Superfund Research Program
Nutrition and Superfund Chemical Toxicity
Center Director: Kelly G. Pennell
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 1997-2025
News Items List
Kelly Pennell, Ph.D. - From Pipes to People: Addressing Vapor Intrusion and Water Contamination
SRP News Page - September 2023
As a high schooler, Kelly Pennell, Ph.D., was inspired by environmental and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa to help people affected by environmental exposures. Now, as director of the University of Kentucky (UK) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, she is working to protect public health from exposures to toxic substances like PFAS, trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethene (PCE).
High-Fiber Diet May Protect Against Exposure to PFOS
Environmental Factor - April 2023
A diet rich in fiber may decrease disease risks associated with perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) exposure, according to researchers at the University of Kentucky SRP Center.
Extramural Paper of the Month: Diet May Protect Against Metabolic Effects of PFOS
Environmental Factor - March 2023
Dietary fiber may protect against metabolic and liver diseases related to perfluorooctoane sulfonate (PFOS) exposure, according to research by the University of Kentucky SRP Center.
Trainings Help SRP Center and Partners Spread Nutrition Knowledge Across Kentucky
SRP News Page - November 2022
University of Kentucky (UK) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center staff are teaching Kentucky residents to educate their communities about good nutrition and environmental stewardship. Staff members recently led two train-the-trainer events introducing tools and curricula for teaching adults and children.
SRP Teams Tackle Pandemic Challenges from Many Angles
SRP News Page - March 2022
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) teams have shown resourcefulness, updating existing projects and pursuing new research to address environmental health needs.
Effort to remove PFAS from water earns grad student Wetterhahn Award
Environmental Factor - January 2022
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program bestowed the honor on Molly Frazar, from the University of Kentucky.
Good nutrition can help counter effects of contaminants, expert says
Environmental Factor - September 2021
I spoke with NIEHS grantee Bernhard "Bernie" Hennig, Ph.D., about how healthy living can protect us against potentially harmful exposures.
SRP Trainee Event Highlights New Approaches to Engage with Communities
SRP News Page - August 2021
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees from institutions across the Southeastern U.S. gathered virtually for a two-day event, Aug. 2 and 4, to discuss best practices for partnering with communities vulnerable to environmental exposures. The event was organized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), North Carolina State University, Duke University, University of Kentucky (UK), University of Louisville, and University of Alabama at Birmingham SRP centers.
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.
SRP Grantees Share Innovative Science at Microbiome Conference
SRP News Page - April 2021
In an NIEHS virtual symposium, held February 23-24, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees were well represented within the broader NIEHS community, sharing their efforts to understand the relationship between environmental exposures, the microbiome, and human health.
Developing Innovative, Sustainable Technologies to Clean-up Water
SRP News Page - April 2021
Angela Gutierrez, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky SRP Center shared her journey from SRP trainee to NIEHS small business innovative research grant to develop new strategies to remove contaminants from water.
High-Fiber Diet May Protect Against Harmful Health Effects of PCBs
Research Brief - March 2020
Two new NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) studies showed how a type of dietary fiber, inulin, may protect against heart disease, including heart disease resulting from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). According to University of Kentucky SRP Center researchers, a diet high in inulin may reduce or modify certain lipids associated with an increased chance of developing cardiovascular problems and may protect against adverse cardiovascular effects caused by environmental toxicants.
PCBs Alter Glucose Regulation Differently in Males and Females
Research Brief - August 2019
Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) affects glucose regulation during weight loss differently in male and female mice, according to a new Superfund Research Program (SRP) study. The researchers discovered that differences were related to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a protein involved in the regulation of various biological responses and cell maintenance in the body.
Promising Membrane Technology Reduces Chlorobenzene in Groundwater
Research Brief - February 2019
A new Superfund Research Program collaboration has developed a promising groundwater cleanup technology that provides an efficient, low-maintenance method of removing chlorobenzene and other compounds from water. The method integrates electrochemical oxidation, which uses electricity to transform contaminants into non-toxic substances, and membranes containing palladium (Pd), a metal used as a catalyst in many industrial chemical synthesis applications and groundwater treatment.
