and colleagues shared research findings and discussed leveraging data to learn how metal exposures can lead to epigenetic changes.
SRP Centers Combat COVID-19
SRP News Page - June 2020
NIEHS SRP Centers across the country are contributing their expertise to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. From increasing testing capacity and improving personal protective equipment to creating online tools and outreach materials, SRP researchers are fighting COVID-19 from the local to the global level.
Arsenic Complicates Groundwater Bioremediation
Research Brief - May 2020
A common groundwater contaminant, trichloroethene (TCE), can be reduced by certain bacteria, a process known as bioremediation. But, according to a new NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) study, this process may stall when arsenic is present. TCE, a widely used industrial solvent, pollutes groundwater from improper handling practices.
Endocrine disruptor identification begins with biology
Environmental Factor - December 2019
A consensus statement that lays out 10 key characteristics of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) could provide a universal framework for assessing risks these chemicals present. The statement, published Nov. 12 in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, was co-written by NIEHS-funded scientists and funded in part by the Research Translation Core of the NIEHS Superfund Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley.
Identifying Key Characteristics of Chemicals that Harm Male and Female Reproduction
Research Brief - September 2019
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed and applied a key characteristics framework to help risk assessors better identify, organize, and summarize the potential reproductive health risks of different chemicals.
SRP Research Highlighted at Drought Summit
SRP News Page - July 2019
Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., program administrator with the Superfund Research Program (SRP), presented drought-related research from SRP Centers during the National Drought & Public Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, June 17.
Key Characteristics Help Researchers Understand Male Reproductive Toxicants
SRP News Page - June 2019
New research from the University of California, Berkeley Superfund Research Program (UC Berkeley SRP) Center identifies a set of eight key characteristics for male reproductive toxicants (MRTs) - chemicals that cause negative effects on the male reproductive system. Key characteristics explain the actions of certain chemicals inside the body.
Socioeconomic Status Contributes to Arsenic-related Diabetes Risk
SRP News Page - April 2019
A new Superfund Research Program (SRP) study showed that arsenic-exposed Chileans with lower socioeconomic status (SES) were more likely to develop diabetes than those with higher SES. According to the authors, these results suggest that low SES individuals may be more vulnerable to some of the harmful effects of arsenic exposure, such as type 2 diabetes.
SRP Researchers Share Findings at Exposome Conference
SRP News Page - January 2019
Current and former Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers described their work and learned from others as part of the New York City Exposome Symposium Nov 2 - 3. The symposium delved into innovative approaches in exposomics, the study of how the complex mix of nutritional, chemical, and social environments shapes human health throughout the lifespan.
Successful SRP Webinar Series Focuses on Toxicity Testing
SRP News Page - June 2018
In the spring 2018 Risk e-Learning webinar series, Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees and colleagues featured research and technologies that may be useful for evaluating the safety of chemicals. These approaches aim to replace or reduce the use of animal models, test more chemicals in a shorter period of time, and generate findings that are more relevant to humans. In total, this series attracted 1,022 live participants, 420 online archive views, and 3,128 video podcast downloads.
Toxic Byproducts Formed During UV Water Treatment
Research Brief - April 2018
Common water treatment methods that remove phenols and other hazardous compounds may produce low levels of toxic byproducts, according to a new study by the University of California (UC), Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center.
Toxin formed during oxidative water treatment process
Paper of the Month - April 2018
Common water treatment methods that remove phenols and other hazardous compounds may produce low levels of toxic byproducts, according to a new study by NIEHS grantees. Phenols, which can contaminate drinking water, are often removed with a water treatment process that converts hydrogen peroxide into hydroxyl radicals using ultraviolet (UV) light. In this process, hydroxyl radicals oxidize the phenols, transforming them into other compounds.
Berkeley - thirty years of innovative research in environmental health
Environmental Factor - March 2018
For three decades, the Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley SRP) has been at the forefront of important scientific discoveries, launching new programs and research initiatives. At a Jan. 30 event, titled "Celebrating 30 Years of Science for a Safer World," researchers and program partners looked back at the center's history and how it has evolved to meet new research needs.
Using Saliva to Understand Exposures and Monitor Health
Research Brief - January 2018
Collecting saliva may be a practical alternative to blood for characterizing a person's exposures, according to new research from the Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. The researchers found that saliva contains a rich set of molecular information that can be used to construct individual exposure histories and discover risk factors for chronic diseases.
