April 2020 eBulletin.

Below are a few snapshots of recent University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) accomplishments. 

Dr. Clement Furlong (left) Receives $40 K Research Grant from the University of Washington Royalty Research Fund

A new grant from the University of Washington (UW) Royalty Research Fund will allow Dr. Clement Furlong and his colleagues to try a novel way of assessing environmental contaminant exposures in utero. "It's an approach that's never been tried before," according to Dr. Furlong.
The interaction between our genes and the environment drives development of certain conditions and chronic diseases. The study of the exposome, defined as the totality of internal and external exposures over a lifetime, is of critical interest to identify factors that contribute to disease.
Dr. Furlong’s group aims to inform the exposome by measuring exposure-driven protein modifications (adducts) in blood samples, with an initial focus on organophosphates. Organophosphates are a family of chemical compounds commonly used in pesticides. Prenatal exposure to organophosphorus pesticides has been associated with a number of developmental defects such as autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Chlorpyrifos is one of the most commonly used organophosphate pesticides in agricultural settings.
The group will determine exposure to chlorpyrifos in newborns using archived dried blood spots that were collected from hospital heel pricks right after birth. The samples will be obtained from two agricultural areas in the State of Washington. Dr. Furlong and his colleagues plan to use two different biomarkers in the dried blood spot samples to measure in utero exposure to chlorpyrifos.
The methodology needed to carry out the project was developed by Dr. Judit Marsillach during her postdoctoral research funded by grants to study paraoxonases from the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program.

Dr. Judit Marsillach participates in the Michael J. Fox Foundation's Researcher Hill Day

On March 4th, Dr. Judit Marsillach (second from right) joined more than 50 Parkinson's researchers and medical professionals in Washington D.C. for The Michael J. Fox Foundation's Researcher Hill Day. As part of the event, Dr. Marsillach met with staff of six members of Congress, including Representative Pramila Jayapal and Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray from Washington State.

Dr. Margaret Mills accepts a new position with UW Virology

Former trainee on UW SRP Project One, Dr. Margaret Mills recently accepted a permanent position as a researcher in the UW Department of Virology. Her first day of work was March 16th. It was a crazy time to start. In fact, according to Dr. Mills, "It's been SO wild for them that I didn't even know what my job was until I started here." She's now helping validate SARS-CoV-2 testing procedures, and working on other projects related to respiratory viral illness.

Webinar on Institutional Controls

In February, the UW SRP co-hosted a webinar on Institutional Controls (ICs) with the Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition. ICs include education, regulatory tools, and other measures used to prevent people from being exposed to site contaminants. Presenters, Peter deFur of Environmental Stewardship Concepts and Cliff Villa, Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico, used case studies from across the U.S. to explain how ICs work. Read more

Dr. Yadong Wang joins the Gallagher lab

Recently, Dr. Yadong Wang joined the Gallagher lab as a trainee on UW SRP Project One. Originally from China, Dr. Wang has a Ph.D. in marine biology and fisheries from the University of Miami. In the Gallagher lab, she will be working on the role of glutathione S-transferases and other antioxidant enzymes in maintaining olfactory function during metal exposures in zebrafish. Welcome to the University of Washington Superfund Research Program, Dr. Wang! Read more.

Dr. Rebecca Neumann presents at AGU meeting

At the 2019 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Dr. Rebecca Neuman (left) was a co-author on seven posters and talks on topics ranging from the effect of climate change on food quality to the degradation of south-central Alaska's permafrost plateau. She herself gave a talk on research from UW SRP Project Four showing that shallow lakes are uniquely vulnerable to contamination from arsenic. Co-authors included co-principal investigator, Dr. James Gawel, and trainee, Samantha Fung. Read more

UW SRP presents about Duwamish health projects at Cascadia 2020

UW SRP Community Engagement Manager BJ Cummings and UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health researcher Bill Daniell delivered a presentation on community health research and action projects in the Duwamish Valley at Cascadia 2020 in Abbottsford, British Columbia. The title of their talk was "Community-based projects inform policy-making and improve health equity in Seattle's Duwamish Valley." Read more.

Collaborating on a virtual tour of Seattle's Duwamish River

Students from Seattle‘s School of Visual Concepts have been working with the UW SRP to develop a virtual map of the Duwamish River. Once finished, the map will integrate information about the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site with the river’s environmental and cultural history, while giving users the experience and feel of visiting the river itself. Read more

We want to hear from you!

We would love to hear from you! If you have feedback related to our work or are interested in a potential partnership don't hesitate to contact UW SRP Director, Dr. Evan Gallagher; Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores, Dr. Tom Burbacher; Research Translation Manager, Lisa Hayward; or Community Engagement Manager, BJ Cummings.

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