Superfund Research Program

May 2020

Artist rendering of figures progressing from childhood to adulthood

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) contributed to the Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource (HHEAR) initiative, which provides NIH-funded researchers access to centralized, high-quality exposure assessment services. All SRP grantees are eligible to use this resource to analyze samples. The next round of applications are due June 26 and August 28, 2020.

Specifically, HHEAR resources can be used to analyze biological samples, such as blood, using untargeted methods, which measure both known and unknown compounds. It can also be used to analyze environmental samples, like soil, that are connected with human health data using both untargeted and targeted methods, which look for specific known compounds.

SRP funded two HHEAR National Exposure Assessment Laboratory Network laboratories, which provide the state-of-the-art services for analyzing biological and environmental samples associated with human health.

A lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides untargeted analysis of biological samples, such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, teeth, and hair. They use a variety of untargeted approaches, including proteomics, lipidomics, metallomics, metabolomics, and analysis of the microbiome, to help link exposures and health outcomes. Together, untargeted approaches can give a more comprehensive picture of all the things people are exposed to throughout their lives.

The lab at Duke University provides untargeted and targeted analyses to comprehensively measure exposures in air samplers, silicone wristbands, and environmental media, including water, soil, sediment, and dust, collected from a human health study with the goal of linking health outcomes to their environmental sources.

The overall goal of the HHEAR initiative is to provide infrastructure for centralized exposure analysis so that researchers can expand their research to include information about the environment, which will help them link exposures to human health outcomes throughout the life-course.

Information on how to apply, including details and potential updates to application due dates, are available on the HHEAR website. Interested grantees are also encouraged to review examples of applications to guide their submissions.