Boston University Superfund Research Program

 
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News and Updates

BU SRP Profiled in BU Today

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BU Today, Boston University's news website, recently shined the spotlight on the Boston University Superfund Research Program. The article, available here, announces the BU SRP's recent 5-year renewal award from NIEHS and  highlights Dr. Jennifer Schlezinger's (Proj 3) work on the impacts of environmental contaminants on bone and immune system development.  The story also includes mention of the other BU SRP research projects and cores and quotes BU SRP leaders Dave Ozonoff and Dave Sherr.


Dr. Jennifer Schlezinger, PI of Project 3, at work in her lab.  Photo courtesy Michael Saunders/BUSPH
Last Updated ( Friday, 11 January 2013 15:19 )
 

New software package released by Project 2

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Dr. Veronica Vieira (Project 2) and colleagues have developed a data analysis package in R for mapping smoothed odds ratios from individual-level data.  The package, made freely available December 2012, contains functions for mapping risk surfaces using individual-level data such as case-control study data, using generalized additive models (GAMs) to smooth over two-dimensional location while adjusting for any confounding variables. The download also includes convenient functions for mapping and permutation tests for the null hypothesis that spatial location is not associated with risk (adjusting for confounders).  Please see project 2's page for more information and links to downloading the package.
 

Mini-symposium on Computational Genomic Models of Environmental and Chemical Carcinogenicity

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On October 25, 2012, the BU SRP, together with the Boston Medical Center Evan's Foundation, hosted a research symposium entitled "Computational Genomic Models of Environmental & Chemical Carcinogenesis". Approximately 80 investigators from around the Boston University Medical Campus attended. The goal of the symposium was to bring together BU SRP investigators, collaborators at the Broad Institute, and stakeholders at the National Toxicology Program to discuss emerging trends in exploiting computational biology to solve complex issues of environmental science including assessing the risk of exposure to complex chemical mixtures. The symposium was co-chaired by Dr. David Sherr (BU SRP Deputy Director) and Dr. Stefano Monti (BU SRP Bioinformatics Core Co-director). Pictured, left to right are: Dr. Stefano Monti (BU SRP), Dr. Scott Auerbach (National Toxicology Program), Dr. David Sherr (BU SRP), and Dr. Aravind Subramanian (Broad Institute, MIT/Harvard).
 

 
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 January 2013 12:31 )
 

Ongoing collaboration to understand AhR's role in breast cancer

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Elizabeth Stanford, a predoctoral student in Dr. Dave Sherr’s lab at Boston University was honored with a $60,000 Seed the Scientist Award from the Art BeCAUSE Breast Cancer Foundation.  Elizabeth is studying the activation of the AhR receptor by environmental chemicals in breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs).  BCSCs make up a small part of the whole breast cancer tumor but they appear to be resistant to current chemotherapy treatments.  Their resistance may explain the recurrence and malignancy of some cancer cells after treatment.  Stanford's work on the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and its environmental ligands on breast cancer stem cell development and propagation is based on studies on the AhR supported by the Superfund Research Program.  Her work involves collaboration with Dr. Sherr (deputy director and co-investigator on Project 3) and Dr. Mark Hahn’s (project 4) ongoing Superfund projects investigating induction of AhR by environmental pollutants. The award was made at the annual Art beCAUSE fund-raiser gala, at which Ms. Stanford was the keynote speaker (please see photo from the event below).

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 January 2013 12:42 )
 

New publication on toxicity of emerging flame retardant

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Drs. Tom Webster (Proj 2), Jennifer Schlezinger (Proj 3) and Mike McClean (Training Core) are authors on one of the first papers to describe the toxicity of Bis-(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate (TBPH), a chemical widely used since 2003 to replace polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in commercial flame retardant formulations.  In toxicological studies of pregnant female rats, the authors found that a metabolite of TBPH induced adverse effects in the thyroid, liver, and the fetal testis.  In mice cells, the metabolite induced obesogenic activity through activation of PPARα- and PPARγ, receptors that control adipocyte differentiation and fatty acid metabolism in cells.

The authors found substantial levels of TBPH in dust collected from cars, homes, and offices, suggesting several possible routes for human exposure including via hand-to-mouth activities.

To read the article, recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives, please visit: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/2012/12/1204932/
Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 December 2012 11:27 )
 
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