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United States Environmental Protection Agency
PAH and PCB Toxicity and Adaptation - Lessons Learned from Chronically Exposed Wild Populations
Sponsored by: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Superfund Research Program
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Presentation Overview:

This seminar will feature Dr. Mark E. Hahn of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Dr. Richard T. Di Giulio, Director of Duke University's Integrated Toxicology Program. Dr. Hahn will describe research to understand the role of aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AHRs) and AHR variants in the mechanism of resistance to PCBs that has evolved in Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) inhabiting the New Bedford Harbor (MA) superfund site. Other studies that address the role of AHRs as biomarkers of susceptibility and resistance will be discussed. Dr. Di Giulio will describe studies addressing mechanisms underlying the marked resistance to PAH toxicity displayed by a population of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) inhabiting a PAH contaminated estuary adjacent to the Atlantic Woods Industries Superfund site in Virginia. These studies subsequently motivated additional studies that will be described that examined the unanticipated phenomenon of synergisitc toxicity between certain PAHs. These latter studies included both the killifish and the zebrafish as models.

Presenters: Instructors:
  • Mark E. Hahn, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (
    Mechanisms of Evolved Resistance to Dioxin-like PCBs in Fish Inhabiting a Marine Superfund Site

  • Richard T Di Giulio, Director, Duke University's Integrated Toxicology Program (
    Mechanisms of PAH Developmental Toxicity and Evolved Resistance: the Elizabeth River Killifish Story
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