2014

Events

Communicating Risk to the Public March 27 & 28 presented by Brown SRP and NEWMOA

Research Translation Coordinator, Laurie Rardin, was invited by the Brown SRP to present a case study on arsenic in food products as part of a day-long workshop, “Communicating Risk to the Public,” for environmental regulators and consultants. The workshop will be presented on March 27 in Westford, MA and on March 28 in Providence, RI.

Recent News

March

NATIONAL GROUNDWATER AWARENESS WEEK -- MARCH 9-15!

Follow the links to learn more about what you can do--and REMEMBER TO TEST YOUR WELL!

NH DES
National Groundwater Association
U.S. EPA

Dartmouth SRP Awarded CDC Funds to Determine the Private Well Testing and Treatment Rate in NH

The Community Engagement and Research Translation Cores received a $93,000 sub-award from the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) to design and conduct surveys of private well water users in the state. DES received a grant in 2013 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess and manage risks associated with exposure to arsenic in wells. Mark Borsuk, Ph.D., will lead the project for Dartmouth. Surveys will be conducted in 2014 with the goals of determining the baseline private well water testing and treatment rates and identifying the major factors that limit testing and treatment. The results will be used to design cost-effective, targeted interventions. “Arsenic in private wells is a significant public health issue in New Hampshire," commented NH DES Commissioner Thomas Burack. "DES is very pleased to be working with Dartmouth both to better understand the magnitude of the health impact and to find more effective ways to help well users protect their health."

NIEHS Workshop on Arsenic March 3-4, 2014

Dartmouth SRP researchers, Mary Lou Guerinot, Ph.D. and Carmen Marsit, Ph.D. presented as part of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program workshop “Health effects and mitigation of arsenic: current research efforts and future directions" in Research Triangle Park, NC. Dr. Guerinot's talk was entitled, “From the Soil to the Seed, Arsenic in Rice,” and Dr. Marsit spoke on the developmental effects of arsenic. The workshop was designed to highlight significant new and emerging research on low dose exposure to arsenic in human health.

February

Dartmouth Gets $8 Million to Research Arsenic and Children

The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth a five-year grant to study arsenic. “With the expansion of the center, we will have the opportunity to deepen our understanding of environmental exposures to common contaminants such as arsenic during fetal development and childhood and the impact these exposures have on childhood immunity, growth, and neurological development,” says Margaret Karagas, director of the center and also an Investigator for the Superfund Research Program. Former Interim President Carol Folt, now Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is associate director of the center and a project co-investigator.

January

Dartmouth Now Selects C-MERC as one of its Top 12 Stories in 2013

The Dartmouth Now team reviewed the more than 850 stories they published in 2013 and selected 12 of their favorite headlines. Confronting Mercury Contamination in the Environment came in at #2 and highlights the work of Celia Chen, Ph.D. and the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Program efforts to bring mercury research to inform international mercury policy.

2013

December

Mark Borsuk, CEC Leader, Receives Chauncey Starr Distinguished Young Risk Analyst Award

Mark Borsuk, PI of the Dartmouth Superfund Community Engagement Core and Associate Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth, has been named the recipient of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) 2013 Chauncey Starr Distinguished Young Risk Analyst Award. The award is granted to "an SRA member age 40 years or younger for outstanding achievement in science or public policy relating to risk analysis and exceptional promise for continued contributions to risk analysis." Mark was recognized for his work in decision theory, uncertainty analysis, integrated systems modeling and management, and Bayesian statistics, used to help quantify and address risk in areas including climate change, pollutant dispersion, and sustainability.

Carmen Marsit, PhD, Appointed Co-Director of Cancer Epidemiology Research Program

The Norris Cotton Cancer Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Carmen Marsit as co-director of the NCCC Cancer Epidemiology Research Program. Carmen received his BS from Lafayette College in 2000 and his PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard in 2004. Carmen is an experienced molecular epidemiologist with unique multidisciplinary training and expertise in molecular biology, genetics, and epidemiology and his research combines these disciplines to powerfully examine the importance of epigenetic regulation in cancer biology and pathology with the use of genomic technologies in population-based studies. Read More.

