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University of Louisville

Superfund Research Program

Environmental Exposure and Cardiometabolic Disease

Center Director: Sanjay Srivastava
Grant Number: P42ES023716
Funding Period: 2017-2027
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Summary (2017-2022)

The University of Louisville Superfund Research Program (UL SRP) Center supports research on the cardiometabolic effects of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that are of high relevance to human health. UL SRP Center investigators are conducting mode-of-action research to unravel critical pathways of toxicity and to identify toxicological end-points (cardiometabolic changes) of VOCs found at Superfund and related sites. Using high throughput metabolomic and mass spectrometry approaches, animal experiments and human population studies, Center investigations will aid in the discovery and validation of novel biomarkers of both exposure and cardiometabolic injury that would lay the foundation for future remediation strategies.

These studies employ state-of-the-art tools to develop pollutant atmospheres for animal exposure and to measure unique and sensitive biological endpoints reflective of cardiometabolic injury. Researchers are developing new methods and devices for quantifying atmospheric levels of VOCs that will employ advanced technologies and offer precise, but low-cost measurements of hazardous waste sites.

The major objectives of the Center are to conduct state-of-the-art research on the cardiometabolic toxicity of VOCs and to determine how they affect cardiometabolic disease (CMD) prevalence and severity in exposed populations. These studies are complemented by mode-of-action mechanistic studies in animals to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to VOC toxicity. The findings of these studies are contributing to both the discovery and the validation of sensitive and robust biomarkers that could be used to assess the extent of exposure, metabolism and toxicity. Center investigators are creating new technologies for detecting VOCs at low environmental levels to enable future exposure assessment activities.

The Center's project and core Leaders educate and train junior investigators, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows in the field of environmental science, and promote relevant community awareness and participation to enhance mutual bidirectional understanding of exposure risk and the health effects of exposure. The findings and discoveries of the Center are transferred to affected communities, end users in public and private sectors, and other stakeholders. Collectively, Center activities lead to rigorous evaluation and better understanding of the effects of these hazardous chemicals on obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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