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University of California-Davis

Superfund Research Program

Biomarkers of Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Center Director: Bruce D. Hammock
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 1987-2023
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Summary (2017-2022)

Superfund sites are diverse, and many include unknown chemicals, chemicals of unknown toxicity and/or toxic degradation products. Currently, methods to detect, prioritize, and remediate these chemicals are incomplete or nonexistent.

The UC Davis Superfund Research Program (UC Davis SRP) Center conducts research to:

  1. Improve understanding of the mechanisms by which hazardous chemicals produce adverse health effects,
  2. Develop, validate and integrate novel methods to evaluate chemical exposures, levels of contamination, and health risks, and
  3. Develop innovative remediation strategies to reduce hazardous substance exposure and toxicity.

To achieve these goals the SRC consists of 5 integrated projects, 2 research support cores, a Training Core, a Community Engagement Core, a Research Translation Core and an Administrative Core.

The UC Davis SRP Center uses integrated chromatographic, biosensor and cell based technologies to detect and identify contaminants and develop innovative approaches for bioremediation. Rapid immunochemical and cell based analysis will supplement classical technologies for the evaluation of sites, as well as determining human susceptibility, exposure and effect. Fundamental mechanisms of toxic action of selected chemicals will be explored to predict risk and develop new biomarkers. This mechanistic knowledge will be extended in vivo with an emphasis on mechanism of toxicity.The UC Davis SRP Center is expanding the use of transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and integrated bioinformatics technologies to discover new mechanisms of action of hazardous materials and biomarkers for their action and to connect hazardous substance exposures to organism level effects. The biomarkers developed in this project will serve as biological dosimeters in exposure studies.

All aspects of the program will be connected to the Community Engagement Core, and subject to community approval will be demonstrated on Yurok Tribal Lands. Technologies developed by the SRC will be tested at field sites and transferred to end users through a Research Translation Core.

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