November

Mark Borsuk, Ph.D. receives IEAM Journal Best Paper Award

Dr. Mark Borsuk, PI of the Dartmouth Superfund Community Engagement Core, was awarded the IEAM Best Paper Award in May and it was announced at the SETAC North America 34th Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN. Borsuk's paper, “A Bayesian Network Model for Integrative River Rehabilitation Planning and Management” integrates state-of-the-science mathematical analysis into decision-making critical to solving river ecosystem impairment problems around the world. The paper exemplifies the application of complex environmental models and information addressing morphological, hydraulic, economic and ecological consequences of different river rehabilitation strategies. SETAC Press Release

Dartmouth Superfund Program Co-sponsors BU Training Event

The Boston University Superfund Research Program Outreach and Training Day held at the Museum of Science on November 18 was a huge success. Trainees and other program researchers and outreach staff heard esteemed journalist and author Dan Fagin speak about his recent book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, called by the New York Times "...a new classic of science reporting." A poster session highlighted research by the trainees, and a reception allowed time for informal conversation and connecting.

Celia Chen, Ph.D. Presented at APHA Meeting in Boston

On November 5th Dr. Chen discussed "Mercury pollution in marine ecosystems from sources to seafood" as part of the session: Our planet's blue heart: The interrelationships among human activity, oceans, seafood, and the public's health.

Mary Lou Guerinot, Ph.D. Presented at Crop Science Society

Dr. Guerinot spoke at the annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America in a symposium entitled "Limiting Harmful & Enhancing Nutritive Elements in Crops" on Monday November 4th.

October

Bruce Stanton, Ph.D. appeared on NHPR's The Exchange

"The Exchange," a one-hour morning talk show, focused on arsenic in food and water and featured Bruce Stanton, Dartmouth SRP Director, and two stakeholder partners, Paul Susca from NH DES and Joe Ayotte from USGS.

Dartmouth Trainee Receives KC Donnelly Externship Award

Shohreh Farzan received the KC Donnelly Externship Award at the 2013 SRP Annual Meeting. She is a Post-Doctoral Researcher working with the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program (SRP) under the guidance of Margaret Karagas, Ph.D. She will complete a three month externship at New York University (NYU) in collaboration with the Columbia University SRP to examine the role of arsenic exposure on blood pressure over time and in relation to cardiovascular disease related mortality.

Michael Paul, CEC Coordinator, Presented at NH Health Officers Annual Meeting

Mr. Paul presented "NH Guide for Potable Water," to a group of 75 on Thursday, October 24th with NHDES partner Pierce Rigrod from the Drinking Water Source Protection Program.

Brian Jackson, Ph.D. Presented at the Food and Nutrition Conference in Houston Texas.

His Session: Arsenic in Rice: a New Dimension to Food Safety, presented with Tricia Thompson, MS, RD on Tuesday October 22, was well received.

New Minimata Convention for Mercury

The Minimata Convention for Mercury is a Global Treaty that reduces mercury emissions and releases and was formally adopted as international law on October 10, 2013.

Food at Risk--Discover Magazine

Discover Magazine's October issue cover story by Deborah Blum features research by Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program.

SRP Annual Meeting held in Baton Rouge, LA October 15-17

Superfund Research Programs from around the country met over two days to discuss the latest research, community engagement and research translation.

Washington Post Reports on PLOS One Superfund Paper

Dr. Celia Chen's lab published a paper entitled "Experimental and Natural Warming Elevates Mercury Concentrations in Estuarine Fish" in PLOS One in April and it was publicized in advance of the October Minamata Convention on Mercury. Read the GRIST article.

Dartmouth SRP Director, Bruce Stanton, quoted in EHP article

New research in adult animals has provided evidence that exposure to inorganic arsenic may compromise immune responses to bacterial and viral infections. The study is related to Dr. Stanton's research project focuses on how arsenic modifies responses to influenza. Read the full article on the Environmental Health Perspectives website.

September

Dartmouth study identifies a path by which arsenic may affect birth outcomes

Researchers aimed to increase our understanding of the impact of low-dose arsenic exposure on fetal health by examining fetal tissue in a cohort of 133 pregnant women from New Hampshire that are exposed to low levels of arsenic. The findings suggest a path by which arsenic may affect infant birth weight. Read the full study in Environmental Health.

