Superfund Research Program
Analytical Chemistry Core
Project Leader: P. Lee Ferguson
Co-Investigator: Heather M. Stapleton
Grant Number: P42ES010356
Funding Period: 2011-2022
Project Summary (2011-2017)
The Analytical Chemistry Core is a new addition to Duke University's established Superfund Research Center (SRC). The mission of Duke's SRC has been and continues to be identifying the expression and mechanisms of developmental effects from early life exposure to Superfund chemicals and their transformation products. Addition of an Analytical Chemistry Core to this center enhances the biomedical and non-biomedical projects by providing state-of-the-art analytical support to monitor and quantify organic contaminant levels which can aid in identifying mechanisms of developmental toxicity. Adding the support of an Analytical Chemistry Core provides the means of evaluating key relationships between exposures and body burdens, which helps determine what the potential biological "costs" of early life exposures are for both humans and ecosystems; and furthermore, to determine whether or not remediation strategies are effective or if they increase these costs.
The Analytical Chemistry Core provide services for routine analyses of samples for organophosphate pesticides (e.g. chlorpyrifos), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and brominated flame retardants (e.g. polybrominated diphenyl ethers) levels. In addition this core assists in the identification of contaminant degradation products and/or metabolites which will be examined in several research projects. Lastly, the Analytical Chemistry Core serves as a teaching and training center for Duke University undergraduate and graduate students. The analytical core is supervised by Dr. Heather M. Stapleton, an environmental chemistry faculty member in the Nicholas School of the Environment, who has over ten years of experience in trace organic analytical chemistry. Dr. Mark Wiesner, an environmental engineer in the Pratt School of Engineering, serves as co-principal investigator and help manage the Core. Dr. Stapleton currently supervises a research laboratory equipped for high through-put extraction and analysis of samples for trace organic chemicals using a combination of gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and a newly acquired ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS-MS) techniques for quantitation.