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Your Environment. Your Health.

University of Cincinnati

Superfund Research Program

Health Effects and Biodegradation of Complex Mixtures

Center Director: Paul L. Bishop
Grant Number: P42ES004908
Funding Period: 1995-1999 and 2001-2006


The Superfund Basic Research Program at the University of Cincinnati consists of six research projects (3 biomedical, 3 non-biomedical), two research support cores (analytical chemistry and biostatistics), and administrative, outreach and training cores. The central theme of this program is to investigate the mechanisms underlying the adverse health effects of exposure to complex mixtures of carcinogenic metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the development of effective strategies for bioremediation of PAHs in metal-contaminated mixtures. The three biomedical research projects address the mechanisms of toxicity and mutagenicity of carcinogenic metals and their impact on PAH metabolism and mutagenicity. Two projects make use of assay systems in yeast, mammalian cell, and transgenic mice to elucidate the mutagenicity of chromium and arsenic, and their impact on the mutagenicity of PAHs. The third biomedical project is investigating the effect of chromium and arsenic on Ah receptor-dependent PAH metabolism. The three non-biomedical research projects focus on the development of strategies for the biodegradation of PAHs and on the impact of metals on the viability and degradative capacity of microbial populations by: (1) assessing the degradative capacity of microorganisms in soil biofilms; (2) focusing on a characterization of degradative microbial populations and the genetics underlying their biodegradation capacity and responses to metals; and (3) investigating the influence of the rhizosphere on microbial communities and their degradative capacity.