Study focuses on contamination of marine estuary

Dartmouth researchers found that levels of toxic metals in killifish at the Callahan Mine Superfund Site were high enough to have an impact on larger fish like striped bass and tautog that feed on them, increasing the potential for harm to humans. They also found uneven concentrations of heavy metals, suggesting a continuing source of contamination that's yet to be identified. Read the full story in the Boston Herald and Dartmouth Now.

Dartmouth SRP Director, Bruce Stanton at ATSDR

Dr. Stanton spoke to ATSDR staff on September 18th and presented "Organic Forms of Arsenic Have Untoward Effects on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Induced Immune Response in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells."

2013 New Hampshire Arsenic Consortium Meeting

The Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program held a meeting of the NH Arsenic Consortium on September 12. Twenty-five people attended including representatives from USGS, NH DES, NH DHHS, U.S. EPA, local towns, the medical community, the Dartmouth SRP program and the Dartmouth Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center. New priorities were set for the group and presentations on agency and academic research and activities were given. Composed of academic and agency researchers, and representatives from health and environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and local towns, the Consortium seeks to provide the latest information to its members and the public, coordinate outreach and other intervention efforts, and prioritize tasks to have the greatest possible impact on reducing exposure to arsenic in food and drinking water and ultimately improving public health.

FDA Explores Impact of Arsenic in Rice

The FDA released testing results on 1300 samples of rice and rice products on September 6, 2013 and "FDA scientists have determined that the levels of inorganic arsenic found in the samples are too low to cause immediate health damage."

New York Times
WIRED--Deborah Blum

August

Deborah Blum Article Cites Dartmouth Study and Reports on Arsenic in Rice Causing Genetic Damage

Read more in Discover Magazine

Dartmouth Trainee Receives Postdoctoral Mentor Award

From left: Sara Balch, Dr. Dawoon Jung and Elizabeth Cutting

Dawoon Jung, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow supported by the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program, received the Postdoctoral Mentor Award at the MDI Biological Laboratory annual student appreciation dinner. Dawoon mentored Sara Balch, a sophomore at Tufts University, and Elizabeth Cutting, a senior at Princeton University during their summer research at the Callahan Mine Superfund site in Brooksville, Maine. In presenting the award to Dr. Jung, the students noted "Your dedication and commitment to enriching our education is amazing, thank you."

July

FDA Sets Action Limit for Arsenic in Apple Juice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is setting a new limit on the level of arsenic allowed in apple juice. This brings apple juice in line with the EPA's current public drinking water limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb).

FDA
Dartmouth: Arsenic in Food

Dartmouth Researcher, Jason Moore, selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences

Professor Jason H. Moore of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine has been selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for 2013. The Kavli program honors young scientists who are considered leaders in their fields and have made significant contributions to science. Moore was selected this year for his expertise in translational bioinformatics and personalized medicine. Geisel Insider published an article about his selection as a Kavli Fellow on July 18th.

Callahan Mine Site Update

Bruce Stanton and Joe Shaw (a former Dartmouth Superfund postdoctoral student and now collaborator and associate professor at Indiana University) continue to work at Callahan Mine on studies of metal toxicity in local biota in conjunction with US EPA remediation work at the SF site in Brooksville, ME. Sara Balch, a summer student from Tufts is assisting with the research including the process of capturing killifish using seine nets. Stanton liaised with Ed Hathaway, US EPA Region 1 RPM and spoke with Maine DEP folks on site. DEP and EPA will complete PCB and lead remediation this summer. This is Dartmouth's 4th summer on site collecting fish and plans are to continue this work for the next several summers to evaluate the effect of remediation on fish health and metal accumulation and their ability to acclimate to stress.

June

Superfund Paper Mentioned in Science for Environment Policy News Alert

Dr. Celia Chen's lab published a paper entitled "Experimental and Natural Warming Elevates Mercury Concentrations in Estuarine Fish" in PLOS One. An article about the paper also appeared in the June 20th issue of Science for Environment Policy, a news service published by the European Commission's Environment Directorate-General.