Arsenic Conference Explores Multidisciplinary Approaches to Protecting Human Health
SRP News Page - December 2017
On Nov. 2 - 3, researchers, stakeholders, and government officials met in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss the sources and health effects of arsenic and to explore multidisciplinary remediation strategies for the U.S. and around the world. Sponsored in part by the Columbia University Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, the goal of the symposium was to develop strategies to reduce arsenic exposure and related diseases.
SRP Trainees Host Super FUN: Science for a Safer World Booth at Cal Day
SRP News Page - May 2017
On April 22, trainees from the University of California (UC) Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center hosted a booth, 'Super FUN: Science for a Safer World,' at the annual Cal Day celebration. The popular event, which promotes various programs and activities at UC Berkeley, attracts thousands of people, including students, faculty and staff, families, and school groups.
SRP Researchers Shine at American Chemical Society Meeting
SRP News Page - May 2017
Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees from all over the country gathered for the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San Francisco this April. Presentations and posters by SRP grantees highlighted innovative SRP-funded research including technologies to detect and remediate potentially harmful chemicals in the environment.
SRP Grantees Present at NAS Workshop
SRP News Page - April 2017
Four Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees were involved in the Advances in Causal Understanding for Human Health Risk-Based Decision Making workshop, held March 6 - 7 in Washington, D.C. The workshop explored how modern advances in bioinformatics can be incorporated into human health decision making.
In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Jim Hunt
SRP News Page - March 2017
James Hunt, Ph.D., emeritus professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and former Research Translation Core co-leader for the UC Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, passed away on February 20 after a brief illness. Hunt served on the faculty at UC Berkeley for 33 years, where he was widely admired by students and faculty for both his professional contributions and his kindness.
Nomura describes new approach to identifying chemical toxicity
Environmental Factor - April 2016
New tools may help identify both intended and unintended effects of chemicals in the body, according to Daniel Nomura, Ph.D., from the University of California (UC), Berkeley.
Mapping Protein Targets of Environmental Chemicals Using Chemoproteomic Platforms
Research Brief - January 2016
Using a platform to map the reactivity of environmental chemicals across the proteome may uncover new ways environmental chemicals interact in humans, according to a study from the University of California (UC) Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center.
New tool sheds light on how environmental chemicals affect humans
Paper of the Month - January 2016
NIEHS-funded researchers have developed a method, using probes, to map the reactivity of environmental chemicals across the proteome, the entire set of proteins in a body.
SRP Grantees Share Cutting Edge Research at EMGS
SRP News Page - October 2015
At the 46th Annual Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) meeting September 26-30, Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees and staff gathered to discuss research aimed at understanding and mitigating environmental threats to the genome and to the epigenome.
2014 Annual Meeting Celebrates Research Trainees
SRP News Page - December 2014
The annual meeting of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Nov. 12-14 in San Jose, California was an occasion to highlight trainee accomplishments. The meeting, which attracted researchers and trainees from across the nation, was hosted by SRP grantees at the University of California (UC) Berkeley.
Superfund Research Program grantees gather in San Jose for annual meeting
Environmental Factor - December 2014
The annual meeting of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Nov. 12-14 in San Jose, California, brought together researchers, trainees, and administrators supported by the program, as well as representatives from partner agencies to discuss new research, technology, communication, and community engagement.
Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater by Persulfate
Research Brief - November 2014
Researchers at the University of California (UC) Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) are one step closer to developing more efficient and effective treatment systems to remove organic contaminants from groundwater and soil.
Gold Nanoparticles Offer a Simple and Inexpensive Way to Detect Mercury
Research Brief - June 2014
Researchers led by Catherine Koshland, Ph.D., from the University of California, Berkeley Superfund Research Program (SRP) have developed an inexpensive, easy to use, and highly sensitive sensor to measure how much mercury is in liquid or aqueous samples.
Smith Wins 2014 Alexander Hollaender Award for Environmental Exposure Research
SRP News Page - February 2014
Martyn Smith, Ph.D., professor of toxicology and Director of the University of California (UC) Berkeley Superfund Research Program, was awarded the 2014 Alexander Hollaender Award by the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) for his contributions to the field of environmental toxicology.