PCBs Increase Inflammation, Disrupt Gut Microbiome, and Alter Metabolism
Research Brief - November 2018
Researchers have discovered that exposure to certain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can increase inflammation in the intestines, alter normal gut microbiota, and disrupt metabolism. They suggest that some of the observed health impacts of PCBs may be initiated in the gut and that changes in the gut microbiota may offer a marker for pollutant exposures.
Nanoparticles offer low-cost, reusable way to clean up drinking water
Environmental Factor - November 2018
Novel technologies using nanoparticles may hold promise for addressing contaminated drinking water, according to Angela Gutierrez, winner of the 2017 Karen Wetterhahn Award, in an Oct. 3 lecture at NIEHS.
Angela Gutierrez honored with 2017 Wetterhahn Award
Environmental Factor - January 2018
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) selected Angela Gutierrez, from the University of Kentucky SRP Center, as the 20th recipient of the Wetterhahn Memorial Award. The announcement of the 2017 winner was made at the Dec. 7 SRP 30th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
A Link Between Exposure to PCBs, Diet, and Cardiovascular Disease
Research Brief - November 2016
Researchers at the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program (UK SRP) Center have identified a new mechanism linking exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). They revealed that PCBs can lead to increased production of a biological marker of CVD, which is also linked to consumption of red meat and other animal products, revealing a novel diet-toxicant interaction associated with CVD risk.
Researchers discover new diet-toxicant interaction
Paper of the Month - September 2016
An NIEHS grantee and colleagues have identified a new interaction that may link exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with cardiovascular disease. Although their manufacture and use are now banned in the United States, PCBs break down slowly, so they remain in the environment for long periods of time.
Appalachian forum emphasizes community
Environmental Factor - September 2016
For the latest in her series of community forums, Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program, visited southeastern Kentucky for the Appalachian Health and Well-Being Forum. The University of Kentucky (UK) served as host.
Six promising Superfund trainees receive K.C. Donnelly awards
Environmental Factor - September 2016
Six promising NIEHS-funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees were awarded K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplements to fund their research at other institutions. The annual award, now in its sixth year, honors the memory of longtime SRP grantee and environmental health researcher Kirby (K.C.) Donnelly, Ph.D.
Wetterhahn winner reflects on lessons from multidisciplinary research
Environmental Factor - June 2016
Bradley Newsome, Ph.D., winner of the 17th Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award , discussed his progression from graduate student in the University of Kentucky (UK) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center to his current policy work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Using Field Data and Numerical Modeling to Assess Vapor Intrusion Risk
Research Brief - May 2016
A recent Superfund Research Program (SRP) study reveals that measurements of chemical concentrations in groundwater may not be a good indicator of whether the chemicals are seeping into buildings and contaminating indoor air. The findings provide insight into how an approach incorporating multiple lines of evidence, including soil gas measurements and a 3-D model, can be used to better evaluate exposure risks from vapor intrusion into homes and buildings.
International environmental health conference crosses borders and disciplines
Environmental Factor - May 2016
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) staff and grantees shared their expertise and addressed pressing environmental health issues at the Central and Eastern European Conference on Health and the Environment (CEECHE), April 10-14 in Prague.
Two SRP grantees selected as prestigious AAAS fellows
Environmental Factor - September 2015
his month, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) researchers Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Ph.D., and Bradley Newsome, Ph.D., join an elite group of scientists and engineers as American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellows to help connect good science to government decision-making.
SRP network helps parents understand vapor intrusion in schools
Environmental Factor - March 2015
NIEHS-funded experts on vapor intrusion joined a meeting Feb. 9 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to educate communities in two schools located over contaminated groundwater about potential health effects of chemical exposures.
NIEHS trainee honored with Wetterhahn Award
Environmental Factor - December 2014
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) selected Bradley Newsome, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky (UK) SRP Center, as the 17th recipient of the annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award.
Reducing the Risk of PCB-associated Type 2 Diabetes with Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Research Brief - July 2014
Adults with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their bodies, which may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, can reduce that risk by eating more fruits and vegetables, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program (UK SRP).
Wetterhahn seminar highlights research on PCBs and type 2 diabetes
Environmental Factor - May 2014
The Superfund Research Program (SRP) Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award seminar at NIEHS April 3 featured Nicki Baker, Ph.D., professor of health sciences at Baker College.