Celia Chen Keynote Speaker at NAC-SETAC Meeting

Dr. Chen delivered the keynote speech at the North Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (NAC-SETAC) meeting on Thursday, June 13th in Fairlee, Vermont in her speech she discussed the C-MERC Report and its conclusions.

May

Dartmouth Superfund Recognizes Drinking Water Week

The Dartmouth Superfund Program participated in a Drinking Water Festival in Concord, NH on May 8th as part of the celebration of “Drinking Water Week” from May 5-11.

Our Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores teamed up to provide an exhibit on arsenic in private well water for 350 4th graders as part of the NH DES Water Festival held at the Concord Sewage Treatment Plant. Most of the students are on clean and safe city water, but it is important that they understand that their friends and family in other parts of NH may get their water from private wells which need to be tested to be sure their water is safe for drinking.

Remember to TEST YOUR WELL!

Gluten-Free Event at the Lebanon Co-op

Representatives from the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program were on hand at the Lebanon Co-op during their Gluten-Free Event on Thursday, May 16, 2013 from 3 - 6. Many people rely on rice and rice products as an alternative to wheat when eating a gluten-free diet.

Dartmouth Researcher Publishes Paper in Nature

Dr. Guerinot, of the Dartmouth Superfund Program, has published a paper in Nature entitled "Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production".The article discusses the need for sustainable nutritious food for the growing world population and how specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to increase crop yields and increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land.

April

Bomberger Received the Lazaro Mandell Young Investigator Award from the American Physiological Society

Jennifer Bomberger, Ph.D., a former postdoctoral fellow in the Stanton laboratory in the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center and Dartmouth Superfund Program, received the Lazaro J. Mandel Young Investigator Award for her research on CF at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on April 22, 2013. Dr. Bomberger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA.

March

Mercury: From Source to Seafood Accepted To Film Festival

Dartmouth Toxic Metals short film "Mercury: From Source to Seafood" was accepted to the Beneath the Waves Film Festival, which hopes to facilitate widespread science communication by bringing together marine films from around the world for open discussion, while also providing hands-on educational opportunities for researchers interested in film and media outreach. Stay tuned for details on Film Festival premiere.

February

Pulitzer Prize Winner Deborah Blum Visits Dartmouth

Deborah Blum, Pulitzer-prize winning science journalist and Author of The Poisoner's Handbook, spoke to an audience of 75 attendees about poisons, science communication and chemistry on February 11, 2013.

January

Tracy Punshon Accepted by NUFO Outreach Scientist Network to Engage in Research Translation

The National User Facility Organization (NUFO) working closely with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and government relation experts, are developing plans to compile material for outreach purposes. To accomplish that goal NUFO is establishing a network of user scientists affiliated with universities and industry to represent the national user facility-based research at outreach events such as exhibits in Washington and who can interact with leadership within their own organizations to advocate for basic science. Tracy Punshon of the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program was invited by NUFO to serve as a member of this network as an individual who is engaging and can make science exciting and understandable for non-scientists, communicates effectively about the science, why science is vital to the United States, and the importance of research done within the university system.

Dartmouth Paper on Rice Consumption and Arsenic Recognized by NIEHS

Dr. Margaret Karagas was the lead author on an SRP funded paper which was highlighted as one of the 20 best papers of the year by NIEHS. The paper discusses rice consumption and arsenic exposure in pregnant women.

C-MERC Report Released

In new research published in a special issue of the journal Environmental Research and in Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment— a companion report by the Dartmouth-led Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative (C-MERC), scientists report that mercury released into the air and then deposited into oceans, contaminates seafood commonly eaten by people in the U.S. and globally.

CMERC COVERAGE: Union Leader, Grist.org Article, SRP Article

Dartmouth Researcher, Celia Chen, Represents Dartmouth College and SRP at the 5th Session of the UNEP Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury

Dr. Chen attended the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Programme Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury (INC5) in Geneva, Switzerland from January 13-18. In her capacity as an observer, she made the recently released CMERC report available as part of an exhibition organized to relay relevant and timely information to INC5 participants. Nature Article

MIT Profile of Dr. Chen

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