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University of Kentucky

Superfund Research Program

Biomonitoring and Environmental Analytical Chemistry Core

Project Leader: Angela M. Gutierrez
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2005-2025
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Project Summary (2020-2025)

This core provides analytical services to UK SRC investigators who are engaged in studies of the sensing, distribution, and remediation of environmental toxicants and who are investigating their mechanisms of toxicity approaches to mitigate these toxic effects. This research is important because exposure to these kinds of environmental chemicals contributes to risk of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease in humans. The core provides access to state-of-the-art gas and liquid chromatography coupled mass spectrometer systems that are used for measurements of environmental chemicals, their metabolites and degradation products, and other biomolecules of interest, including biomarkers of diet, nutrition, and disease risk. Core services encompass targeted and untargeted analytical methods using liquid chromatography and gas chromatography coupled multistage/high resolution mass spectrometry. The core provides established/routine services and can develop new services or adapt services from literature methods. The core is managed by the director who works with the Administrative Core to oversee the business operation, scheduling, and prioritization of services that are provided by experienced Ph.D.-level staff. A Laboratory Information Management System is used for sample tracking, enforcement of standard operating procedures, quality management, and data reporting to project leaders and the Data Management and Analysis Core (DMAC). Services are further validated by participation in external proficiency testing programs. The goals of the core will be accomplished by addressing the following specific aims:

  1. To provide analytical chemistry services to UK SRC investigators. The core provides services to all the component projects. These include measurements of chemical pollutants in environmental matrices including water and soil for studies of their transport, distribution, sensing and remediation conducted by the Superfund Chemicals, Nutrition, and Multi-Organ Cardiovascular Risk and Postnatal Complications and Interventions Against Halogenated Organics During Pregnancy projects. Services provided to the biomedical projects include measurements of environmental pollutants in studies using in vitro systems and preclinical models. Untargeted analytical methods using high resolution mass spectrometry support systems level studies of the effects of diet, nutrition, and exercise on biological processes that are proposed to mitigate the deleterious health effects of exposure to environmental pollutants.
  2. To conduct biomonitoring measurements for population health studies. The core enables interactions between UK SRC investigators and collaborators who have completed or ongoing clinical/population health studies that provide an opportunity to investigate relationships between environmental exposures and health outcomes as a conduit for clinical translation of advances made by the biomedical projects. In coordination with DMAC, the core conducts large-scale measurements of environmental chemicals, their metabolites and degradation products, and biomarkers of exposure- or lifestyle-associated stressors using both targeted and untargeted approaches to examine association of environmental exposures and interventions with clinical outcomes.
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