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University of Louisville

Superfund Research Program

Metabolism and Toxicity Core

Project Leader: Timothy E. O'Toole
Grant Number: P42ES023716
Funding Period: 2022-2027
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2022-2027)

The overall purpose and the function of the Metabolism and Toxicity Core is to provide high quality analytical services and validated data in support of all projects at the University of Louisville Superfund Research Center. The Core personnel conduct measurements and assays of biomarkers and indices of cardiovascular, metabolism, and hepatic function used for assessing the risk and progression of cardiometabolic disease upon exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Core personnel also provide intellectual input and advice in selection of specific methodological approaches and provide training to students, fellows, technicians, and junior faculty. The Core employs strict quality control procedures to validate data and generate harmonized data reports and data dictionaries to be stored in the Data Management and Analysis Core. The core supports all Superfund Center research projects through its state-of-the-art equipment and assay. The support offered by the core encompasses three main components – a flow cytometry component for the detection and characterization of circulating cells and microparticles; a metabolism component for measuring biochemical and metabolic endpoints such as urinary metabolites of VOCs, bile acids and catecholamines by LC/MS/MS and GC/MS; and a pathology component to assay systemic toxicity using a battery of tests relating to glucose control, liver function and hepatic toxicity.

However, the scope of the core exceeds that of the projects to encompass the development of cutting-edge techniques and analytical platforms to expand its repertoire of services. The Core continually upgrades its infrastructure as well as its technical capabilities to remain at the leading edge of assays relating to biomarkers of exposure and harm. The core is also committed to the continued education of its users as well as the research community at the university. The Core also disseminates educational information regarding the potential utility and accessibility of its services to enhance environmental health research. By ensuring central deposition of harmonized and validated data, the core provides a firm foundation for research not only by the University of Louisville Superfund investigators, but investigators at other Superfund Centers as well. Because of its state-of-the-art equipment, highly sophisticated technologies, and skilled technical personnel, the Core provides premier toxicological and clinical pathology services. By meeting these goals, the core continues to be an essential vehicle for growth and innovation within the Center, as well as an educational hub for the training the next generation of scientists in the field of environmental health research.

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