Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program
June 2016 Newsletter, Volume 16

Mary Lou Guerinot Elected to National Academy of Sciences!

 Dr. Guerinot's election to the National Academy of Sciences is one of the highest honors in science. "Mary Lou Guerinot exemplifies the best of our Dartmouth faculty, and this is a well-deserved honor," says Provost Carolyn Dever.

New Hampshire Arsenic Consortium Annual Meeting Brings New Members

Almost 70 people from a wide array of stakeholder groups attended the New Hampshire Arsenic Consortium meeting on March 24. They heard updates on arsenic research, outreach and education, reviewed Consortium accomplishments and discussed next steps regarding arsenic in private well water in NH.

Elevated Bladder Cancer Risk in New England Linked to Arsenic in Private Wells

A new study from the National Cancer Institute shows that drinking water from private wells may have contributed to elevated risk of bladder cancer in New England. The study builds on our previous work in New Hampshire funded by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program, and follows similar methods. Dartmouth Superfund researcher, Dr. Margaret Karagas, and Trace Element Analysis Core Leader, Brian Jackson, participated in the study.

Successful Northeast SRP Training Core Meeting Held in April

The Training Cores of the Dartmouth, BU, Brown, U Penn, Columbia, Harvard and Northeastern SRP Centers met April 26-27 at Northeastern University in Boston to learn about improving their science communication skills, community engagement and planning for future careers. For more information about the Training Workshop, which was co-hosted by the Dartmouth SRP, visit the Northeastern SRP website (photo courtesy of Northeastern University SRP).

Kathrin Lawlor Presents New Community Tool Kit at Source Water Protection Conference

CEC Coordinator, Kathrin Lawlor, led a session on Engaging Community Partners in Long-term Change as part of the Community Based Source Water Protection track at the NH DES Source Water Protection Conference on May 11 in Concord. She spoke to about 40 people and summarized the two year study on arsenic in private wells completed with our partners at the NH Department of Environmental Services and Health and Human Services, and explained how the Well Water Community Action Toolkit can be used by communities to create their own education and outreach campaigns.

Applied Bioinformatics Course July 23-28

The Mt. Desert Island Biological Lab in ME is partnering with the Dartmouth SRP and Director Bruce Stanton to run a course on Applied Bioinformatics. The goal of the course is to provide hands-on training with major bioinformatics resources while developing a conceptual framework to foster successful application of the bioinformatic skillset to biological research. Please register and find more information here.

Director Stanton Speaks at Society of Toxicology on Non-Cancer Health Effects of Arsenic

Bruce Stanton, Ph.D. spoke at the SOT 2016 Annual Meeting March 13-17 as part of a workshop entitled, "Moving beyond cancer: current state of the science of noncancer health effects of arsenic." His talk focused on arsenic and pulmonary infections.

Trainee Updates

Tom Hampton is working with Celia Chen to enumerate and catalog data which might be shared between programs to promote research synergy. This information will be conveyed to the SRP to assist with the framing of the Big Data management project. He will also be teaching the Applied Bioinformatics  class in July at MDI Biological Lab. His sections focus on the complex problem of  attributing biological significance to gene expression changes that may involve hundreds or thousands of functionally related genes.

Britton Goodale gave a talk about toxicology and health effects of arsenic to a high school class at Pinkerton Academy in April, as part of her work with the Community Engagement Core for the EPA Environmental Education Grant the CEC is facilitating for New Hampshire. In July, she will be teaching Introductory R and RNA-seq data analysis at the Applied Bioinformatics course at MDI Biological Lab.

Through her KC Donnelly award, Kate Buckman organized and led a meeting at the Narragansett RI U.S. EPA laboratory on killifish in the Penobscot River mercury contaminated site. This has led to additional collaborations with the US Geological Survey and the University of Maine.

Todd Warczak is continuing his research on identifying how plants avoid the damaging effects of arsenic and understanding the genetic controls behind those mechanisms.

Mary Lou Guerinot and Tracy Punshon are part of the team that created the Bio Art Award winning image of Zinc in the Aradopsis plant (above).   

Recent Papers

Scientia Magazine Issue #103, March 2016. Mercury in seafood, What the Madhatter Didn’t Know. The article features Celia Chen’s research on mercury in aquatic food chains and the factors affecting its sources and pathways and ultimate exposure to humans from fish consumption.

Gilbert-Diamond D, Emond JA, Baker ER, Korrick SA, Karagas MR. 2016. Relation between in Utero Arsenic Exposure and Birth Outcomes in a Cohort of Mothers and Their Newborns from New Hampshire. Environmental Health Perspectives Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Mar 8.

Sunderland EM, Driscoll CT Jr, Hammitt JK, Grandjean P, Evans JS, Blum JD, Chen CY, Evers DC, Jaffe DA, Mason RP, Goho S, Jacobs W. Environmental Science and Technology 2016. Benefits of Regulating Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal and Oil-Fired Utilities in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology. Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Mar 1;50(5):2117-20. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00239.

Complete list of 2016 papers