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University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Superfund Research Program

Chemistry and Analytical Core

Project Leader: Louise M. Ball
Grant Number: P42ES005948
Funding Period: 1995-2018

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Project Summary (2006-2011)

The Chemistry and Analytical Core of the UNC-CH Superfund Basic Research Program provides support to the research projects in the form of analytical techniques and of synthesis, purification and characterization of chemicals, their metabolites and macromolecular adducts that are not available commercially or that can be cost-effectively prepared in-house in bulk quantities. The Core offers particular expertise in preparation of standards and internal standards labelled with stable isotopes (15N, 13C, 2H) that allow development of assays using mass spectrometric techniques for highly specific and highly sensitive chemical identification and quantitation, and that enable identification in complex environmental samples of metabolically-relevant organisms that are refractory to traditional culture methods. The goals of the Chemistry and Analytical Core follow closely the goals and accomplishments of the individual research projects, and thus will evolve in response to research needs. The goals include: 1) Provide advice and consultation on analytical methodology and chemical handling. The Core provides advice on analytical method development including appropriate choice of analytes, instrumentation and standards. The Core interacts in this manner with all projects.  2) Develop analytical methodology, including gas chromatography and liquid chromatography, for detection and quantitation of parent compounds, metabolites and macromolecular adducts. The GC-MS and LC-MS instrumentation of the Biomarkers Mass Spectrometry Facility provides research in methods development. 3) Provide service in carrying out routine assays for detection and measurement by quantitative spectroscopy and mass spectrometry of PAH, PAH metabolites, PCBs, oxidative damage, and macromolecular adducts Assays for etheno adducts and oxidative damage have been developed and validated, and can be carried out routinely. 4) Prepare novel and rare chemicals, including isotopically-labelled chemicals. Particular expertise has been developed in preparation of nucleobases and nucleosides, PAH and metabolites, PCS metabolites, and protein adducts. 5) Analysis and structural identification of unknown metabolites and adducts. The Chemistry Core offers expertise in interpretation of spectral data in support of structural elucidation. The Chemistry and Analytical Core of the UNC-CH Superfund Basic Research Program plays a vital role in providing the infrastructure needed for analyses and assays that are critical for evaluating exposure to hazardous environmental chemicals and for understanding the role of oxidative stress in determining health outcomes.

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