August 2022 IHSFC & OEFC Voucher Awards
Large IHSFC Research Voucher Award(s)(up to 25% total costs capped at a $10,000 maximum): Large research voucher applications will be provided to subsidize already funded EHS research (for example NIEHS).
Principal Investigator: Timothy O’Toole, Ph.D.
Collaborator: Lu Cai, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Metalomics of NEAT Cohort Samples
Lay Description: The inhalation of fine airborne particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with a diverse array of cardiovascular, immunological, and neurocognitive disorders and contributes to increased mortality throughout the world. The Nucleophilic Defense Against PM Toxicity (NEAT) study, is an NIH-supported, double-blinded, clinical trial examining whether dietary supplementation with carnosine can mitigate the adverse effects of PM2.5.More than 250 participants will be enrolled in the NEAT study and randomized to receive placebo or carnosine tablets during the summer months when local PM2.5 levels are at their highest. During these study periods, we will collect blood and urine from study participants for the analysis of biomarkers indicative of pre-clinical vascular disease and will make direct assessments of vascular function, cognition and physical function as well. Funds supplied in this researcher voucher will support the NEAT study overall and will expand upon its goals and impact by allowing the quantitation of 23 metals in collected blood and urine samples. This is a here-to-fore unmeasured endpoint in our study, which may nevertheless be of importance given the role of environmental metals in impacting cardiovascular function, neurodegenerative disease, and frailty. Use of these funds in the NEAT study will enable a more rigorous characterization of local PM2.5 composition, provide insight into the mechanisms of PM2.5 toxicity, and assist in evaluating the potential therapeutic impact of dietary carnosine supplementation.
Large OEFC Research Voucher Award(s)(up to 25% total costs capped at a $10,000 maximum): Large research voucher applications will be provided to subsidize already funded EHS research (for example NIEHS).
Principal Investigator:J. Christopher States, Ph.D.
Collaborator:Lu Cai, M.D., Ph.D. and Alexandra Nail, Ph.D.
Title: Disruption of Human MRN Complex Signaling by Heavy Metal Exposure
Lay Description: Heavy metals are common toxic environmental contaminants and exposure is widespread. Many are known to induce cancer in humans. Several metals such as arsenic and cadmium are known to induce chromosomal instability which plays a role in carcinogenesis. However, the mechanism is unknown. DNA double strand breaks are potentially lethal DNA damage and contribute to chromosomal instability. Our NIEHS funded project revealed that DNA damage signaling mechanisms were dysregulated in skin cells chronically exposed to arsenic. This research voucher expands on our prior work and focuses on the ability of arsenic and cadmium to disrupt the mechanism signaling the presence of DNA double strand breaks to the DNA repair and cell cycle regulatory systems.