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Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego

UC San Diego Superfund Research Program receives $15 million grant renewal

IMAGE: Among the research supported by UC San Diegoís Superfund Research Program is Michael Karinís work identifying how hepatocytes (liver cells) become cancerous after exposure to chemical carcinogens.

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The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has renewed funding for the Superfund Research Program (SRP) at the University of California, San Diego. Over the next five years, the $15 million grant will fund continued research on the molecular and genetic consequences of exposure to uncontrolled toxicants from Superfund and other hazardous waste sites.

It is the third funding cycle for UC San Diego's SRP, which was originally funded by the NIEHS in 2000.

"The overall goal of the Superfund Research Program is to understand why environmental toxicants cause disease," said Robert H. Tukey, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego and Director of the UC San Diego SRP. "Our focus is on the development of novel biological models to define how toxicant exposure leads to illness and disease. We want to learn how to better detect toxicants and model the health effects of exposure, assess the risks, and find effective ways to remediate."

Since 2000, the SRP at UC San Diego has chalked some notable achievements. Most recently:

On-going and future projects, said Tukey, will use functional genomics and proteomics to investigate the cellular and molecular responses leading to toxicant -induced liver toxicity.

The SRP at UC San Diego is broad-based, with biomedical researchers, chemists, plant biologists, and public outreach experts. It includes research projects led by scientists from other institutions, including The Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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