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Boston University

Superfund Research Program

Superfund Basic Research Program at Boston University

Center Director: David M. Ozonoff
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 1995-2021

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Summary (2000-2005)

The Superfund Basic Research Program at Boston University began in 1995. It is focused on reproduction and development as affected by chlorinated and non-chlorinated organics found in the environment. The program consists of nine projects (7 biomedical, 2 non-biomedical), one research support core (bioinformatics), and administrative, training and outreach cores. The program consists of two epidemiological studies and seven mechanistic studies all dealing with some aspect of reproduction and development. The two epidemiological projects focus on perchloroethylene (PCE) exposure. The first project is a large population-based retrospective cohort study of adults and children that is examining PCE exposure and reproductive and developmental outcomes. The second project is using geographic information systems (GIS) and other modeling approaches to locate geographic "hotspots" of increased risk within the same area. The mechanistic studies include six biomedical and one non-biomedical projects. Researchers are investigating the mechanisms whereby chlorinated ethylenes and halogenated and non-halogenated aromatic compounds affect basic cellular processes associated with reproduction and development (through the Ah Receptor, the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor, and cytochrome P450 metabolizing enzymes). These studies focus on the interactions with hormone signaling. Mammalian and fish models are being utilized. A field study of reproductive effects in turtles in freshwater ponds impacted by a Superfund site is the focus of one non-biomedical project, and the second non-biomedical project is developing chemical dechlorination processes for the remediation of chlorinated ethylene-contaminated groundwater.

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