About Us

The UW Superfund Research Program is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of faculty and graduate students from University of Washington departments of: Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Genome Sciences, Environmental Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Pharmacology.

Our UW SRP investigators focus on neurotoxic metals cadmium, manganese and arsenic. These metals common waterways and hazardous waste sites, negatively impacting human health and ecosystem functions

Program Goals

  • Conduct mechanism-based laboratory research in animal models to assess neurotoxicity of these metals and to elucidate underlying mechanisms
  • Develop innovative biomarkers for assessing exposures, neurotoxicity, and risk susceptibility in humans and aquatic species.
  • Inform hazard remediation and disease prevention strategies through use and developing advanced techniques for the detection, assessment, and evaluation of the effect of hazardous substances on human health.

Develop Biomarkers

Biomarkers are abnormal levels or activity of substances found in living tissue that indicate exposure to toxicants and susceptibility to disease. We study certain enzymes and chemical compounds to determine their usefulness as biomarkers of toxic exposure. Our focus is on links between enzyme levels, chemical exposure and genetic predisposition to toxic effects of metals, pesticides and other chemicals.

Assess Physiological Damage

We investigate the complex interplay between low-level toxic exposure and disease, genetic susceptibility factors and models for risk assessment. Our studies seek to generate new scientific and health knowledge, and create risk assessments and a framework for including wildlife assessments in waste site evaluations and remediation decision-making.

Develop New Technology

We conduct research on biomarkers and physiological damage associated with toxic exposure to support the development of new technology to remediate contaminated sites. Technological research works to develop a repertoire of plants that remediate toxic solvent spills, broaden the range of compounds detoxified by plants, and further the knowledge of microbial processes and their use in neutralizing contaminants.

© 2007-2016 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington