Superfund Research Program
The UNC Chapel Hill Superfund Research Program
Center Director: Rebecca C. Fry
Grant Number: P42ES031007
Funding Period: 2020-2025
News Items List
Water Contaminants Identified, Addressed in Marginalized Communities
Environmental Factor - October 2023
Researchers funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) describe reasons for water contamination disparities, identify current private well disparities, and review how community engagement and interventions like pitcher filters can help protect marginalized communities.
SRP Highlighted at SOT
SRP News Page - April 2023
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded scientists from across the country gathered in person for the 2023 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting to share their research and exchange ideas. Held March 19 - 23 in Nashville, Tennessee, the 62nd SOT meeting and ToxExpo drew more than 5,000 attendees who gave more than 2,000 presentations and participated in more than 70 sessions.
New Study Uncovers Mechanism of Heart and Lung Responses to Wildfire Smoke
SRP News Page - April 2023
Climate change is fueling longer wildfire seasons, leading to more frequent and intense fires that could have disastrous consequences for human health. In a recent study, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) SRP Center explored the biological mechanism behind heart and lung responses to wildfire smoke.
Extramural Paper of the Month: Body Weight and Arsenic Exposure Interact to Worsen Type 2 Diabetes Indicators in Mice
Environmental Factor - March 2023
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SRP Center uncovered complex interactions between exposure to arsenic, body weight and composition, and indicators of type 2 diabetes in Diversity Outbred (DO) mice. DO mice better capture the genetic diversity of human populations, which may help explain differences in susceptibility to arsenic-induced disease.
New Environmental Justice Index Characterizes Toxic Metals in North Carolina Wells
SRP News Page - February 2023
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) SRP Center adapted an existing environmental justice index to characterize toxic metals from North Carolina drinking water wells.
Extramural Paper of the Month: Grouping wildfire exposures for improved health risk assessments
Environmental Factor - February 2023
SRP-funded researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill developed a computer-based approach to group wildfire exposure conditions based on their effect on genetic expression and potential health risks.
SRP Centers Deliver Data Science Trainings
SRP News Page - June 2022
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees developed publicly available courses to help their trainees and the broader environmental health sciences research community develop data science skills.
Improving Environmental Risk Communication Through Interdisciplinary Collaborations
SRP News Page - May 2022
Kathleen Gray, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) SRP Center talked about her passion for increasing understanding of environmental exposures in communities affected by contamination.
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.
Educational tool highlights COVID-19 and arsenic research
Environmental Factor - March 2022
A new online educational resource invites high school students to examine ways that humans are exposed to arsenic and how exposure might influence susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. The tool was developed by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).
Extramural Paper of the Month: Database reveals toxic metals in private well water in NC
Paper of the Month - February 2022
Leveraging two decades of well water data in North Carolina, investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) SRP Center reported residents are exposed to arsenic and lead above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Database reveals toxic metals in private well water in NC
Paper of the Month - February 2022
Leveraging two decades of well water data in North Carolina (NC), NIEHS-funded researchers reported residents are exposed to arsenic and lead above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Their publicly available database offers a valuable tool for researchers and citizens in the state to identify areas of highest concern.
Metabolomics shed light on the microbiota-brain link
Paper of the Month - December 2021
The gut microbiome may control conditions in the brain that could lead to altered brain function, according to an NIEHS-funded study. The gut harbors hundreds of trillions of microbes, collectively called the microbiome. Although emerging studies support that the microbiome may be linked to neurological disorders, whether and how microbes control brain function remains largely unclear.
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.
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.
SRP Impresses at Virtual SOT
SRP News Page - April 2021
NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded researchers from all over the country tuned in for the virtual 2021 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting and ToxExpo on March 16-26. More than 60 SRP project leaders and trainees from more than 13 SRP Centers gave oral and poster presentations.
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.
Arsenic Exposure Before Conception May Trigger Diabetes in Male Offspring
Research Brief - April 2021
Exposure to inorganic arsenic before conception can alter metabolic outcomes in the offspring of mice, with different effects among males and females, according to a new study. Researchers reported, for the first time, a link between changes in gene expression in parents' reproductive cells and diabetic indicators in offspring.
SRP Centers Expand Scope to Address COVID-19 Research Needs
SRP News Page - December 2020
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) provided supplemental funding to four centers to expand the focus of their research to address critical knowledge gaps related to exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its disease, COVID-19. In response to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding encourages SRP researchers to address the public health crisis and its disparate effects on vulnerable populations.
Remembering Mike Aitken, Esteemed SRP Scholar and Mentor
SRP News Page - October 2020
Michael (Mike) Aitken, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, passed away September 19 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Aitken served as a project leader and integral part of the UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center for more than 20 years.
DNA repair pathways help cells tolerate trace levels of hexavalent chromium
Paper of the Month - February 2017
NIEHS grantees identified DNA repair pathways that help cells tolerate small amounts of hexavalent chromium, a contaminant found at hazardous waste sites across the U.S., which is also a public health concern in drinking water.
SRP trainee honored with 2016 Wetterhahn Award
Environmental Factor - January 2017
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) selected Elizabeth Martin of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as the 19th recipient of the annual Wetterhahn Memorial Award. The announcement of the 2016 winner was made during the Dec. 5 SRP meeting, at the NIEHS Environmental Health Science festival in Durham, North Carolina.