Superfund Research Program
Biomarkers of Exposure to Hazardous Substances
Center Director: Bruce D. Hammock
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 1987-2023
Although the ability for scientists to analyze hazardous material in waste sites has improved dramatically in recent years, scientists are very limited in their ability to trace the movement of hazardous materials from Superfund sites through various media or to prioritize and mitigate the hazards involved. The ability to predict exposure or effect of these materials on humans and their environment is still more limited. This Program consists of 8 integrated projects, 3 research support cores, a training core, a research translation core and an administrative core to address these problems. Dr. Hammock’s team will determine the "fate and transport of hazardous materials in ground water, surface water, and air as they move from toxic waste sites using classical and innovative methodologies. The researchers will examine the effect of some of these materials using an epidemiological approach. Concurrently the project investigators will develop sensitive systems for evaluating the exposure and effect of populations to these materials. Immunochemical, cell based and other systems will be used to detect biomarkers. Development of these biomarkers will be based on a fundamental understanding of the toxicological processes involved. The project will emphasize multiple organ systems with an in vivo emphasis on pulmonary and reproductive effects. The team will also explore new technologies for thermal and bioremediation of toxic waste and address possible health risks associated with these technologies. Rapid immunochemical and cell-based analysis will supplement classical technologies for the evaluation of sites, validating models of transport from these sites, as well as determining human susceptibility, exposure and effect. Modern mass spectral technology will be evaluated for monitoring parent hazardous chemicals as well as biomarkers of exposure and effect. The project investigators are expanding their use of transcriptomics, aroteomics, metabolomics and integrated bio informatics technologies to discover new mechanisms of action of hazardous materials and biomarkers for their action. The biomarkers developed in this project will serve as biological dosimeters in epidemiological and ecological studies in this and sister projects. The technologies developed in the project will be tested at field sites and transferred to end users through a research translation core.