U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Superfund Research Program Progress in Research Webinar Part 1: Duke University and University of Arizona

Sponsored by: NIEHS Superfund Research Program

Archived: Thursday, August 23, 2018
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This Superfund Research Program (SRP) Progress in Research webinar series highlights promising research from SRP Centers awarded grants in 2017. In this session, awardees from Duke University and University of Arizona will describe their research projects, accomplishments, and next steps.

The Duke University SRP Center focuses on early, low-dose exposures to toxicants and developmental impacts, which are usually evident only later in life. They conduct research to characterize these outcomes following exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organophosphate pesticides and flame retardants, halogenated phenolic compounds, and some metals. They are also investigating mechanisms and approaches to remove these chemicals from the environment.

The University of Arizona SRP Center is addressing the risk and remediation of metal mining wastes in arid and semi-arid environments, focusing on Arizona mines as examples that can apply to other hard-rock mines around the world. Center scientists focus on finding innovative and cost-effective methods for remediating airborne and waterborne mine waste and on evaluating the effect of dusts that contain arsenic on lung development and health.

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Richard Di Giulio, Ph.D.Richard Di Giulio, Ph.D., Duke University (richd@duke.edu or 919-613-8024)
Richard Di Giulio, Ph.D., is the Sally Kleberg Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He also directs the Duke University SRP Center and the Duke Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program. His research is focused on molecular and organismal responses of aquatic animals to environmental stressors, particularly contaminants. His laboratory is concerned with both basic studies of mechanisms of contaminant metabolism, adaptation and toxicity, and with the development of sensitive, mechanistically-based indices of exposure and toxicity that can be used in biomonitoring of free-living organisms. Additionally, through collaborations, he seeks innovative approaches for elucidating linkages between human and ecological health. He received his Ph.D. at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an M.S. at Louisiana State University, and a B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin.

Joel Meyer, Ph.D.Joel Meyer, Ph.D., Duke University (joel.meyer@duke.edu or 919-613-8109)
Joel Meyer, Ph.D., is the Truman and Nellie Semans/Alex Brown & Sons Associate Professor of Molecular Environmental Toxicology in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He studies the effects of toxic agents and stressors on human and wildlife health. He is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms by which environmental agents cause DNA damage, the molecular processes that organisms employ to protect prevent and repair DNA damage, and genetic differences that may lead to increased or decreased sensitivity to DNA damage. Mitochondrial DNA damage and repair, as well as mitochondrial function in general, are a focus. He studies these effects in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in cell culture, and collaboratively in other laboratory model organisms as well as in human populations in the USA and globally. Meyer obtained a Ph.D. in environmental toxicology at Duke University and received his undergraduate degree from Juniata College with a dual degree in environmental studies and peace and conflict studies.

Claudia Gunsch, Ph.D.Claudia Gunsch, Ph.D., Duke University (ckgunsch@duke.edu or 919-660-5208)
Claudia Gunsch, Ph.D., is the Theodor Kennedy Associate Professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University. Her research focuses on characterizing and engineering environmental microbiomes. Students and postdoctoral associates in her group apply fundamental concepts from the fields of microbiology, genomics, and bioinformatics to environmental engineering applications. Current research projects focus on exploring ballast water microbiomes, exploring correlations between microbial adaptation and evolution stemming from their exposure to contaminants, characterizing the fate of genetically modified crop transgenes, developing genetic bioaugmentation technologies for improving the bioremediation efficacy of recalcitrant contaminants and developing innovative water treatment technologies for industrial and developing world applications. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. at Clemson University, and a B.S. at Purdue University.

Raina Maier, Ph.D.Raina Maier, Ph.D., University of Arizona (rmaier@ag.arizona.edu or 520-621-7231)
Raina Maier, Ph.D., is a professor of environmental microbiology in the department of soil, water, and environmental science at the University of Arizona. She is also the director of the University of Arizona SRP Center and interim director of the University of Arizona Institute of the Environment. Maier's research is interdisciplinary and is focused on developing a fundamental understanding of the biological factors and processes that influence the transport and fate of both microorganisms and chemical contaminants in the environment. The information gained from this research is used in the development of innovative remediation technologies. Maier received her undergraduate degree in biology/chemistry from the University of Minnesota, received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Rutgers University, and trained as a post-doctoral research associate in Biochemistry at Iowa State University.


Heather Henry, Ph.D.Heather Henry, Ph.D., Superfund Research Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (henryh@niehs.nih.gov or 984-287-3268)
Since 2006, Heather Henry, Ph.D., has been a program administrator for the NIEHS SRP in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Her responsibilities include administration of the SRP Multi-Project Center Grants (P42), the SRP Individual Research Project Grants (R01), and the Small Business / Technology Transfer Grants (R41/42; R43/44). She earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences (Ecology and Evolution) at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH; and completed a Fulbright Fellowship (post-doctoral) at the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Jean BalentJean Balent, U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (balent.jean@epa.gov or 703-603-9924)
Ms Balent is on the staff of the EPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division where she has worked to collect and disseminate hazardous waste remediation and characterization information since 2003. Ms Balent manages the Clean Up Information Network website and actively supports online communication and collaboration resources available to EPA. She formerly worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Engineering Division in the Buffalo District. Ms Balent was also a member of the SUNY-Buffalo Groundwater Research Group where she constructed and tested large scale models of groundwater flow. Ms Balent has also conducted research relating to the Great Lakes, environmental remediation, and brownfields re-development. She holds a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from SUNY-Buffalo and a Master's degree in Information Technology from AIU.

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If you have a suggested topic or idea for a future CLU-IN internet seminar, please contact:

Jean Balent
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: (703) 603-9924 | Email: balent.jean@epa.gov
Michael Adam
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: (703) 603-9915 | Email: adam.michael@epa.gov