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News Items: Boston University

Superfund Research Program

The Long-term Impacts of Early Life Exposure to Superfund Chemicals in Humans and Wildlife

Center Director: David H. Sherr
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 1995-2021

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News Items List

  • Preventing Disease Through Bioinformatics
    SRP News Page - April 2022
    Stefano Monti, Ph.D., explained how he is developing computational models for environmental contaminants to predict their long-term health effects, such as cancer and metabolic disorders. Since 2012, Monti led the Bioinformatics and Molecular Modeling Core at the Boston University SRP Center.
  • Promising new target for oral cancer treatment
    Paper of the Month - July 2021
    NIEHS-funded researchers identified how the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), an environmental chemical receptor, suppresses the body's immune response to oral cancer. They also discovered that removing AhR from cancer cells stops tumor growth. Results identify a new target for treatments that help the immune system fight cancer.
  • Data science paves the way with new tools, insights for SRP
    Environmental Factor - April 2021
    The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) held its first External Use Case (EUC) Showcase Feb. 18-19. Over 140 participants joined the meeting to share experiences and recommendations about integrating datasets from SRP-sponsored research. EUCs, developed by collaborations of researchers from different SRP centers, demonstrate specific scenarios in which data management and sharing could provide new insight on research questions and to identify barriers to inform future data efforts.
  • New Model to Examine PFAS Sheds Light on Lipid Disruption Mechanisms
    Research Brief - January 2021
    Researchers from the Boston University (BU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed a novel study design that generated new insight on the effects of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) on cholesterol regulation in the liver. Led by Jennifer Schlezinger, Ph.D., the team also investigated the effects of PFOA on the human peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (hPPARa), a transcription factor that regulates lipid homeostasis.
  • Fighting COVID-19 using data science
    Environmental Factor - June 2020
    NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees and in-house scientists are lending their expertise in data integration and online tool development to explore how COVID-19 spreads and why some communities experience higher risk of infection. The projects described below represent just some of the diverse research underway at SRP centers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Modeling Approaches Estimate Exposure and Simulate Impacts on Health
    Research Brief - November 2019
    Researchers from the Boston University (BU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center developed and applied novel statistical models to cost-effectively predict chemical exposures and their associated harm to human health in large populations. These statistically powerful approaches can address the challenges of measuring exposures for large populations and quantifying the health benefits of exposure reduction.
  • Chemicals alter fat cells, disrupt healthy metabolism
    Environmental Factor - November 2019
    Chemicals can work differently through the same biological receptor to generate different types of fat cells and disrupt healthy metabolic functions, according to Stephanie Kim, Ph.D., in an Oct. 21 lecture at NIEHS.
  • Grantees share history and research through video series
    Environmental Factor - November 2019
    A new video tour showcases the history, challenges, and resilience of the community surrounding the New Bedford, Massachusetts Superfund site and NIEHS-supported research to improve the health and well-being of local residents.
  • Giant ocean viruses make unique, important enzymes
    Environmental Factor - July 2019
    A new NIEHS-funded study found that giant viruses, which have genomes larger than 300 kilobase pairs and protein shell diameters greater than 200 nanometers, have genes that encode for unique enzymes called cytochrome P450. Giant viruses are found in deep seas and oceans worldwide. In animals, P450 enzymes metabolize drugs and fatty acids, make steroid hormones, and defend against pollutants.
  • New Method Quickly Screens Chemicals for Cancer Risk
    Research Brief - June 2019
    Boston University (BU) researchers, in collaboration with researchers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the Broad Institute, have developed and evaluated a new approach to assess whether exposure to a chemical increases a person's long-term cancer risk. The fast, cost-effective method uses gene expression profiling, which measures the activity of a thousand or more genes to capture what is happening in a cell. Based on gene expression profiling data, the researchers were able to infer specific biological changes at the cellular level and predict potential carcinogenicity of chemicals, or the ability of chemicals to cause cancer.
  • New method quickly screens chemicals for cancer-causing potential
    Environmental Factor - May 2019
    Scientists developed a fast, accurate, and cost-effective way to assess whether a chemical is potentially carcinogenic. The work involved a collaboration between researchers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), Boston University, and the Broad Institute. Funded in part by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP), the study was published April 9 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Superfund Wetterhahn Award goes to Stephanie Kim
    Environmental Factor - December 2018
    The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) announced Stephanie Kim of Boston University (BU) as the 21st recipient of the annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award. The announcement was made Nov. 29, during the SRP Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California.
  • PCE exposure linked to stillbirth risk, NIEHS grantee says
    Environmental Factor - September 2018
    Pregnant women who drank water contaminated with the solvent tetrachloroethylene (PCE) were up to twice as likely to have a stillbirth because of placental dysfunction, according to a NIEHS-funded study published July 3 in the journal Environmental Health. PCE is a solvent frequently used in dry cleaning solutions, adhesives, and other commercial products. The solvent is also called perchloroethylene, or perc.
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