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Texas A&M University

Superfund Research Program

Procedures to Assess the Hazards of a Superfund Site

Center Director: Stephen H. Safe
Grant Number: P42ES004917
Funding Period: 1989-2008

Summary (2000-2005)

The Superfund Basic Research Program at Texas A&M University began in 1992. The major theme of the program is reduction of the uncertainties associated with risk assessment of complex mixtures, with emphasis on xenoestrogens and PAHs. The program consists of six research projects (4 biomedical, 2 non-biomedical), four research support cores (analytical chemistry, statistics, field, and bioassay), and administrative, outreach and training cores. The toxicological research includes projects to: (1) identify mechanisms of endocrine disruption by developing cell based assays to distinguish different mechanistic pathways; (2) investigate the genotoxic interactions of complex mixtures using microbial assays, gene expression assays and DNA adduct formation; (3) understand the effect of a stress regulation protein on cytoprotection following initial insult by heavy metals; and (4) identify sensitive genotypes for environmentally-induced orofacial clefts and neural tube defects using transgenic mouse models. The non-biomedical projects are developing chemical intervention technologies that incorporate clay-based adsorbants to remediate risks associated with different classes of Superfund contaminants. Investigators are also performing exposure assessment and modeling studies to identify of the major contaminants in three study areas. The data from these environmental assessments are being used to model the transport and uptake of toxic chemicals by wildlife or humans, and to estimate environmentally relevant doses for testing in toxicological studies.

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